Steve Amos is a Chicago based artist and educator. He received his MFA in Studio Art from the University of Maryland, and his BFA in Painting from Southern Illinois University. Steve is the Director of Drawing, Painting and Digital Arts at Lillstreet Art Center and a Lecturer in Contemporary Practices at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
I am a painter that tinkers with technology. I am interested in how digital tools and computer programming affect my hand and expand the visual language that I can employ in my art. I consider my entire process as an extended act of drawing and an exploration in composition and color. The ideas for my paintings are developed across a range of analog and digital platforms, where I allow for accidents and chance to play a role in transforming the image. By pushing and pulling my images across these platforms, I am attempting to blur the lines between the organic and the mechanical. I strive to create a complex spatial matrix where handcrafted gestures and machine-generated images coexist and intertwine.
( Examples of student work)
My experience is that each and every classroom setting carries a unique dynamic. What works for one group may not work for the next; my impact as an instructor depends upon my ability to adapt. My biggest challenge is to ensure that I recognize and nurture the individual temperaments and natural abilities of each student, while ensuring that the needs of the overall group are addressed. I achieve this by challenging my students to challenge themselves.
I invite my students to take risks and experiment with materials and techniques. I urge them to recognize the importance of making mistakes, and how accidents play a crucial role in the creative process. I prefer for them to embrace what is unknown rather than to cling to the familiar and the comfortable. I want them to be actively engaged in the process of solving problems and creating art.
My goal is for them to become active participants in the ongoing dialog surrounding their own work, and the work of their classmates. I believe discussing the work teaches them to be confident in their approach, and it enables them to identify the strengths and weaknesses in their own work and the work of others. I want them to recognize that everyone has something to contribute, and that they can learn just as much from each other as they can learn from me.
My role as a teacher is to lead by example. I encourage my students to develop a genuine sense of enthusiasm for making art by being passionate about the subjects I teach. I stress the importance of learning art through hands-on experience, and I expect my students to foster a professional attitude toward the projects they undertake. I believe that anyone can learn to create art as long as they respect the medium, and develop the self-motivation and drive necessary for growth.