The viability of community based arts education
Community Art education is an interesting Petri dish of art history, art making, art instruction, art thinking, and art fellowship. The five pillars of adult community art education. People from varied walks of live coming together for a few hours a week to learn; what happens is remarkable. I know that sounds like the pitch for the visual arts equivalent to Mr. Holland’s Opus. I assure you it is much weirder and more interesting.
I have been teaching at The Southwest School of Art for 14 years, and have had the opportunity to teach 19 different photography classes that run the gamut of photographic history, theory, and studio practices. I have never once dumbed down the material or expected less from my students than I would at a traditional college or university.
This visual lecture will explore 3 student’s artwork that I have had the opportunity to work with for over 11 years; our relationship moving from teacher-student, mentor-student, and finally peer-peer. I believe that it is through these long-term relationships where trust is earned over time that real innovation can and does happen.
Victor Pagona is the Chair and Professor of Photography at the Southwest School of Art. A first generation college graduate, his interest in photography, photography history and art led Victor to the University of Wisconsin at Superior where he earned his BFA in studio art with an emphasis in Photography, and also an MA in Art History. Additionally, he earned his MFA in Photography and Sculpture from The University of South Carolina.
Victor is a working artist with over 20 solo shows, and numerous group exhibitions. His most recent body of work was created using a combination of digital and silver-based media along with other materials. He often collaborates on mixed media video based installation/performance work with his wife Sarah Vaught Pagona.
Victor has been involved as a teacher in a variety of classroom situations, from large tier 1 universities to small private liberal art colleges. Currently, working at the Southwest School of Art, Texas’ only independent college of art. Victor was part of the team that worked from inception through the implementation of creating a new BFA program at the Southwest School of Art. In its inaugural year of 2014 Victor was named teacher of the year.
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