A major component of my professional practice is to promote and establish inclusive creative learning environments through accessibility, social empathy, and active experimentation. Within higher academia and community as both student and instructor, I have found traditional methods of disciplinarian-sided instruction discouraging for student development and engagement. We need to manage education as peers and not officers. Employing peer-to-peer methods for instruction I approach each student uniquely, considering culture, experiences, and limitations an important guide for developing appropriate and honest modes of communication. Learning becomes individualized, and conversations become the foundation for creative research and skill building.
Approaching studio arts instruction as a supportive guide, I uphold a rigorous and active exploration into technical skill, creative writing, data accession, and problem solving methods. Fundamental for exercising interpretive and articulative dexterity, reading materials are curated to foster critical thinking, social awareness, and evidence-based innovation. Within the book arts and printmaking, technical and mechanical skills are strengthened through workshops and demonstrations alongside continuous dialogue to boost studio rhetoric while promoting classroom comradery. Establishing relationships between students and the local community is an objective for effective peer-to-peer instruction. The ability to communicate and share discovery lays groundwork for students to begin reaching outward, making connections with other academic institutions, museums, galleries, community members, and other arts practitioners, sharing networks to grow in art making and entrepreneurship. These connections deepen student understanding of social and cultural awareness.
As an educator, I hold dearly the need for academia to provide supportive and accommodating spaces to further student success. While BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ populations continue to face confines with accessible learning, we have a duty to uphold a level of courtesy and understanding in the classroom, redefining pedagogies for more inclusivity. A person from both abovementioned communities, I make efforts to highlight and present the many underrepresented identities of historical and contemporary artists we lack in current curricula. Conferences, visiting artist lectures, community outreach, and museum and studio visits are key to developing a more comprehensive portrayal of current studio arts practices. Students seeing reflection in learning environments expands scholarly inquiry and problem-solving interests, thus, broadening accession of knowledge within and across art disciplines and departments.