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Teaching Philosophy

I approach teaching with the desire to integrate technical knowledge with enhanced visual awareness, explo­ration of the student's personal expression and exposure to both historic and contemporary artists. I believe in educating the whole person, even at the entry level where the acquisition of sound skills is essential to a students' development.

In the basic undergraduate classes I encourage hands-on experience with structured bi-weekly assignments where the students start acquiring aesthetic problem-solving skills in a logical sequence. By the end of the semester the student would have had experience with the essential elements of the specific curriculum.

With advanced students I favor a more independent approach. When I've been assured that the student has the necessary skills to express what they have to say, I work with them to develop their own body of work. Through independent study projects the student is challenged and drawn further into artistic self awareness.

I believe in empowering students so they become confident in their ability to critique their own work and work by others. Critiques of assignments involve student assessments as well as my own and the student learhs to exchange criticism in an effective and positive manner.

I demonstrate solutions to particular problems by discussing both my own work and the works of other art­ists, past and present. Students should be exposed to the theories that have shaped art and understand how they've evolved into the directions of today. I share with students experiences drawn from thirty years of practice as an artist, and twenty years of teaching.

- Jay Sagen

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