My professional involvement in the field of Art/Art Education spans 20+ years and is firmly rooted in my passion as an artist. I’m a staunch advocate for arts in education, and graduate study at NYU’s schools of business, arts management, and public policy provided me with skills necessary to effect change in this arena. An early policy project was a pilot-study analyzing the impact of Percent-for-Art works designed for New York City public schools, as well as developing school programs that amplify the works’ educative potential within the greater school community. Later I worked with the Arts Research Center of the Alliance for the Arts, on a team analyzing the economic/social impact of the arts in a range of communities across New York State. It was through this policy research work that I found a more effective role for myself: helping to make change on the ground within communities.
I joined in the development of a burgeoning community arts program growing out of the Rutgers Business School in downtown Newark, NJ called GlassRoots. GlassRoots is a glassblowing hot-shop designed specifically for inner city youththat combines making art with developing the business skills necessary to bring products into the marketplace. This situation provided a host of exciting challenges, and a most valuable opportunity – to teach young artists. Teaching was so powerful and personally fulfilling that before long I was enrolled in the regions best school of education, at Columbia University.
Now, over a decade later, I am immensely grateful to have learned from and taught along-side some truly excellent educators. I’ve had the privilege of working with a broad range of dynamic educational institutions – from top-notch public, charter, and independent schools in New York and New Jersey to nonprofits like the Guggenheim Museum, El Museo del Barrio, and the Visual Art Center of New Jersey. Still, despite the best efforts of a great many exceptionally creative and passionate folk, there persists a turbulent climate for the arts in education.
Today I recognize that my efforts and expertise have their greatest impact in a school/university-based art studio. Here I can help people to explore and develop their creative and artistic potential. The mind-expanding paths that are developed through art facilitate imagination and originality in all facets of human endeavor. My students are building a creative confidence that they will carry with them throughout life – parlaying it in their work, in their homes, with their families and in their extended communities.
It is my goal that these students become the arts and arts education advocates of tomorrow.
 GlassRoots: Design and Evaluation Framework for an Inner City Glass Blowing Program for At-Risk Youth (2002), Authors: Thomas Bryant, Patricia Kettenring, Pamela Shipley; Rutgers Business School.
Columbia University, Teachers College, Ed.M. Art Education Hunter College, Gifted & Talented Education New York University, M.A. Arts/Business Parsons School of Design, B.F.A. Illustration