Teaching Philosophy

The purpose of introductory courses in Three-Dimensional Design and Sculpture is to promote the development of visual literacy related to design and to encourage experimentation and innovation.  Features of this coursework have been the necessity to observe, to provide conceptual explorations and to direct students to an expressive interpretation of what may not be visually obvious.

A basic foundation of technical skills related to a hands-on approach to making 3D form, allows the student opportunity to search for personal expression.  Projects should emphasize problem solving, so that students will gain confidence discovering personal solutions, while developing visual-spatial awareness.

Sculpture projects are designed to acquaint young artists with notions of balance, contrast, scale and structure while promoting intuitive processes.  The aim is to enhance the understanding of visual communication through manipulating materials to achieve the artist’s intent.  Sculpture can take an interdisciplinary direction, incorporating skills in drawing, painting, or assemblage.

Built into the course content should be reserved time for discussions on concept development, using multiple techniques for visual or tactile learners, such as brainstorming or mind maps.  Within a diverse student body the learning styles will vary, so that a vocabulary list of relevant terms and how they apply, is a key component.  Asking questions aids the process of finding solutions and cultural understanding, permitting ideas to become open ended.

Occasional presentations and group discussions help students to practice critical discourse concerning works of art.  Students should be welcome to develop analytical skills when viewing examples of Contemporary Art.  Seeing visual relationships and making identifications through Art History and Contemporary Art Issues is integral to how artists work to unify form, content and subject.  By encouraging a sensitivity to formal criticism, a student’s artistic practice will mature in methodology and content.