makes a good art instructor...
When I am asked by students who are preparing for a career in
art, with the possibility of teaching art to adults, what the best
educational background would be for them, I strongly recommend that
they obtain a liberal arts education along with extensive training
I am beginning my 30th year as an instructor
in painting and drawing at the Studio School of the
Memorial Art Gallery/University of Rochester in Rochester,
NY. For over twenty years I have also taught painting
and drawing workshops
here in the U.S. and overseas. I have been selected
as an Artist-in-Residence in Scotland and Ireland
and I have lectured to art and civic organizations
at universities in the U.S. and overseas.
During my career as an art instructor, it has been my liberal
arts education, along with my excellent training in art, both in
two dimensional and three dimensional art, that has served me well.
An art instructor must be able to identify the problem that a student
may be having,
solve the problem, and then articulate the solution in a clear explanation.
This process requires an acute ability for logical thinking and
a command of language necessary to evoke the student's visualization
of the solution. Philosophy (for logical thinking ability), public
speaking, English courses of all types, creative writing, and Latin
are only some of the courses an instructor calls on in the execution
of his/her role.
course, there can be no substitute for the instructor's reaching
a high level of artistic accomplishment. One must be able "to
do" as well as to teach. But being able "to do" does
not necessarily mean that one can teach. All of the above reqirements
are needed to teach well. In summary, it is the combination of a
high level of artistic ability and an extensive liberal arts education
that creates an art teacher of excellence.