In my own work, I am drawn to printmaking, installation, and found-object sculpture. The connection between these media, for me, is a keen interest in texture and tactility, layering, and transparency. These elements help reference our physical experience of the world, and conjure up ideas of what it means to exist as a “being” in the world – how we come to experience, both physically and mentally, just who it is we think we are…
In the classroom, I am interested in using the arts to help promote individual development and identity. Visual art can enable students to explore the ways that family, religion, gender, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, and other cultural influences help shape their sense of self. Using various contemporary and historical examples, students can also learn to examine the interactions of ethnic, national, or cultural influences in specific situations or events. Students can work independently or cooperatively in groups to explore these topics in art, and to accomplish certain creative goals.
Many artists tell stories, whether they be autobiographical, fictional, or fantastical. Artists do this through drawing, painting, sculpting, but also through installation, architecture, performance, etc. These stories are inspired by the world around them and the “stories” they’ve been told about the world they live in, and who they are. Further, art reflects what is going on in society and enables students to have some influence over their environment – it is a process of communication and discovery. It can have a significant educational impact by encouraging communication and conversation about issues that are important to students.
Susan M Heggestad