Teaching Philosophy

As a professional artist and educator, my teaching philosophy is to guide each individual by demonstrating proper technique, presenting challenges both intellectually and stylistically, and fostering a healthy attitude towards creating work. An experience in this type of setting allows an individual to gain control of one's chosen media and ultimately gain the proficiency needed as an artist today.

It is my conviction that students learn in open and unrestricted settings where challenges are presented and support is given freely. To do this, I make myself available in class and out of class by holding open office hours. As well, an adherence to the course syllabus and core ideas of the class is expected. In turn, this allows each individual the opportunity to explore conceptually or otherwise once technical control is obtained. Kept in mind, is the realization that all artists eventually have a unique direction to their work and it is my job to help them move towards resolution. I intervene in this process by developing healthy expectations of the group that advance their successes collectively. In addition, I present concepts and technical skills with clarity and precision and I promote an arena where the exchange of ideas and dialogue is encouraged. A cross-disciplinary approach has always been a theme, both in my own work and in teaching. It is important to me to see a student learn what it takes to successfully bring an idea into fruition, which often involves content research, learning a new trade, technique, or mindset.

Among the chief goals is for students to produce polished and finished projects that reflect the respect they have for their work. This is important whether they are upper level or foundations level students. Continued effort and a diligent work ethic from every individual are expected. From experience, these goals help students as artists, whatever the discipline or profession they choose.

The actions I take to implement these goals include demonstrations and open discussions of ideas. Producing a finished mixed media piece with the class can typify the qualities important to that assignment and the class learns by seeing and experiencing a process firsthand. I develop appropriate assignments tailored to class objectives and maintain interest in content by pointing to current events or bringing up a specific subject for discussion. It is my duty to care deeply about instilling drive in a student's work ethic and a primary concern is to get to know each individual. My intent is to leave them with a rewarding experience they can always use through the challenges and motivated instruction I provide.

         -Zach Chupa

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