Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp

My teaching philosophy is that 50% of creating work and learning is problem-solving. There is always a way. Laying the foundation and teaching technique is important, however, the process in which we learn and the steps we take will teach us more about the materials and ourselves then having a perfect, finished product. It might not turn out the way we envisioned and sometimes it does not turn out at all, however, as long as you learn something, you have taken a step in the right direction.

In all cases, we can learn from the process and the final result. We might have to adjust our expectations or realize the limitation of the material or idea. The important part is that we keep trying. When a project is not going our way, we learn to pivot and find something that will work, while still keeping with the integrity of the piece or project itself. It is important to me, to teach you that you have creative control over your project. It is my intention to guide you, help you learn techniques, and give options (if needed). It is not only about creating a final product, it is about making choices that you are proud of and can take complete ownership of.

Creative problem solving is a skill that can be leveraged in every aspect of our lives. The skills learned by creating something of your own design will transfer into knowledge that can be utilized in all different professional fields, even if it is not in the arts. If you can learn to master this skill, you will be at an advantage to navigate future situations of all kinds.

Middle School student work from the "Cardboard Self Portrait" project in 2016. Materials: cardboard, paint, found objects, tissue paper, books, wire

Middle School student work from the "Cardboard Self Portrait" project in 2016. Materials: cardboard, paint, found objects, tissue paper, books, wire

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp: Sculpture Concentration

During the summers of 2016, 2017, and 2018 I was given the opportunity to teach a sculpture class to middle school students. The students come from all over the United States, with most of them from Michigan. Projects include body extensions, cardboard self portraits, blind contour wire drawings. The students have 10 work days during a vigorous camp schedule, keeping them busy most of the day. Each student has three classes in the morning and studio time in the afternoon.  

At the end of each session, the entire Art Colony and its students put on a final show comprised of the student work. The Faculty of each session, along with a select amount of campers will hang the show together. 

Major and minor Middle School student work from the "Selfie Project" in 2017. Materials: Aluminum, balsa wood, and glue. Each student was instructed to take a selfie and then saw it out with a jeweler's saw.

Major and minor Middle School student work from the "Selfie Project" in 2017. Materials: Aluminum, balsa wood, and glue. Each student was instructed to take a selfie and then saw it out with a jeweler's saw.

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp: Metal Art Concentration

In 2018, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp introduced a Metal Arts concentration for art majors. In 2017, as a sculpture faculty member, I introduced sawing with a jewelers saw instead of a regular project to help prove the success a full class could have on the students.

The 2018 metal arts class were introduced to a paper jewelry project and a tab setting project including found objects. The class was wildly successful across all 4 sessions of camp.