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g.a. featured in Rochester Magazine

What makes a good art instructor...

When I am asked by students who are preparing for a career in art, with the possibility of teaching art to adults, what the best educational background would be for them, I strongly recommend that they obtain a liberal arts education along with extensive training in
fine arts.

I am beginning my 30th year as an instructor in painting and drawing at the Studio School of the Memorial Art Gallery/University of Rochester in Rochester, NY. For over twenty years I have also taught painting and drawing workshops here in the U.S. and overseas. I have been selected as an Artist-in-Residence in Scotland and Ireland and I have lectured to art and civic organizations at universities in the U.S. and overseas.

During my career as an art instructor, it has been my liberal arts education, along with my excellent training in art, both in two dimensional and three dimensional art, that has served me well. An art instructor must be able to identify the problem that a student may be having, solve the problem, and then articulate the solution in a clear explanation. This process requires an acute ability for logical thinking and a command of language necessary to evoke the student's visualization of the solution. Philosophy (for logical thinking ability), public speaking, English courses of all types, creative writing, and Latin are only some of the courses an instructor calls on in the execution of his/her role.

Of course, there can be no substitute for the instructor's reaching a high level of artistic accomplishment. One must be able "to do" as well as to teach. But being able "to do" does not necessarily mean that one can teach. All of the above reqirements are needed to teach well. In summary, it is the combination of a high level of artistic ability and an extensive liberal arts education that creates an art teacher of excellence.

g.a. Sheller
Phone 585-381-0758
Email: ga0620@aol.com