The Artist As Teacher
Cynthia is well qualified to teach art both to adults and to children. She has over 14 years of art teaching experience, and has taught full time grades K-12 since 1999 at Dublin Christian Academy, a nationally acclaimed private boarding school nestled in the foothills of the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire. She started her own business, Oliver Studios, in 1996 (originally located in Northfield, NH). She has taught individuals, parent & child groups, home-school groups, and students with mental disabilities. Teaching others is both a challenge and a great joy. There is great satisfaction in being an artist and being good at it; it is something she would never want to stop doing. But more than that, Cynthia has always found the greatest satisfaction in helping others to experience that same pleasure in the creation of something beautiful and interesting. In 2005 & 2006, Cynthia was a participant in the Friends of the Dublin Art Colony tours and exhibits (see Cynthia's bio here). In 2007, Cynthia participated in the Harrisville/Nelson Annual Open Studio Tour. In 2008, Cynthia furthered her own education by studying weaving techniques at Harrisville Designs.
In Her Own Words:
"As an artist, I have sought to expand my skills and knowledge in many ways. Formal educational experience includes: a B.A. in Art/Art Education and an M.A. in Visual Arts. During my first four years of college I took every art course offered in order to be best prepared as a teacher. As a graduate assistant I pursued my love of design and printmaking, first discovered as a summer student at Arts High of Newark, NJ. Since then I have taken additional courses in weaving and ceramics. I have sought interesting employment experiences including: teaching art to prison inmates, cataloging art at an art museum, explaining framing and art supplies to customers at a small art shop, and working in a weaving mill that used antique mechanical looms. I continue to research, study, and experiment as an artist and a teacher."
As an artist I enjoy pursuing and experimenting in many different art media. It is impossible to avoid taking delight in nature: the structure of natural forms, plants, insects, and the small creatures that inhabit the same environment. Pattern and Texture are especially fascinating. Over the years my preference in color has gone from monochromatic and quiet color blendings to a more abundant use of bright color. My current work is varied and includes: plant portraits, compositions with plants and patterns, radial designs found in nature, color photography of plants and old buildings, abstract drafting compositions, miniature ceramic sculptural pots, small ceramic creatures, ceramic tiles, and other ceramic items. There is so much to enjoy and discover that I find it impossible to limit myself to one thing!
Philosophy of Art Education:
I believe that:
- Art has value as a vehicle to elevate human thought, making man capable of expression that goes beyond words to communicate what words never could. Art has been used throughout history in this way, expressing the moods of the times, and bringing joy to both the maker and the viewer.
- Every person having the ability to enjoy art has the ability to learn to make art.
- Art can and should be a part of daily living, and practical items should be artistically made.
- To make art one must turn a thought into an idea, develop a plan, and carry out that plan with careful craftsmanship. Just as the best craftsmanship can't make a good project out of a bad idea, the most creative idea will fail without good planning and craftsmanship.
- The Art Instructor should enable the student to appreciate art as communication and to develop skills in thinking, planning, and working; thereby growing in confidence and having joy in a thing of beauty.
The Value of Art Education:
Quality Art Education will:
1. teach creative thinking and problem solving.
2. promote the development & strengthening of new neural pathways in the human brain.
3. promote the development of eye/hand coordination especially in the very young.
4. instill the value of hard work and carefulness, which is craftsmanship.
5. encourage the student to have the confidence to achieve.
6. enable the student to learn that hard work can be fun, and to enjoy art for it's own sake.
7. help the student to view art in the context of history as an expression of the human condition and a basic form of communication.
8. enable the student to develop the skills necessary to make art, of their own design, independently.
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