Yue Wang | May 2017
Minor: Visual and Performing Arts Education
Q: How did you discover your interest in the arts and how did you know that it was something that you wanted to pursue professionally, as an artist or as an artist teacher?
A: Art is not just a career option to me; it is also a logical consequence of my upbringing. My aunt, who is an Asian artist and also art educator with forty years experience in children’s art education, has significantly influenced my life path. Throughout my childhood and teenage years I have admired her commitment of trying her hardest, with enthusiasm and courage, to cultivate young generation with creative ideas and artistic expression. It is therefore no surprise that I started my art education as early as three years old and my passion for art has carried over all the way into my high school and undergraduate study.
Q: Describe what the young artists in your VAPAE after-school arts program are working on and the process they’re using.
A: During this Spring 2017, I had a great opportunity to work at Mark Twain Middle school. The young artists in my program were working on different kinds of art mediums, such as asian ink art, collage, zine design, printmaking, and clay, etc. I designed this program to help students expand their vision of life by discovering their unfound interests in creative painting and visual fundamentals. The program was divided into two sequences: the identity and inner-self in order to help facilitate student’s ability to express themselves and increase their overall inner creativity. We divide the 16 weeks into two sequences: identity and inner-self; Yourself and community. At the second sequence, the students also had opportunities to participate and create art works together.
Q: Why is an enrichment opportunity like this important for those participating? What do they gain?
A: Art is about sharing your experiences and expressing yourself. The students gain a sense of how to express their own personal identity and understand the connection between individuality and community through exploring all different art areas knowledge. This includes practicing students in a broad range of artistic materials and technical skills, art history background and new art trends. I also think the most important part in my program for the students is they gain the happiness during the art making process. The program created a free space for them to make the things what they want to make.
Q: Did you have an opportunity like this when you were a younger artist? If yes, how did it help shape your love of art? If no, in what ways could a program like this have helped you?
A: Yes. I went to all professional visual art schools from my elementary to high school. During my upbringing as a teenager, I liked to spend drawing and painting most of my time outside of school with my art. During my college courses, I spent time with other areas of life but none of them influenced me or made me feel more than spending time with Art. I can think of no other career like art that is as challenging, stimulating and creative.
Q: What has this experience as a teaching artist or arts facilitator taught you about yourself?
A: Teaching art is a completely different perspective then just making art. As a teacher I have to both professionally mature and maintain responsibility on how my students approach art issues for both the community and themselves. Professor Kevin Kane said that the future of education will be more international and not governed by a category. I do not wish to become an artist that is considered to have only Asian or American style, but rather of one that has multicultural and diversified styles.
Q: What do you personally gain as a teaching artist, arts facilitator?
A: It’s always interesting to see different art ideas discovered and shown by other students. I feel like I can learn something new from them :)
Q: What are the benefits to you as a student/graduate in the UCLA VAPAE program? Was this program a good choice for you? If so, why?
A: Yes! Definitely. I have had absolutely incredible opportunities in my time here, and it would not have been possible if it were not for my participation in VAPAE. It was a definitely amazing choice to complete my VAPAE minor.
Q: Are there any anecdotes from your VAPAE Studio Sessions (or Arts Education Teaching Sequence) that stand out to you? Perhaps you had a break-through with a student or saw some particularly noticeable growth in that student through this program, collaboration etc. Maybe something surprised you or made you think about art or teaching in a new way.
A: I’m definitely learning many from my VAPAE courses, my teaching pater, and my students. This spring, I had a chance to use our art lesson curriculum and work with actual students. It was an incredible teaching and creating art opportunity.
Q: What are your short-term and long-term career goals?
A: My short-term goal is to be able to work with different ages groups students in order to help facilitate my own self discovery as an artist. In the long-term, I want to use this experience teaching in such a broad range of education levels to go back to graduate school and receive a MFA in art education.