I really enjoy teaching students at all levels of art-making. The classes I teach at Lafayette College use a similar process to the ones I use as an artist. I model, encourage, and teach students to ask questions. In making art, the answers to those questions are not the most important part; it is the process that students use to engage in trying to answer questions.
One of the biggest challenges to being an artist is learning to embrace ambiguity, which is also one of the hardest concepts to teach.
In Photography I, students learn the nuts and bolts of photography. By slowing down the process of taking photographs, students learn how to read photographs like texts, and they begin to make photographs that are connected to their own (inner) lives.
When taking the Capstone in Art, students learn how their own interests are in dialogue with artists from art history and from the contemporary art world. The works they make in Capstone are exhibited in the Grossman Gallery. It is extremely satisfying to see them reach this milestone every semester.
As a woman of Ecuadorian and Jewish-American ancestry, I was raised traveling back and forth from the U.S. and Ecuador. My grandmother lived with us; she spoke no English. My father never learned Spanish. These experiences have led me to focus on personal narratives in my art practice as an entry point to navigate broader questions of place, identity, and nationhood.
I tell stories through images, static or moving, often using performance to ground them. My influences represent a broad swath of interests that include abstraction, politics, humor, feminism, and art history. My multiple ethnicities give me access to explore histories of the African diaspora, the complexities of indigeneity, and the legacies of colonialism.
By calling into question how we understand history and the elusive nature of truth, my work reveals the subjectivity of both. While I am an artist that makes a diverse range of works, my work is research driven and often begins with a question.
I started teaching at Lafayette College in the fall of 2006. When I first began teaching here, I was struck by the commitment Lafayette students show to their studies. Lafayette students are highly motivated and are truly interested in learning, which makes them dream students. Over the years I have watched Lafayette become more diverse as a community. This has brought students with a broad range of experiences to my classes, which in turn has given students not only the opportunity to learn the material I teach but also to learn equally from each other as they begin to express themselves through art.