For me, the terms ARTIST and TEACHER are more than vocational labels. Taken together they comprise a hybrid worldview that emerges from near-constant condensing, framing, questioning, and contextualization of ideas, information, and abstract concepts. This worldview is used to engage an audience in a dialogue about well-being and creativity.
There are many elements to well-being that are specific to the individual. These include emotions, personal beliefs, relationships, and meaning or purpose. My goal as an artist-teacher is to cultivate an individual’s well-being and support their quest in reaching their full potential.
My approach to promoting well-being is a transdisciplinary model that integrates mindfulness, positive psychology, and expressive art practices. This model is optimal for supporting self-reflection, which serves as a catalyst for positive self-transformation. I consider the whole person as they engage in building strengths and experience more meaning and understanding about their lives. This is achieved through mindfulness practices, reflecting, and perspective shifting.
I am certain that transformation is further bolstered when the individual is provided with opportunities for cathartic emotional expression. In the context of our daily life, creativity comprises of stretching our imagination and creating something new to give to the world (this can take many forms, not only art). Similarly, arts-based, experiential processes allow the individual to engage in creative expression through visual and symbolic modes. This activates curiosity and problem solving while allowing an individual to deepen internal awareness and experience new insights.
My practice as an artist-teacher centers around cultivating the synergy that exists between human strengths and creativity. We are born with the desire to know and express ourselves. Creative expression gives us a voice and empowers positive transformation.
We also have an innate desire to understand ourselves, our actions, as well as the interrelations with our environment. Navigating the world throughout our life requires different skill sets. And it is vital that we understand how to draw on certain attitudes and apply various strategies to continue our evolution toward wholeness.
As an artist-teacher, I strive to create a dynamic, active learning environment to guide others through this evolution. My instructional approach is based upon a studio environment where experimentation is essential, where work produces work, and learning is not limited to the top-down dissemination of knowledge.
I approach my role in the learning environment as a catalyst, collaborator, and mentor. I focus on ideation and critical thinking to fuel a culture that plays with taxonomies, encourages leaps in thinking, and new approaches to making. From the safeness of this environment, participants can take risks, abandon their habits, transcend established logic, and deny the stability of repeatable, known results.