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As an educator, my goal is to facilitate learning in all spaces, inside and outside of the classroom. I believe that exposure and interaction with the arts - visual arts, music, theatre, performance - is essential in our society. My teaching philosophy emphasizes cultural experiences, and the act of seeing and interacting with art. I believe that cultural experiences are defined by engaging with art and cultural artifacts in gallery and museum spaces, public art projects and events, as well as our everyday experiences in our communities and dialogues with the people we interact with. As the world is ever changing, art exists as a reactionary entity that allows us to reflect on our own experiences and interpretations of being. 


Something I strive to be as an art educator is both versatile and flexible. The ability to adapt to the needs and understanding of students, individually and collectively, allows students to develop a relationship with art as well as the art teacher. This in turn supports learning, and creates a classroom environment and curriculum that caters to all students.


Collaboration is a key element in my teaching practice. The ability to create a space that acts as a think tank for students and participants in art making activities, and facilitate meaningful conversations and creative explorations is something that excites and motivates me as part of the educational community. These spaces can be workshops, critiques, community art making projects, or simple discussions about the merit of art in our society, why we create, and why creating is important. 


I believe that understanding visual culture, or the aspect of our culture that exists as a tangible expression that we can see, is an essential element in education. The space that I teach in will be strongly influenced by the idea that art exists all around us, and we are influenced by the images and content that we encounter everyday. In a classroom setting this could appear as posters, examples of art, the clothes students wear, or discussions about the types of media students engage with. Visual culture also exists in a museum setting. Visitors’ experience may be influenced by what they see on their way to the museum, what they see inside the museum, and especially how the museum selects and arranges its exhibits. It is important to consider these ideas when educating in a public setting, with a large and diverse audience. Fine art, media, social interactions, and daily exposure to images all influence my own artistic practice and therefore will play a strong role in my teaching practice.

Julia Edelmann

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