Artist Statement

    My work explores the beauty and horror of our existential uncertainties as creatures seeking meaning in a microcosm. These pots combine inspirations from historical production ceramics with contemporary studio art practices in wheel thrown and soda fired cone 11 porcelain. 

    The work addresses design elements from 18th and 19th century European slipcast ware, but is created with the immediacy and individuality attributed to hand processes and alternative firing methods. In this dialogue between the tangible past and immediate present, the work appears both conspicuously old fashioned and relevant to contemporary concerns.

    It is the strong connection I feel to the chaotic and imperfect nature of soda firing and handcraft that, to me, highlights the absurdity of the endeavor of the handmade: the seemingly futile and never-ending quest for perfection and objective meaning. I embrace the errors of the hand and artifacts of the intense heat from firing because, although the pots themselves may be inanimate know-nothings, they still have something to teach us about the natural and the arcane. 

    I place an emphasis on making ceremonial vessels that speak to the passage of time and embrace the propensity for ceramic vessels to be heirloom objects. The work seems to suggest that it bears witness to the ebb and flow of civilizations, of ideas, and of people. As vessels that exist through time as humans cannot hope to, these pots whisper to us to confront the knowledge we share of our progression towards inevitable demise and our march into obscurity. It is both a liberating comfort, and a savage terror that the dead do not return, except in stories and dreams.

Teaching Philosophy

I am both an artist and an educator. As an artist, I understand that the foundations of artistic practice are built on problem solving, creative curiosity, self-critique, and a hunger for personal knowledge.

As a teacher, I am passionate about equipping my students with a developed conceptual and technical framework for art making, as well as an expanded frame of reference that can extend beyond the classroom. I am continually looking for ways to improve the curriculum I have developed: through research, writing, and engaging in dialogues about art education with my peers and leaders in the field. I feel incredibly proud to see my students succeed in the classroom and after graduation, and I believe that it is my calling to be an educator that leads by example to inspire and prepare students for their own journey in art.

    My teaching style is syncretic, combining elements of traditional art eduction practices with constructivist teaching theory and personal education experience across disciplines that considers and empowers the individual student. I believe strongly that the student’s path to success in the classroom and beyond lies not only in rigorous coursework centered around fundamental artistic principles, but also in allowing students to have control over the direction of their learning experience through material exploration and periodic self-assessment. In this way, My role as an art educator is to foster a classroom environment that considers the needs of a diverse population, and that the role of the teacher is to serve as a facilitator as much as an arbiter of curriculum goals.

     For example, I had the opportunity to design and implement a curriculum at LSU that  centered around learning artistic concepts while using a novel material with no established literature: a quick cure polymer clay developed by a chemistry professor at LSU. The first project that I assigned was a unit called “Mimic/Morph”, which required students to select a personal object of a given size with surface variations and execute sculpts in two subunits. The first subunit involved the careful examination and construction of a scale replica of the selected object. I met with the students individually to encourage material exploration and to suggest construction techniques relevant to the considerations of their individual object. Students were asked to document and prepare a demonstration of the successful and unsuccessful techniques used to construct their replica during a group critique at the end of the first subunit, citing relevant research and showing appropriate artistic vocabulary. Students went into the second subunit with both self-discovered knowledge about material processes, and also secondary knowledge from their peers with my feedback in a group discussion.

     The “Morph” subunit required students to take inspiration from their selected object, and transform it into a new object while retaining some formal evidence of the original. During work days, I showed and explained images from artists of diverse disciplines that utilize association and symbolic representation in their work with care not to give examples too directly related to the given project. I met with students individually during work periods to examine their progress and to facilitate their investigation of the conceptual and technical themes particular to their work by asking pointed questions and suggesting potential research avenues. Students presented their transformed objects to the class in a final group critique, citing the reasons for picking their objects and detailing their thought processes related to the associations and comparisons they formed. In this way, students were responsible for their own learning through firsthand discovery and communication while the constraints of the project and my input guided the learning experience to satisfy the goals of the curriculum. I believe that the unit was quite successful, as evidenced by the diversity of subject matter handled by the students as they expressed their individual ideas and construction methods, the productive and enthusiastic discussions that sprung from the students self-discovery, as well as the overall high quality of the finished works.

     It is my vocation to teach, and I take great pride in the skills I have developed to inspire students of all backgrounds to express themselves through art. I hope to one day have the opportunity to guide and grow my own program, making a measurable impact in the way that future generations think and talk about art and artistic practices. 

Adaptable Art Criticism

A possible method for art criticism adapted from health psychology. A bit strange, and needs some of clarification. 

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Archive of an "Insta-essay". I think this is the reality of the American functional studio artist: to rage against both obsolescence and codification, to experience persistent failures and never perfection, and to continually find new meanings in the defiance of utility while adhering to a functional archetype

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