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Art Education

Auburn LindquistAuburn Lindquist '22

Why did you decide to study art with an education track? 

My long-term goal is to become an art teacher. While there are many ways to become an art teacher, I decided that I wanted a degree that gave me the ability to learn a multitude of mediums and how to educate students about them so that I could become a more informed art teacher. The courses required for the major also really appealed to me because I want to develop my skill set in many areas so that I can teach a more diverse group of students who have different affinities for different mediums. I also wanted to take the education track because I wanted to be just as informed about education overall as my future colleagues in the education environment. I also want to take education courses with my peers who intend to teach different subjects so that I can find a way to relate art to other academic subjects in order to enrich the learning of my students.

What are some of your favorite classes so far?

Every semester I take a wonderful new course that changes everything I think I know. A while back, I took a course that was titled Content Area Reading & Writing. This course challenged me to think critically about how reading and art can relate to each other and how they can be beneficial to a student's education together. The most recent inspiring class I have taken was an introductory level printmaking class. It took a little while, but I fell in love with the artistic process and the unique qualities that medium possessed. I loved the intriguing history behind the printmaking process as well as the time and thought that came along with creating a unique composition that had the potential to be repeated several times.

Tell us about a unique experience or project you have worked on for your major. 

I took a class called Advanced Studio Practice that seemed really interesting and was taught by a professor who was (and still is) really helping me develop as an artist. In that class, we had a unique assignment where we had a white elephant of materials that we had to make something out of. I received a large box full of electrical cords. With these cords, I made a series of little dolls. This project turned into a massive work of creations that extended past the class and has inspired me to keep creating these garbage dolls that I intend on displaying for my junior or senior exhibition.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about majoring in art education? 

I would encourage someone who is pursuing the same major as me to develop strong connections in both the art department and the education department. It is essential to create a four-year plan so that all of the necessary courses can be taken at reasonable times. I would recommend having an art and education advisor. I was late to getting an education advisor and had some interesting schedule challenges because of that. If I had developed more of a relationship with both departments, my four-year plan would have been far less stressful for everyone involved. Professors Katie Creyts and Lisa Laurier were extremely helpful in this process!

What's your dream job?  

My dream job is teaching art. Currently, my goal is to teach a variety of art classes at a high school level. However, I would be content to teach community art lessons, museum programs, or some other form of art education.

Who has been an important connection for you at Whitworth, and why? 

There are so many professors who have been extremely influential to me. As I mentioned earlier, Katie Creyts and Lisa Laurier have helped me navigate my way through the programs I have chosen. The faculty in the art department hold a special place in my heart because they have helped me grow as an artist, and a person. Specifically, Meredith Shimizu and Rob Fifield have done so much to help me get where I am, and they have served as an inspiration for the type of teacher I aspire to become. Meredith provides so much energy and excitement about art history, and she genuinely makes her classes the most enjoyable place to be. I only hope to be able to get students as excited about art history as she can. Rob is not afraid to ask the hard questions. He has helped me and so many other students take a step back and really consider why we make what we make, and how to create more well-informed art. I want to be able to incorporate this foundational critical thinking into the classes I teach one day.

What is something that has surprised you about your major?

Something that has surprised me about my major is how few people share it. While I know quite a few people who want to become art teachers, most of them pursue an art degree and do an accelerated masters-in-teaching program post undergrad. The people I know who pursue an art education degree often intend to teach at an elementary level. I do think that all these options are great, but sometimes I wonder if students choose these paths because they don't know art education as a major is an option.

Why did you choose to attend Whitworth?

I initially chose to apply to Whitworth because I had read up on how amazing and renowned their education program is. I chose to actually attend Whitworth after taking a couple tours of campus. The atmosphere and general friendliness I experienced, combined with the small class sizes and a priority set on students, was what convinced me that Whitworth was the place I should be.

How would you describe Whitworth?

It's hard to describe Whitworth as just one thing. On the surface, Whitworth is a beautiful campus with a healthy amount of greenery. Going further, Whitworth is a place with some of the most caring and considerate faculty and staff I have ever met. Additionally, Whitworth has been a place where I have been provoked to question my own beliefs and develop a stronger foundation to support what I actually believe. For me, Whitworth is a safe place to grow and develop into the person I actually want to be.

Learn more about Whitworth's Art Education, B.A. program