Meeting the new art teacher

by Dylan Kennedy, Staff Writer

Mara Siegel is a new part-time addition to the Art Department here at Glen Rock High School. I interviewed her exclusively for The Glen Echo, talking to her about her experiences as a new teacher and as an artist.

It’s really great to work with such talented and dedicated art teachers. I learn a lot and I enjoy developing ideas with them.”

— Mara Siegel, teacher

Dylan Kennedy: What are you teaching currently at Glen Rock High School?

Ms. Siegel: I’m teaching Sculpture 1 and Basic Art and Design.

DK: How are the students?

MS: The students are amazing! I love teaching here, I really do.

DK: Is what you’re teaching exiting to you as well as the students?

MS: Yes! I really like all of art in general. My own art is more sculptural and video based, so I really enjoy sculpture. I love ceramics and the potter’s wheel and everything.

DK: Where did you attend college? Did you go to an art school?

MS: I went to Hampshire College in Massachusetts. It’s in the same town as UMass and Amherst College. It’s a weird college.

DK: A weird college?

MS: Well, it’s not weird; it’s just different. It has a grad school way of doing undergrad. You design your own curriculum, so you design the courses you take. There are no grades, it’s all done with written evaluations. A student has to create a series of committees. Your first year there are no committees, but your second and third year you have to present to them what you want to do and what the goal is and write it down and everything. Your fourth year is one big independent project. I also went to grad school at NYU.

DK: Very cool. As an artist what do you think is your strength?

MS: I do a lot of performance work that uses performance as sculpture, and I use video as documentation and as the aesthetic vehicle. So my strength is in developing a concept and executing that concept beyond one medium.

DK: How has your experience working with the rest of the art department been so far?

MS: Wonderful! It’s really great to work with such talented and dedicated art teachers. I learn a lot and I enjoy developing ideas with them.

DK: Is there anything in specific you hope to achieve as a teacher?

MS: I believe that teaching means getting better and better every year, so I hope to get better and better every year.

Photo Credit: Dylan Kennedy
Ms. Siegel, the new Sculpture and Art and Design teacher.

DK: Finally, what is your favorite color?

MS: Green.

Ms. Siegel will be teaching full time next year when she begins to teach Broadcast Journalism, a new class, next year.