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Dr. Christopher Greenman

COURSES TAUGHT:
Art Appreciation,
Contemporary Art,
Ceramics I-IV,
Methods of Teaching Arts N-6
Art Theory.

DEGREES: 
Ph.D. in Art Education
M.Ed. in Art Education from The Pennsylvania State University
B.A. in Art History from The Pennsylvania State University.

 

TEACHING PHILOSPHY:

“I gravitated naturally to the field of art history as an undergraduate. I longed to know why things were created by artists through time. How did they see and experience things in life in order to produce these wonders? Along the way I participated in creating mostly through using the camera as a way of seeing. It wasn’t until graduate school that I found the pottery studio. In pottery, I found an endless dialog with materials, process, and technology. It helped that the pottery studio was Ken Beittel’s pottery studio at Penn State. Beittel, author of the Zen and the Art of Pottery and several other books, was an inspiration by allowing students space and encouragement in order to find themselves in clay. The field of art education allowed me to see the connectedness of the world of ideas through art, philosophy, psychology and religion.

Teaching is a two way street which engages both the learner and the teacher in a process of discovery. Students have to be as prepared and ready as the instructor. In today’s world it is especially necessary for the teacher to be acclimated to technology and its application to teaching as well listening and responding to the transmission and reception of the teaching. Students, rather than just acquiring knowledge need to be able reflect on their learning and know how it relates to their driven interests; so they become critically aware in relation to what they are learning. As an art teacher I feel that it is my responsibility to embrace change and to guide students to be prepared for the world they encounter and be responsible for their role in it as it relates to the world of art.

In my teaching of art I want to open and expose this world of thoughts and ideas to my students. They need the space and encouragement to begin to see this world with a deepened awareness, a concern for the future and the willingness to be part of the change. In ceramics, I give the students a solid base from which they can begin to see their way into participating in the dialog of the Great Tradition of ceramics. This involves seeing the work of professionals in the field and participating in a variety of making and firing environments while opening up and gaining confidence in their own developing creativity.

In teaching art history I want to challenge my students to see and recognize the struggle to realize creative vision through the eyes of the artists of the past through to the artist of today.  I emphasize strategies to develop critical thinking skills and thinking for one’s self. Writing essays, recognizing styles, and recognizing approaches to making art and developing an awareness of the relationship of society to the work of artists are all a part of this process.”

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

“I have been making pots since 1982. I have my own pottery studio behind my home. I am trying to find my way in the Great Tradition of Pottery (Ken Beittel, who wrote Zen and the Art of Pottery) which combines the world traditions of pottery, from all places and all times. I find great inspiration from the pottery and sculptural ceramic forms that come from the East-Japan, China, and Korea. I also look at the Japanese/English Mengie tradition of “folk pottery” -simple unadorned forms made for use with knowledge of trying to reconnect the user with the inner and outside world. I try to make work where ‘A certain love of roughness is involved, behind which lurks a hidden beauty, to which we refer in our peculiar adjectives shibui, wabi and sabi. It is this beauty with inner implications that is referred to as shibui. It is not a beauty displayed before the viewer by its creator; but rather a piece that will lead the viewer to draw beauty out of it for themselves. The world may abound with different aspects of beauty. Each person, according to his disposition and environment, will feel a special affinity to one or another aspect. But when their taste grows more refined, they will necessarily arrive at the beauty that is shibui.’  The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into Beauty, Soetsu Yanagi, 1973. I try to balance my life between teaching, potting, seeing, listening and experiencing life as much as possible.”  C. Greenman

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