The artist has been practicing as a professional artist for 10 years and has had numerous solo and group exhibitions. Her main endeavours have been as a painter working on large-scale figurative paintings having as their subject femininity and the 'body' as a political landscape. She has begun working in video and photography, with both mediums impacting each other. Her artistic practice is rooted in the deconstruction of the layers that create an identity. Paint is a medium that allows for experimentation and representation in a time-based form that is slow and historically layered in meaning. Her teaching experience has also impacted her work: she has been active with abused woman in Battered Women’s Shelters and taught children from low-income families for many years. The objective of her teaching has been to deepen the individual's experience of their own creative voice and creative power.
The artist’s educational objective is to create a space where the student can deepen his/her own creative process through a hands-on approach. The artist believes that creativity is at the root of revealing a person’s true potential and that through specific creative workshops or classes the student will have the opportunity to experiment with and experience a creative approach, whose focus is not the product but rather the process. Her classes have two objectives: to teach techniques and to provide a structure allowing students to develop their own voice. The artist believes that while the end product in the classroom is important, having students work from a creative space rather than a performance-oriented space is even more important. The workshops that she offers are simple and straightforward projects that students can repeat and expand upon after the course. An example of one workshop is a course in self-portraits. The artist starts off the class with a discussion about what constitutes art and asks for students’ thoughts and ideas on creativity (depending on their age). She goes on to present the materials that they will be working with and has students proceed with the activity. Each student needs a mirror and executes three speed drawings of what they see. Participants work with black on white paper to focus on the lines and for the last 15 minutes of the 1st hour they pass the drawing to another student and they colour the rest of the time. The second half of the course is devoted to creating a family tree of their class, placing their portraits on a long piece of paper and writing at the bottom a word or two to express their experience of being part of this classroom community. This exercise gives students a visual experience of their peers and makes them realize how they form part of a whole.
Other examples of activities
The teacher can ask the younger children to do paintings and then photocopy them in bookmark size for the school library. Participants can create murals that give a visual voice to their concerns, such as environmentalism, sexism, cultural diversity, dreams concerning the future.
A great collaboration that can be made between two classes of the same grade involves having each child from one class write a poem and then pass it on to the other class to create the images. Posters can be made with students’ artistic input and can deal with events, holidays, political situations, whether at the national or international level.
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