My story: I moved to Chicago FROM MONTREAL in 1996, to better understand the difference between the "America" found in my Canadian media and the real people of this nation. I came here to learn. In 1999 I graduated from DEPAUL with a BA in communications, minor in visual arts. After working as a video editor for a year I ultimately I wanted more, so I decided to pursue more learning in 1999 was accepted into SCHOOL OF THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO's MFA program in visual communication, graduating in 2002 with a fellowship award. I designed my graduate experience with enthusiasm, studying design theory/process while working in video. After SAIC I had offers to teach image, design, and time-based arts, which began my career as an arts education professional. Building alongside my life in learning, in 2001 I started a video/design shoppe with Nat Soti called ZERO ONE PROJECTS. Zero One was formed to create progressive visual media for community-based groups, non-profits, and museums. In this setting I stretched my knowledge of American culture while working with important missions. I believe in learning for all. In wanting to explore teaching approaches, in 2003 I co-founded a teaching lab that offered free classes called CHICAGO ART DEPARTMENT. My time at CAD has allowed me to teach classes, curate exhibitions, and collaborate with countless new and emerging artists. Youth education is critical. Building on my work at CAD, in 2006 I joined MARWEN, managing an after-school arts program for under-served Chicago youth. While at Marwen I transformed the curriculum to include an introductory course, defined course levels, and helped to create and launch the "Marwen Lab Program." In this setting I worked with faculty and staff to progressively design a visual arts curriculum of roughly 90 courses + 10 exhibitions per calendar year. Between my work as an artist, teacher, and program manager, the past ten years have been focused on ARTS LEARNING. Quincy Jones has some good points on this. Creative education can offer immense rewards, and for this reason I'm committed to learning more. After leaving Marwen in 2009 and spending a year developing CAD and working on a solo exhibition at SALVAGE ONE, in the fall of 2010 I joined CHICAGO ARCHITECTURE FOUNDATION, where I worked for a year to lead teen workshops, the annual Newhouse Competition, a student trip to Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin, and a Chicago Public School sponsored summer program focused on the South Shore neighborhood. In the summer of 2011, after doing amazing design learning for a year, with a heavy heart I left CAF for my biggest challenge yet, joining HYDE PARK ART CENTER as their new Director of Education. Since starting at the Art Center I have helped to launch a new "professional pathway," linking dedicated artists to larger art world practices, people, and places. I have also increased the teen programs to now offer 2-4 tuition-free programs per quarter for south side youth. And finally, I have dedicated myself to improving the teaching artist careers for Art Center educators, working to create more opportunities, programs, and scholarships for the faculty. I am driven to grow Hyde Park's programs into one-of-a-kind learning over the next years, and am lucky to be working with great people who will help to make that happen. Separate from my art learning efforts, after 3 solo shows in 4 years, I am hoping to finish a new series of transfer works by the end of 2012. I have more photo, detail, and Polaroid project work on FLICKR, There are some more of my videos on YOUTUBE Not too long ago I started gathering thoughts on TWITTER. If you want to see some of my life in double-time, here is a link to my TIMELAPSE VIDEOS. Live and learn.
Today most days sit on the board at Chicago Art Department, and on the executive committee supporing our two full-time staff members. At HPAC I work with 150+ onsite programs per year that make up the STUDIO CURRICULUM. Over the last few years we launched Open Arts at HPAC, which has seen our first endowment support a "contribute what you can" tuition model for over 150 programs per year, erasing financial barriers for the first time in its 80+ year history.