FARMINGDALE STATE UNIVERSITY, SUNY
Jennie Thwing is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual Communications at Farmingdale State College – State University of New York, and a New York-based designer, artist and animator. She received her BFA from Tyler School of Art and an MFA from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. She teaches time-based media and graphic design. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, in solo and group shows in countries such as Norway, Czechoslovakia, Germany and Great Britain. She has received numerous awards, including the Meyer Family Award for Contemporary Art, the Center for Emerging Visual Artists Fellowship, the SPARC Artist in Residence grant, and the Queens Arts Fund Grant. She was a 2009 semifinalist for the PEW Foundation for the Arts Grant.
HOW AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO MAKE EDUCATION A MEANINGFUL PART OF YOUR CAREER?
I never expected to be a teacher. I was asked to teach a course in graduate school and soon learned that I loved watching students discover the joy of creation. I get to see students experiment and struggle, and then finally start to “get it.” I learn so much from watching what students do with a new skill. My favorite part of teaching is that I get to be a part of their creative formation. I also love being immersed in the tools of my discipline.
IS THERE A SPECIAL CHALLENGE TO EDUCATING STUDENTS IN 2017 IN LIGHT OF TODAY’S CULTURE OR ECONOMICS OR TECHNOLOGY OR POLITICS OF THIS MOMENT?
I worry that technology might homogenize the creative work students produce, especially if they are hearing and seeing the same things online. I also worry that students will stop using their hands. I love the hand-drawn animations they create.