My Swat Story: Associate Professor of Art Logan Grider
The Students Teach Him, Too
“I’m constantly having to retool. I’m approaching my 10th year here and I thought it would get easier, but in fact I just keep finding more and more holes in my syllabus. I had to change because the students are so sharp. They needed to be pushed beyond just rudimentary drawing skills. They needed to be challenged right from the start in foundation drawing.”
He Wants to Open Eyes, Not Necessarily Make Artists
“I try to be really clear about this with my students, that I’m not particularly interested in making artists. I think it’s great if that’s the path a student goes down, but I just want people to pay more attention to the world visually and process it, what they’re seeing.
“I’m interested in students who go into architecture. I’m really interested in biology students who take the class because they have an amazing sense of direct observation. They’re really looking and deciphering complex information all the time. Seeing in the capacity that I reiterate with my students in a drawing class hopefully imparts upon them a sense of the rewards that come with slowing down and allowing direct experience to guide their sense of what they know, rather than preconceived knowledge forming their experiences and perceptions.”
He Embraces the Similarity Between Painting and Fishing
“If I had my way, I’d be holding office hours in the middle of a river, fishing, because I think fishing is really an analogous activity to painting for me. Something about paying very close attention and at the same time paying no attention at all. If I’m overly focused on a particular problem in a painting, I almost always fail, missing opportunities while trying too many solutions. It feels similar to the humbling and desperate act of changing too many flies with fish at my ankles.”