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Teaching Artists Guild Newsletter: Issue 02

AM: How did you become a teaching artist? TB: I came into being a TA somewhat organically. Out of college I got an Americorps VISTA job and was working with a non-profit at a San Francisco high school. That led me to becoming a substitute teacher as a day job. I’ve always been a practicing visual artist - drawing and painting and naturally would bring it into the classroom while I was teaching. I found that art bridged a gap with the students and that especially with the middle/ high school students (teens); they respected me more when they saw me as a professional artist. I worked with my art and would invite students to participate in creating drawings. This worked especially when I was in a classroom with out much of a lesson plan. It ended up becoming “guerilla arts integration” and I got into being a teaching artist through my experience as a substitute teacher. AM: How long have you been doing working as a substitute teacher and teaching artist? TB: I’ve been doing this for about 15 years. AM: How has your teaching artistry changed or evolved? And how has your art evolved? TB: I’ve been able to workshop several ideas about my art in the classroom. Inevitably this has also affected the art that I make. I’ve come

to see that the practice of teaching is a creative practice in itself - it’s like Fluxus or Situationist art, shaping an experience for group people. AM: How would you describe your artwork? TB: I’ve always been interested in collaborative art and a populist art approach; combining different peoples views and creativity into one artwork - so a big part of my practice has been getting people to do drawings and then collaging them into paintings. AM: Tell my about the inspiration for the “City of Awesome” project? TB: It’s a project where I collage other’s people’s drawings; so basically it’s crowdsourced art. I might think about the following: “What kind of effect do I want my art to have on the world”?

The answer is; “I want people to be more creative and think about issues (community or personal) more creatively”. This mission has very much been informed by my teaching practice and it is true whether it is students in a classroom or adults at a party or on the street. AM: How do you approach someone to participate in “CITY OF AWESOME”? TB: I would ask the following: “What do you do to help make your community awesome?” Draw yourself in action - no skill needed and stick figures are OK! I then take them and collage them into paintings using San Francisco as the backdrop. I’m able to do this in classrooms and at events and have mixed student drawings with adult drawings. AM: What have been some

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TAG Quarterly Issue 02  

Teaching Artists Guild is proud to present the second issue of their Quarterly Magazine. This publication is one of the many ways in which T...

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