Artist as Teacher
A journey well taken
The fact that I pursued teaching is mainly due to the compassion, talent, and knowledge that were given to me by my own teachers in school as well as those who I was mentored by. From the start of my professional journey I have dedicated myself to mentoring others to repay that priceless debt.
My interests work was forged by my childhood experiences overseas. Raised as a Colonial American outside of the continental U.S., my last international travels culminated in a near twenty year residence within the Republic of Panama where I developed an interest in visual and performing arts. At the encouragement of my Canal Zone and Panama mentors, I returned to the USA to finish my formal education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, followed by a Masters in Fine Arts at the University of Illinois in Chicago. . Eventually I took up permanent residence in Chicago's historic Pilsen neighborhood, where I reside and works in my "GringoLandia Studio." As an instructor of art my longest dedication was at a school named Stone Academy, where I created an art program from the ground up which under three highly supportive Principals I developed over 18 years. My fellow teachers and fellow employees participated with many of the students' on public projects. Students learned art as a trade, accomplishing professional feats unheard of in public schools, perhaps since the great depression. Most of these projects were underwritten by the Oppenheimer Family Foundation's annual granting program. This was my legacy at Stone Academy, where the test scores rose through the fine arts. I was also able to show my students how they were getting an education from someone who was walking the walk and not just talking the talk by the professional art work I accomplished outside of school, such as the U.S. State Department Mural that was purchased and installed in the U.S. Embassy Consulate in the Republic of Panama' in 2007 and my F22 Dairy Air Enforcer cow sculpture that was placed in front of the Hancock building and subsequently auctioned for charity.
One of the teaching appointments I have enjoyed greatly is a drawing class I teach in the evenings at Triton College in River Grove, Illinois. While I am one of several adjuncts teaching this subject, it has been a profound opportunity and learning experience. This year of 2012, I have begun a new chapter in my art teaching career at Carl Schurz High School in the great city of Chicago. At Schurz, a National Landmark, I am teaching Art 1 and Photography. What a wonderful school and so much talent. My spirits were further lifted by another grant from the Oppenheimer Family Foundation and a Teaching Fellowship from the INTUIT. It is also quite humbling to note I am the "Oppy Award Teacher" of 2013 and that is significant to noting those who I have been helped by throughout this journey.