Sunday, January 13, 2008

Spring Semester

Tomorrow begins the first day of the spring term at Stephen F. Austin State University where I am currently an adjunct professor in photography and digital media. Last semester was quite the learning curve having had no real teaching experience other than being a teaching assistant in graduate school and a short stint at an elementry school in Austin. It was all uphill for most of the semester. Now that I've recovered from not only moving myself from New York after seven years but adjusting to a new job, I hope to have more time to work on my own projects and in doing so continue to encourage and inspire my photography students. This semester I am excited to work with a class of senior level photo majors. We will be discussing contemporary artists and photographers while focusing on one long term photography project. I want my students to have a personal project to use as their portfolio, enter in to competitions or exhibition proposals. I'm hoping to have a photography exhibition of their work towards the end of the semester somewhere in town. I'm also thinking of putting together a class website in the event we don't find space we can host an online exhibition of their work. I'd ideally love to have works in progress, notes and feedback posted on the site.

I'm finding its a very delicate balance between teaching and producing your own work. In either case you do not want to let anyone down. You feel you have so much to teach, reveal to the student that you need and want to share and at the same time your own desire and need to keep researching, discovering making your own work never stops however there often isn't time for both in the same day or even week sometimes. My goal is to spend one full day a week on my own art and the other six days for teaching, paying bills, organizing the house and sleeping. I have one deadline approaching in mid April. I'm working towards a two person collaborative show with a fellow professor. The material and concept stem from my previous medical work however will incorporate photography, sculpture, an aspect of performance and jewelry.

(The images above are from a portrait assignment from last semester done by two of my beginning photography students)