Teaching is Learning

Arts Enterprise Laboratory Residency

Idyllwild Arts Academy, Idyllwild CA (5 months)

This is my first residency. Unsure of what to expect, I take on my newest adventure. I will teach 5 courses for the Fall semester at Idyllwild Arts Academy, a internally-renowned boarding arts high school. Here, I will dive deep into projects with students, directing and facilitating all projects from start to finish. This is an opportunity to put my knowledge about the arts, into practice. This shows me that teaching is the best form of learning. You affirm what you know, clarifying your process while sharing it with others. This exchange of ideas and resources to students becomes fulfilling, creating a sense of social responsibility to deliver and excel.

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”

— Pablo Picasso

This residency provides housing, stipend, teaching, dorm duty, a meal plan, and exhibition opportunities. As a guest teacher and visiting artist, I was uncertain how students would adjust to my company. To my surprise, teaching came quite naturally to me and so did connecting with the students. I learned a wide range of skills that I otherwise would have ever known. Drafting multiple syllabi, creating assignments, public speaking, leading courses, grading, class preparation, and facilitating critiques and discussions was part of the job. Working with freshman students to seniors also tested my abilities to adapt to the differing needs of each student and class.


I independently taught Painting 1, Sculpture 1, Drawing 1 and co-taught Art Fundamentals and Senior Seminar. Alternating between teaching my own classes and co-teaching provided insights into how others lead, discipline, and direct their classes. This gave me access to most students in the Visual Arts Department, since I worked with almost every student. Lunches in the dining hall, dorm parent duties, and faculty meetings also became part of this experience. This fully-funded residency was important as it provided a close look into a life of teaching.

It is possible to continue making work and teaching as well. The teaching can often fuel ideas for art making which was an exciting place to explore. It was beneficial to attend this residency to gain free studio access, materials, equipment, and workshops that contributed to my own practice. I felt a part of something bigger than myself, too. A community of creative, inquisitive people does ignite inner creativity. I enjoyed being able to make art alongside students and exhibit and share my work to the Idyllwild Arts community.


For anyone who is looking to make work and gain teaching experience, this is the residency for you. Join a remarkable community of instructors and students eager to build a life enhanced by art. My residency concluded with project deadlines, portfolio reviews, final submission of grades, an exhibition and artist talk. The artwork I created at the residency was a collaboration with a rocket company, Blue Origin. Works examined space matter and space exploration culminating in a linocut print that was sent to outer space aboard New Shepard’s rocket launch.

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For the Visual Arts Faculty Exhibition, I installed my interactive puzzle “Networked Life” and presented an artist talk “The Sky is NOT the Limit.” My goal as an artist and teacher is to inspire others to dream. Launching my art on a rocket to outer space was a project that fulfilled my own artistic quest but also symbolized what I teach. I believe students need to ask themselves “why not me?” instead of “why me?” If you decide to chase a dream, the sky is not the limit. I have proof! I am proof!


Thank you to the Idyllwild Arts Foundation for funding and supporting my first artist-in-residence program.

Read Residency interview here.