Teaching Philosophy

I believe the ultimate goal of any art classroom is to move students from being isolated individuals solving problems to confident artists creating relevant problems to solve; individuals who drive their own investigations in art to connect with our greater community. This is how students will be prepared to contribute inventively, critically and responsibly to our global society once they graduate. Teaching art requires actively engaging students in the investigation and thought process, and their understanding that idea development and research must drive their designs for work to be of substance. This process must be balanced by thoughtful self-reflection to inform work, which includes them identifying the role of their own worldviews in their artmaking. The courage to engage in decision-making and risk taking must be supported, while the role of critique in the refinement of work must be taught, it cannot be assumed that students have a fundamental understanding of how to navigate and apply feedback. I believe for my students to succeed they must learn to value assessment, not simply for the grade attached, but for how it should inform their work. Whether developing traditional metal-smithing skills, assembling found objects or laser-printing a sculpture in our CADD Lab, my students must master challenging techniques, as well as the safe handling of professional equipment and materials. However, these technical skills are only one aspect of what will be assessed in my courses. Their skill development begins with a foundation of understanding as they investigate the historical and cultural aspects of their course. They continue by demonstrating these skills as they creatively solve a design problem. Throughout the process they are asked to self assess through reflective writing, considering their own perspective and its impacts on their work, their interpretation of the work of others and their relationships within our art community. All the risks they are asked to take in this process, from generating ideas to defending their work, are only possible because of the community of trust it is my job to cultivate beginning on the first day of class. It is that very foundation, that is imperative for my students to have if their work is going to grow in sophistication.

Marjorie Albano Renno/Silver Magpie Studio 2012 - 2020