Under the Influence
Chelsea Hargis ArtworkStudent Chelsea Hargis's and teacher Michelle Thompson's Artwork were recognized in a exhibit held at University of Missouri - St. Louis.  The exhibit is known as Under the Influence.  This exhibit honors the talents and skills of UMSL alumni and the students they now teach.  Below is the written submission that accompanied the artwork.

Under the Influence

Exploring the Relationship Between Teacher and Student

Within the context of my art classroom, I find the relationship between myself and my students to be one that can be categorized as an extended family of professional artists. I provide opportunities for my students to explore different theories and media; however, it is our interactions where we learn the most.  I used the word we because I am learning from my students as much as they are learning from me.  As an active practicing artist, I work on current projects within the classroom setting.  Students feel comfortable using the formal critique applications to provide me with feedback while I am creating art.  Students being able to critique their teacher’s work provide a meaningful and multi-layered exchange of ideas, thoughts, and information.  Students have expressed that this type of dialogue builds positive relationships between teachers and students, as well as between peers.  It allows for students to be comfortable to not only to express their thoughts freely, but it also pushing them to try new and different techniques besides just the taught objectives of their current project.  In addition, receiving criticism helps me understand the different points of view that may be read by the viewers and brings clarity to the piece in progress.  It is from this exchange of ideas and thoughts over the four years that students are in classroom that allow our interactions as artists to evolve into a secure family of professional artists.


- Michelle Thompson     

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