How did you get your start at Clarke?
I applied for the position as a third year graduate student in the process of completing my master’s thesis exhibition. My candidacy for the position was advanced through a conversation between Professor John Hitchcock, of UW-Madison and Louise Kames, professor of art at Clarke. It was just by chance that they spoke at a conference only days after I had submitted my application materials to Clarke -- good timing and good fortune.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Teaching is a participatory, inclusive and experiential activity with my students.
What has changed in the art department over the years?
The curriculum has been completely overhauled over the past four years. With a focus primarily on professional development and more current methods of production; students are exploring a wider variety of design challenges for commercially and for social advocacy. I stress the importance of the design process in ways that graduates can confidently unpack, and explain with clarity their personal point-of-view.
What hasn’t changed?
The graphic design area is neatly situated within the context of a broader art discipline connected to drawing, painting, color theory, sculpture and art history. Design is an artistic enterprise, and at Clarke this multidisciplinary approach is consistently supported in the department.
What was the craziest thing you’ve witnessed at Clarke?
A student forget to place a cap upon an exposed X-acto blade in her book bag and when she grabbed the bag it brushed against her calf fileting it open. She was taken to the emergency room by her fellow classmates, and received 18 stitches, inside and out.
What is your fondest memory in the classroom?
When several of my students all received news they had been awarded jobs prior to graduation – a proud, proverbial, academic-father moment indeed.
What is your favorite time of the school year?
My favorite time of the semester is the first day of class. This typically sets the tone for the rest of the year and provides an opportunity for the student to engage in fun icebreaker challenges that they might not have anticipated prior to entering the classroom.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Besides spending quality time with my family; I am an avid mountain biker, fishermen, culinary enthusiast and gardener. I think it is worth noting that the garden is predominately occupied with a large assortment of hot chili peppers and I am know to whip up batches of hot sauce regularly.
If you weren’t a professor of graphic design, what other profession would you choose?
I likely would be a chef, or restaurant owner. In many ways the artistry of the plate is not so different from the sensibility given to a painting or design project. I grew up in the back of kitchens most of my life so I have a natural love of food – and a great respect for the back of the house.
If you were going to live on a deserted island and you could only bring three things, what would you bring?
A desalination device, my family, and perhaps a 56’ yacht to get me off that rock.
If you could be any animal, what would you be?
I have always likened myself to a large predatory bird. With a sense of freedom, and solitary lifestyle, it is quite similar to an artist in many ways. Plus, they are just cool – I’m working on that part.