Welcoming artists into the classroom is a deeply important element that transforms art-making into something tangible for students. While the majority of students who enter my classroom will not become professional artists, it introduces additional possibilities and expands their perception of what makes someone "work-ready". Often skills adjacent to art-making have applications outside of professional artistry. It has been my pleasure to welcome rock photographers, mixed media artists, photojournalists, event photographers into our classroom over the years. They've shared their work and taken questions from curious students.
Click below to see classroom visits from working artists & descriptions of their work.
These projects are a labor of love over the course of almost a decade and a half. Student projects include analog, digital, and mixed media work. Students are given a challenge and are encouraged to push creative and visual boundaries to "solve" a problem. Whether it's working remotely to create analog construction paper photograms, blending multiple animals using Photoshop, or photographing a grandmother who is suffering from Alzheimer's Disease, students are always looking to bring their world into the creative process.
Click below to explore student artwork created in my classroom over the last 14 years within the NYC Department of Education.
At the end of every project, students participate in the critiquing process. Based off of the Socratic method, students discuss the work of the great masters and that of their peers with the same level of attention and detail. Students ask what works well and what can be improved, they share the challenges to their creative process, and explain how they overcame those challenges of not. What is so valuable about this process is that students learn how to move beyond opinion phrases like "I like that", learning how to use language to encourage creative and visual evolution and reflection. Critiques are self-directed with practice and time; I am but a fly on the wall, jumping in only to direct their conversation.
Click below to get a sense of my student-centered collaborative critique process: