Life is like a camera.
Focus on what’s important
and capture the good times,
develop from the negatives
and if things don’t work out,
just take another shot
I teach through a discipline based art education approach. Following the national visual art standards students will create, perform, present, and produce art products independently, with their teacher, as instructor of techniques and facilitator of their active learning. We will discuss art and respond to the world around us by seeking inspiration. We will be making connections with other disciplines and working cooperatively with each other. Photography classes will learn about camera mechanics and what makes a good composition. They will utilize professional equipment for authentic experiences with digital and gelatin silver media. Graphic Design classes will learn about typography, printmaking, and implement the elements of good design to communicate visually through image and text. Foundations classes will master the art elements and design principles to communicate their story through the language of visual art. All classes will have opportunities to exhibit their artwork.
While art classes are centered on art production, students also study aesthetics, criticism, and art history. Philosophically I believe in the pursuit of art for art’s sake. The process of making is just as important as the product one creates. The journey is a savory trip to the destination of creation. Art is valued in my family. My mother is a retired surgical nurse who made stained glass, taught me knitting, embroidery, and numerous other hand crafts. She pursued arts creation as an avocation for a demanding career. My maternal grandmother was a painter and medical secretary, who taught me watercolor painting and drawing. She pursued arts creation as an avocation and business, selling her works at the Lititz Art Show and other events. Annually the ladies in my family make a craft together after Thanksgiving dinner. I decided to pursue a career as an arts educator, after the Lancaster County Watercolor Society donated art books to local schools in my grandmother's name.
Art is an important part of our shared world. We can communicate without a common language through images, symbols, and other visual means. There is something powerful and satisfying in creating something with ones own hands. Through art creation we can communicate ideas and perceptions, perhaps, not shared any other way. I teach photography in a constructivist style where I guide students to work independently and collaboratively in teams and as partners with the teacher as facilitator. Students are guided to construct meaning through authentic art experiences.
Select students attend an annual spring VISCOMM Art field trip to the Cecil College with me. I have worked with studio photography students creating college portfolios for admission to Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, Delaware College of Art and Design, The Corcoran College of Art, and MICA. I have also escorted students to interviews and portfolio reviews at National Portfolio Day events with other county arts educators.
I encourage students to work and go to college after high school. Visit schools. Get a feel for if it is for you or not. Education is the greatest personal investment anyone can make, equal to physical fitness. My educational life is a winding wonderful road. Teachers are lifetime learners and a student’s liason to gain new insight in a chosen subject or field. I strive to create successful and diverse experiences for my students and seed their desire to become active learners who, beyond the art room, pursue a relationship with art.