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On Art and Engineering

In addition to my regular duties as Associate Professor of Animation and 3D Design at Ramapo College of New Jersey, I’ve started to reach out to educators and artists in different ways. I believe strongly in the concept of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math). Artists have always been innovators and inventors.

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Thanks to Bruce Miller, and the amazing program at Bergen Tech Teterboro, I’ve been able to offer support as a member of the Digital Media Advisory Board. My philosophy about contemporary art practice as an intellectual pursuit is the reason I regularly teach workshops that combine art and engineering with a focus on 3D printing. Through Artist Teacher Institute, Leroy Neiman Arts Center, Environmental Consortium, and other folks who reach out to me, I organize workshops that help educators, artists, and scientists to understand expanded pedagogy around art-engineering hybrids.

Art and Engineering have a lot of overlap, but there are three ideas that are central to good practices for both:

Making things is important.

Failure can be good.

Experimentation is valuable.

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I was once invited by Natalie Jeremijenko to Yale as part of a panel of artist/inventors she was hosting. I was so looking forward to being in one of those great old stone halls. The kind that Ruskin would have approved of, where the grandeur of the building just makes you feel more…intellectual. I was surprised when I arrived at my destination- some modernist bunker. I was in the engineering school. It made me giggle to think of it. My father had been disappointed that I was going to study art at a school with a perfectly good engineering program. I was there alongside my MFA Thesis mentor Perry Hoberman and old Alfred University friend Will Kavesh. Good company for sure.