“My students have taught me compassion, patience, and that every individual has something different to offer. Teaching is much more about that than any of my own interpretations. I really want people to explore who they are and what is going to make them satisfied as artists. Even though this may not be a class that is necessarily for art majors, when you come into my class, I’m considering you to be an artist. There is an extremely varying range of degrees of interest in art, experience, and skill level. Here at SUNY Ulster, everyone is in it together and figuring it out together. You have a creative potential, and you’re going to find a way to fulfill it. And people are shocked at the end of the semester to realize that this is true, because they will come out with work that shocks them and that they didn’t know they were capable of. That is my greatest joy — to learn what people can do — even though they didn’t really believe they could do it at the beginning. That’s super fun!
In addition to teaching, I’ve run the Art Gallery on campus for 25 years. Running the Gallery is so satisfying. Not only do I get to present artwork that I think is extremely interesting and valuable, but I also get to share it with the community and the students. It’s an opportunity for them that I don’t think they would get otherwise. And, also, there’s the fact that there’s always something new and different, and it’s very broad in terms of sculpture and painting and video and student work. We just try to get a whole bunch of different things in there to broaden people’s minds on what art is and what it can be. We try to get people to come in because people are always looking in the door and are sort of afraid to go in. Art is not scary. Art is human, and it is who we are. So, I feel like it’s really important for people to not be intimidated by art.”