Collaborating with Gary Geraths…again.

The very first studio faculty instructor I met twenty years ago when I came to Otis was Gary Geraths.  He taught Life Drawing right down the hall from my  Art History classroom and welcomed me into his classroom, always had a ready joke, and made me feel right at home. It was a great introduction to the Otis community and to the Foundation Department. Since then Gary and I have been in each others’ classes on occasion, co-chaired Academic Assembly, chatted over morning coffee before 8:15 classes, and shared many jokes.  This past year Gary has been teaching an online, synchronous drawing class called “Portrait Drawing” for Stanford Online High School. It has been hugely successful and very influential in bringing online studio courses to a broader audience of eager learners.  Gary used to joke that he was not a ‘techy’ guy; can’t make that call any longer.

So, I was delighted to participate in a very small way with the course.  I was asked to write an essay on portraiture–history, key issues and concerns, and its influence today in a world where smart phones and selfies have added a new dimension to representation.  Truly was a labor of love since that was a core topic of my dissertation work.  These are small steps in collaboration with studio faculty, but valuable ones.  From a collegial perspective, it is great to collaborate with studio faculty whose work I admire and who makes learning a exciting and engaging process in the classroom or online.