Brian Lathan, instructor
My teaching methods utilize demonstrations, critiques, and idea discussions before and during art making processes, and sharing examples. A combination of all these methods allows me to be there for the students early on in the process and makes for a smoother transition to from idea to art piece. Using demonstrations I can guide students through the work that is expected of them and by showing them examples they can see what students have done before them. Discussion of ideas, concepts and sketches allow me to inform them of design pitfalls, process challenges and lets the student build confidence in talking about their work. Critiques allow me to assess each student and since I have seen where each student started I am given a better understanding of where they should be. This affords me the opportunity to assess the student within the group and individually. By the end of the semester, I will be able to see how much the student has grown and how close they are to meeting the objectives. Each new project gives me a chance to see how well and how much they are improving. Each critique allows the student a new opportunity to speak about their work resulting in me learning more about them as a student and them learning more about their own artistic direction.
About the Artist
Born in St. Louis, MO, Brian Lathan received his BFA from Saint Louis University. Afterwards he spent several years studying printmaking and sculpture at St. Louis Community College-Meramec before going on to receive his MFA in printmaking from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. Brian is now an Adjunct Professor in Printmaking/Design at STLCC-Meramec.
Currently based in St. Louis, Brian has been exploring printmaking and sculpture since 2007. Though his specialization is printmaking, Brian has spent the last several years exploring the combination of print and sculpture. His work ranges from being sculpture-forward to printmaking-forward while other times the two blend seamlessly.
Thematically, Brian’s work embodies the feeling of “Sweet and Sour” or “Beauty and Beast”. Beautiful colors, vibrant palettes, emotional gestures, and organic forms express the “sweet”; while darker concepts, traumatic narratives, and emotionally scarred characters illustrate the “sour”.
It is my own history with my professors and love for sharing knowledge that draws me to being a teacher. As an instructor, I aim to mentor students and contribute to their artistic journey. During my later experience with teaching, I found that many students think and process ideas differently and as instructor I was challenged to transform the same information to fit different learning styles and I find this aspect of teaching worthwhile.
Being trained as both a printmaker and a sculptor, I find these two subjects the most comfortable. As a printmaker I am well versed in etching, relief, serigraphy, lithography, monoprinting, and papermaking/bookmaking. As a sculptor, I am well versed in woodcarving/wood bending, oxy-acetylene, plaster, paper-mache, and clay. No matter which course I teach, it is important for me that students learn techniques correctly, how to maintain the shop and its tools, how to analyze artwork, how to synthesize their ideas and how to vocalize their concepts. These objectives are important for students to learn, as they are quintessential for the continuation of their artistic careers. The earlier in their studies and more familiar students are with these objectives, the better they will be at their own artistic practice.