Marc Dennis, Associate Professor of Art



Teaching Philosophy

It is my responsibility as a teacher to instruct, inspire, challenge and motivate my students towards being skilled, knowledgeable, critically thinking and confident student-artists. In all my classes I provide steady technical, perceptual and conceptual instruction and guidance regardless of a student’s artistic experience, background or major.

By offering the proper instruction and continual support I create possibilities for my students towards enabling them to develop responsibility, competency and confidence with their chosen medium. In addition I make every attempt to expand their intellectual curiosity, deepen their intentions and heighten their interest in art in general.

I teach students how to draw and paint in clearly defined stages, beginning with a strong emphasis on fundamental technical and perceptual skills and their application to pictorial organization, ranging in but not limited to such methodologies as working from life and direct observation to visualizing from one’s own imagination.

In the initial stages of development I offer students a thorough exploration of traditional mediums, such as graphite, charcoal, acrylic and oil paint, allowing each student to develop familiarity and confidence in his/her own way with drawing and/or painting as a means of personal creative expression.

In the ensuing stages I guide students collectively into more exploratory and experimental stages by presenting more expressive, non-representational and abstracted applications and offering a steady range of diverse artistic inclinations.

In all phases I place a steady emphasis on the importance of synthesizing a variety of individualized approaches for interpreting, understanding, and appreciating art and the creative process. In other words I challenge them to take risks and to always strive towards a more personal creative voice.

It is expected that one student’s performance to another will vary and therefore pedagogical emphasis is placed upon the individual student and his/her own rate of improvement and personal development.

I’ve come to discover that this course of action supports a student’s willingness to explore, experiment and experience the making of art and helps them identify with who they are, what they want, and how to use their energy to express, experience, create, and build.