As an art educator I strive to create a comfortable and open classroom environment that encourages students to listen, share, respect, and learn from one another, but more importantly a place where everyone feels they belong and are welcomed. Art making is one of the most satisfying and challenging careers and requires many hours of hard physical and mental work. Throughout my career as a designer, artist, educator and community arts advocate I have spent thousands of hours thinking, creating, questioning, listening, traveling, experimenting and particularly, failing. I have never been afraid in making art and so by losing this fear of failure I have been able to surpass my own high expectations.
My goal as an art educator is to develop confident, socially-conscious artists and encourage them to find their voices and lose the fear in making art. Throughout my journey as an artist I have encountered many great teachers and mentors that have affected me immensely in a positive way. I have established long friendships with these inspiring individuals who have seen me grow as a person and as an artist. As an educator I want to impact the lives of my students in a positive way and inspire new generations of artists to then also continue guiding forthcoming generations—creating an unbroken chain of shared knowledge. Some of the common characteristics of the mentors and teachers that have influenced me are perseverance, passion, craftsmanship, and advocacy for social justice. As an educator I believe I have the responsibility to ensure that my students have the skills and the attitude to succeed in the very competitive contemporary art and craft field. My experiences as an interdisciplinary artist provide me with the flexibility of working in a wide range of styles and media including drawing, sculpture, public art, video, installation and social practice to name a few. My intention is to demonstrate the infinite possibilities in art, awakening students’ curiosities and conflicts so they can learn how to develop their own content and ideas for their work.
As a teenage immigrant I have experienced the challenges of inequality at first hand, migrating and adapting to a foreign culture, language, and life style were not easy but these experiences have made me the artist I am today. I now enjoy the benefits of being versed with two languages and having access to music, literature, and gastronomy of diverse countries. My students benefit from my bicultural understandings and cultural sensitivity by creating an openness and awareness of our diversity. Consequently, my life experiences allows me to bring a more inclusive and welcoming environment to the classroom and working effectively with a diverse student body.