Sometimes a wobble
is a stance.
Lia Purpura's poem "Belief"
2020 has changed our understanding of what’s possible, and we are building from its ruptures. Although we can’t be within six feet of each other, we can extend our reach here.
Through sharing projects and perspectives from educators, we are collectively re-envisioning the whats, whys, and hows of "best practices" in studio art education.
Projects and ideas exchanged here may not yet be fully developed or enacted in a classroom, but contributors foresee their potential. This potential will grow as we build from each others’ offerings.
This website, since it may be edited at any time, is an opportunity for academics to reimagine, restructure, and reframe.
Whatdowedonow.art will evolve collectively, as we continue to question our approaches with our students, our classroom environments, our communities, and ourselves.
In the spirit of social sculpture, our goals are to:
Build support for the challenges we currently face in art education
Welcome and support adaptation in academic dissemination
Provide a virtual workshop space for seeding ideas and experiments
Envision and prepare for the future landscape our classes (online, in person, out in the world)
Collectively source and offer for free project prompts and examples for educators to build from
Encourage open, inclusive dialogue and collaboration
Question productively, and allow these questions to lead us
What do we, as art educators, need to sustain our classrooms?
What do our students need to stay connected to their academic goals?
How do different teaching formats impact our students?
What do we do now?
Other challenges also continue: Material costs, funding, safety, burn out, teaching loads, etc. Collaboratively, we will continue answering “What do we do now?” with productive and concrete approaches.
This is a beginning. Welcome, All!
In May of 2020, two studio art professors, Naomi J. Falk & Stacy Isenbarger, had a #&%! conversation. Facing the strong possibility that the classes they loved teaching the most in person would be forced online, they decided to deal with their frustrations by fostering possibilities. Supporting each other, they shifted their energies into creating a resource where faculty could share their new and retooled classroom approaches in a more adaptive format.
Other helpful resource formats existed, but they weren’t exactly the right approach. Many supportive Facebook exchange groups were already answering their call, but the ever-streaming information was getting buried and harder to find. Better sorting was available through publication and conference formats, but, since dissemination traditionally espouses proven outcomes, pandemic time did not yet allow for helpful output. So, we developed a more dynamic and organized resource with the ability to stay in flux.
Naomi asked “What do we do now?” The spirit of this question became this website.
We've started as two professors with a passion for outreach and an understanding our own time limitations. As others, driven to strategize and connect, join in, our team of core website organizers continues to grow.
Although our academic terrain seems shaky, we will find our footing together. With each project and resource you help us share, our collective reach strengthens and fortifies. Thank you for joining us.
Co-Creator, Contributing Editor
Naomi J. Falk is a sculptor and installation artist. Her work examines our relationships with the manufactured and natural landscapes we inhabit, exploring the current climate, socially, environmentally, and politically. She’s an Assistant Professor in Studio Art: 3D Studies at the University of South Carolina. She grew up in the wilds of Michigan and, from an early age, planned to be an archaeologist, a brain surgeon, a heart surgeon, a meteorologist, and travel the world with Jacques Cousteau.
(He was an underwater explorer and conservationist and made films for tv about his adventures). None of those worked out, but she did learn to scuba dive, studied sculpture and ceramics at Michigan State and Portland State Universities, and received an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University.
Naomi really misses road trips...
Evie Woltil Richner
Evie Woltil Richner is an interdisciplinary artist with a primary focus on drawing. Her work explores ideas surrounding the passage of time and the impact this passage has on our thoughts, our feelings, and our everyday life. She is an Assistant Professor in Foundations and Drawing at Austin Peay State University. She attended the University of Florida for her undergraduate and graduate work, getting her BFA in Printmaking, BA in English, and MFA in Painting and Drawing. She loves thinking about teaching, talking about teaching, and being both an educator and a life-long learner.
Evie really misses in-person conversations…
Stacy Isenbarger’s creative pursuits include sculpture, installation, mixed-media drawings & student mentorship. She received her BFA at Clemson University & her MFA from the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia—two places she has tremendous gratitude for especially in regard to how both experiences shaped her approach to teaching. As Foundations Coordinator and Associate Professor of Art + Design at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, USA, she celebrates her opportunities to explore creative communication and empowerment. When she's not teaching or making—and sometimes when she is—she's usually dancing since the act continuously validates her joy.
Stacy really misses community dances…
Claudia Morales McCain
Claudia Morales McCain is an abstract painter and educator based in the San Francisco bay area. She received her BFA at California State University, Fullerton & her MFA in Drawing and Painting from California State University, Long Beach. Claudia has exhibited her work throughout the United States & abroad including the Torrance Art Museum (CA), The Pacific Design Center (CA), University Art Museum (CA), Arizona State University (AZ), Kohler Arts Center (WI), Alexander Calder Arts Center (MI), United States Embassy, New Zealand, and Centro Nacional De Arte (El Salvador). Claudia teaches drawing and painting at Santa Rosa Junior College. When she is not teaching, you can find her drawing or painting away in the studio or exploring her new found love for anything to do with clay.
Claudia really misses working in a communal clay studio and casual artisanal food potlucks in the garden...
Susan Altman works abstractly in both drawing and printmaking. She is a Professor and Assistant Chair in the Visual, Performing and Media Arts Department at Middlesex County College in Edison, NJ. In addition to her studio practice, she has a strong research interest in pedagogy and is the Director of the Center for the Enrichment of Learning and Teaching. She loves working with her faculty colleagues to discuss new ideas, teaching strategies and innovation in their courses. Susan has a BFA from the University of Buffalo, and her MFA from the Tyler School of Art. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally and is in numerous collections including The Library of Congress, The Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Modern Art/Franklin Furnace Artist Book Collection at MoMA. She lives and works in New York City.
While she doesn’t miss her long commute to New Jersey, Susan really misses the in- person interaction with her students and is currently teaching from her small NYC kitchen with its’ North light.