Specializing in sculpture, 3-D design, and molding techniques, Jason's attention to students is his strength. Helping them improve sculpting techniques as well as define and refine their own styles has benefited pupil and instructor alike. Jason has also had many opportunities to teach privately within his own studio, art schools, and through teaching workshops. Many of his students have kept up with Jason with their artistic journeys and to obtain advice on a current project. Being able to continue to mentor and see their success has brought Jason great fulfillment to use his gift of teaching to further great works of art.
My success as an educator stems from my ability to put myself in the shoes of my students. I assess the needs of individual students according to their own goals and dreams in relation to the mission of the department. I always come back to these four fundamentals: Form, Concept, Material, and Unity.
Traditional sculptural technical proficiency should be emphasized at the university level as it contributes greatly to the development of mastery of form and fluidity of expression. In theory, these fundamentals have already been addressed before enrolling in university courses. Sadly, in my experience, this is seldom the case. To remedy this and to prevent amateurish work among upperclassmen, I emphasize a rigorous approach to core Sculpture and 3-D Design courses.
Mastery of technical training design alone is not adequate for university level sculpture. As techniques are being perfected, an emphasis on finding meaning in the work is ongoing through formal class critiques and personal feedback. Strong concept catalyzes the sculptural forms to become art. On the other hand, a good concept is not enough. Finding a balance between concept and form is a struggle; it’s frustrating at times and pushes us beyond our comfortable selves. As a teacher, I am constantly challenging students to utilize a blend of concept and form.
Experimenting with material is among the most exhilarating aspects to sculpture. I view my preferred discipline, stone carving, as a partnership with nature. Decisions are made while considering the composition of the material. The various stones I use in my work have been formed over millennia and exhibit unique qualities. My responsibility is to discover how to present my concept while highlighting the qualities of the material. I believe all materials have the potential to guide students to discover original ways of expressing ideas. Finding new and unexpected materials with which to create sculpture is among the most rewarding and empowering experiences that young sculpture students can have.
I teach my students that within the realm of their sculptures they are the prime creator of a universe. They must know what they are creating and the reason for their creation. They must know what they wish to communicate to those who come in contact with their work. It is imperative to study out and decide on visual laws using the principles and elements of art and design. The unity and power of their creation depends upon the discipline employed in obeying those laws.
Throughout history the most important breakthroughs in art have been made by those outside the mainstream of the day. Hopefully, the standard of art will never be discovered, tamed, and kept safely under lock and key. Art will always be a quest; a reaction, a rebellion, a struggle.