ARTS 1301 Art Appreciation
Adjunct Assistant Professor
If there was one artwork that you could bring home and display during this period of quarantine, what would it be?
I am very fortunate to have beautiful art in my home by contemporary artists, many of whom are local Austin artists. If I could have any work though, it would be Claude Monet’s Impression Sunrise (1872). I’ve spent a number of long visits to the Marmottan to sit in the small gallery in front of this painting. It has so many layers to it beyond capturing that first glimpse of the sun as it rises across the water, shattering like broken orange glass.
What do you most hope students will take away from your class?
I always joke that if a student comes out of Art Appreciation class with the confidence to have a date exploring art in a museum, gallery, experience, or exhibition, I have succeeded. Obviously, I want students to find their language and vocabulary to discuss art and to look at the world with an expanded point of view. Maybe see art where they hadn’t before.
Is there another medium or area of research that you have always wanted to explore?
While getting my degree, I focused almost exclusively on Early Modern European art, but I’m now spending more time with Modern and Contemporary art that was created through culturally significant means and traditional techniques throughout the world. This new interest stems from an ongoing belief that art should be shared and that it should create a sense of community.
What is your favorite technique or topic to teach? Is there one lecture or selection that is the most fun for you to teach?
I really like teaching the section about media in Art Appreciation. I like that it is really just about observation. What do you see?
What types of books do you read? What are you reading now and/or what is one of the most treasured books on your bookshelf?
My personal library is full of art history books and exhibition catalogs. My dirty secret is that I love audiobooks and listen to them regularly. I recently finished listening to Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequity, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life by Eric Klinenberg. It is fascinating the ways that social infrastructure can be transformed through things like art, which can create places for new voices and gatherings to take place.
Name a place that you’ve traveled to, but feel like you need to go back to because you didn’t have enough time there.
Oddly enough, Naples is where I would like to go back to visit and explore in more depth. I say it is odd, because my initial introduction to this place took place after a long, delayed flight that had us arriving at midnight. This was followed by an even later train trip to Sorrento, where we dragged our weary bodies and luggage through the streets to our hotel. To say my impression of Naples was underwhelming and a bit dodgy would be an understatement. All of that said though, I would like to go back and have a few days to explore Naples, the Amalfi Coast, and the Roman ruins of the area. I would be willing to give it another shot for sure. And, I can always spend more time in Paris, Versailles, Florence, Salzburg, and Vienna.
What do you like to do for fun?
I like to travel and take road trips. Often, I trick my teenage daughter into doing something art related. I have to figure out some way to tie it to ghost hunting or paranormal activity to get her excited, but we have been to see or find proof of many ghosts only to be shocked by the great art that “happens” to be in these places.
What is your superpower?
Strength and unwavering loyalty
Is there something that only people that know you really well would know?
So many things…
What skills and abilities make a good teacher?
I love to connect with people and share my passion for art. I do it all the time even when I am not teaching. Yes, I am that person.
What is an early experience with art or a specific artwork that made you decide to pursue a career in the arts? How has that experience shaped you and/or how do you view art differently now?
I’ve always loved history, and art moved me, but never considered a degree in art history until…in the spring of 2008, I took Art History II with Roberta Weston at ACC Riverside. A couple of weeks into the course we looked at The Disembarkation at Marseilles (c. 1622-1625) Peter Paul Rubens. I walked up to Professor Weston at the end of that class and asked if art history is a degree one can pursue. She said, “yes,” and answered several more questions. From that point forward, my course was set to put myself around as much art as possible and to share my love and adoration of art with others.