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I started tutoring college students while attending Scottsdale Community College and coaching elementary students in flag football back in 1987. These experiences helped me choose education as a career path. After 2 years at SCC, I worked as a chapter 1 reading paraprofessional at Paradise Valley High School in the 1990/1991 school year. A year later, my application to ASU was accepted for their teacher training program. While at ASU, I worked 2 years at the Tempe Boys and Girls club as their teen director. All of these experiences helped shape my teaching style and interests.
Being of Navajo ancestry, I have a strong connection to the Indigenous people of North America. I spent several years working on the Gila River and Tohono O'odham Indian reservations teaching reading and Art. I spent 9 years working in the Salt River Indian Community as a teacher and Principal. All of these experiences have contributed to the development of my teaching style and to my character as a person. I feel that our lives as people are sacred and we must continue to appreciate all the gifts we have in life. To me, art is an expression of appreciation, thought, and love for all the incredible experiences we encounter on a daily basis.
In my class, it is up to the student to give their best effort and ask questions as the class moves along. Boredom is the springboard to creativity. Creativity is not easy to find, especially if you are afraid. The first step in developing creativity is overcoming fear. I often wonder, why are people afraid to make marks on a piece of paper or canvas? It seems students are afraid to create and take risks. Some are afraid of what others will think. It is my hope, in my class, all students will overcome fear and the fear of what others will think.The artist must focus on the task at hand without care of what others think or believe. In art, you must express yourself without fear. You must enjoy the process of thought, emotion and the making of art that is true to the self. When you enjoy the process without fear then your creativity will be released. After that, everything becomes easier. This does not mean that you don't listen to others criticisms of your work or the need for change in your own art work. The artist seeks to learn from the self and others. Being humble helps us learn about life and art. This helps us develop ourselves and our own artwork.
The art that I make focuses around several themes that include: Native American Culture, Eternal Water and water falls, Asian Art translations with Ancient American Indian Symbols, Major Current Events in Our World Today and the Abstracted Human Form and Love.