Artist as Student as Teacher
As an artist I have cultivated a learning model that defines and supports my desire to understand the beauty, context, and meaning of my world-view and my place in the world. This aspiration to learn is why I choose to be an artist and my dedication to the creative process is what nourishes my artistic life.
To be an artist is to be both a student and a teacher. I humbly consider myself a student first, a teacher second, but in truth they are intertwined. A successful student cannot truly learn without sharing the results of newly acquired knowledge or experiences with others, just as an artist cannot successfully make art without letting it stand outside the walls of the studio.
The “Artist as Student as Teacher” model is one that I have employed in the classroom, initially without intention, and more recently as experience has allowed reflection, careful evaluation, and distillation of this approach.
The development of this model is one that grows directly from my own experience and struggles as a kinesthetic learner in the traditional classroom environment. As a professor at the NYC College of Technology, CUNY for nearly 20 years, I have observed that many of my students have experienced similar challenges in their education. Nearly all embrace a learning environment that follows a hands-on creative process, one that is ethical, creative, and open to different styles of learning.