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Jennifer McCandless

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Head of the Visual Arts Department
Faculty member since 2007
B.F.A. Otis Parsons School of Art and Design
Certification in Art Education, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
M.F.A. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

What drew you to Loomis?

While I loved the location and the beauty of the studios in The Richmond Art Center, the welcoming, interesting, and positive community was an even greater draw. I felt as though my two boys, who were only 5 and 7 years old at the time, would be lucky to grow up in such an amazing environment

How did you become involved in art and how did you know it was your calling?

I grew up in a home where my mother taught Italian and my father was a full-time artist, which demystified the idea of making a living as an artist and gave me an aptitude for teaching.

Why is it important to expose students to art and what do you hope they gain from it?

We are striving to teach basic to advanced level skills to students so they can fully realize their own vision in their work. Visual Arts allows students to design directly from their imaginations. They reflect on who they are, what they want to say, and in what medium. They are able to truly express themselves and gain a lot of confidence as they progress. It is extremely rewarding to see their progression and to help them realize their artistic potential.

What is your favorite material to teach and why?

I absolutely love clay—it’s one material that can turn from a liquid to a solid and can be made to resemble various things from wood and brick to steel or a liquid. Clay flows and bends providing opportunity to really create.