Q: Tell us a bit about your own background.
I was born in Baltimore and raised north of the city in Monkton. I left home to attend Dartmouth College where I earned a B.A. in Art History modified with Studio Art. After college, I lived in New York City for several years, working in the publishing industry until I decided to go to graduate school and pursue Fine Art as my career. I ultimately went to Brooklyn College and received an MFA in Digital Art.
I’ve traveled a fair amount in Europe and have spent a lot of time in Italy. I think I’ve been there four times. The second and third were in college: once on a tour through the country with my singing group and another as a study abroad student. I studied Art History for a semester in Florence with my favorite professor, which was truly wonderful. I’ve also been to France, England, the Czech Republic, and, of course, Germany.
I studied French very intensely through my primary and secondary education and then when I got to college I started taking Italian classes. Recently I’ve attended German lessons at the Baltimore Kicker’s Club and the Goethe Institut.
I’ve been teaching Digital Art at the college level since 2006 at a variety of schools, including the University of Delaware, Rivier College, and UMBC. I’ve been at Towson since 2010.
Q: Why is Berlin unique for artists or individuals interested in art?
Berlin is the place to go in Europe if you are into art.
It is teeming with artists, musicians, filmmakers, museums, galleries, and alternative spaces. It’s a very international place as well—creative people come from all over the world to live there. The city has always been a center for alternative and artistic culture, but its recent rise to prominence in the art world happened after the fall of the Wall, when artists had access to cheap or free space that was vacated in the former Eastern sector. It’s been twenty-five years since that occurred, but the city still remains an extremely vibrant, inspiring, and affordable place to live and work.
Q: How will the individual projects benefit the students, what are some examples of projects they could choose?
For each project, students will be given a theme to respond to in any medium they choose. This allows students a lot of freedom to either continue developing a process they are already working with or explore new things. Each prompt connects to what we will be learning about and seeing at that particular time. The topics are: past/present, self/other, and local/global.
Q: What part of the itinerary are you most excited about?
I am thrilled to teach on site and not in the classroom. I can’t wait to introduce students to Berlin and the art it holds—much of which is very different from what they might have experienced in States. Some venues I’m most excited about are the Sammlung Boros Collection, the Me Collectors Room, and the Hamburger Bahnhof.
My favorite thing about teaching is the moment when students are completely amazed and excited by something they’ve never seen before or thought possible. There are going to be a lot of moments like that on this trip.
Q: What would you say to encourage prospective students to choose this program?
I think that this program will change your life and world perspective. I’m not kidding!