Elizabeth Pedinotti will graduate from the San Francisco Art Institute with her MFA next year, but she has already has garnered an Honorable Mention for her inspired teaching with Center’s Excellence in Teaching Award.
Some excerpts from Elizabeth’s statement on teaching:
In the past few years, I have noticed a big jump in the number of students suffering from anxiety and depression. These students are most often, highly intelligent, highly motivated, over-committed, and overwhelmed with concerns about their futures. These students often feel like there is only one path to success and that they are not on it. They are concerned about the state of the world, but feel powerless to help, they feel there is little to look forward to in their lives.
I believe that each one of my students has the power to change the world in a positive way, however, they have been educated in a system that values the completion of tasks, recall of information, perfectly succinct answers, and test taking abilities. They have been trained to be told what to do and how to do it. They are not generally taught to think for themselves, to find creative solutions. They are not generally encouraged to be the masters of their own universes.
For a person to find solutions to problems, they must be able to empathize with multiple perspectives. To feel empathy, they must be creative and imaginative enough to picture themselves in another’s shoes.
Elizabeth is also an inspired photographer. My favorite of her numerous series is, Space between Hours, that captures childhood in a revealing and sensory way.
These images end up exploring the way perspective alters everything. They walk the narrow line between torture and play, tenderness and terror, innocence and manipulation. Our experiences unconsciously flavor our responses, the same way our personal lenses change the way we remember events/ These images present a pause in a narrative that ultimately asks the viewer to decide how the story will continue.
Another series, Traces, explores her interest in the impossibility of accessing a truly present moment.
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Ken Weingart interviews Mei Xian QiuMay 10th, 2018