Essential Skills: Creation
Tyler Goodwin, Art Department Chair

Creation uncovers possibility. 

Each time a student enters Tilton School's Daly Art Center, they have an opportunity to experience new ways of thinking and learning through the creative process. We don’t mistake the spaces within for classrooms, for they are truly studios where we, as instructors, collaborate with students as they engage with a variety of tools, materials, and techniques. 

As an arts educator and ceramics instructor, I feel so privileged to guide students on the journey of creation. My life has taken on greater meaning not only through creating but in watching my students develop their own passion for the arts. Many arrive in the ceramics studio with little to no experience, and begin to discover the magic of a material humans have used for thousands of years. Quite often this leads to two, three, even four years in the program. 

I believe creation is an Essential Skill to student engagement in their community. It takes a synthesis of physical and mental energy to  create an object, and students take great joy from creating something as tangible and permanent as a piece of pottery. The connection to the earth and to our ancestors that is felt when working with clay provides a respite from our increasingly digital world. On the other hand, we also relish the opportunity to dive into the digital arts, an area of programming Tilton has committed to expanding. The impact of creating a design project or short film that can instantly be published and seen by people all over the world helps them feel connected in a totally different, equally important, way. Regardless of the means of creation, the act allows them to make their mark on this world.

At Tilton School, we encourage students to uncover and embrace their true potential. As a ceramics teacher, this has always resonated with me. Each student possesses the potential to discover and develop a passion they never knew they had when seated at the potter’s wheel. Each lump of clay holds the potential to be transformed into a beautiful and prized object.

Endless possibilities emerge as students are empowered to develop their ideas, hone their skills, and practice tirelessly.

The impact of the studio experiences here at Tilton brings me great pride. Objects of beauty and utility demonstrate the potential to learn a new skill and develop an understanding for form and surface. It is common to have students who sign up for multiple years of ceramics, and perhaps go on to be Teacher’s Assistant as upperclassmen, or work toward building a portfolio of work for application to collegiate programs. A current student, who despite learning remotely this fall, is working at a studio in Shanghai to ensure he can continue to hone the skills he has developed in his first three years in the program. 

Students of all levels find the studio to be a place where they can focus on the skill of creation; where growth and development is something they can see and feel in their work; a gifted bowl traveling home with a friend from afar, a pot kept for display here on the Hill, or a mug brought home for daily use––the pieces that emerge from the studio create meaningful connections for the students. The physical and mental process of developing the skills to create these works, is a different type of learning that kids thrive on.

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Tyler Goodwin joined the Tilton community in the fall of 2016 as a ceramics teacher in the Art Department.  in 2020, he became Art Department Chair.

Prior to Tilton he spent two years at Washington Academy in East Machias, Maine where he taught as a member of the visual arts faculty, served as a residence hall director, oversaw the Art Club, and coached boys' soccer. Tyler also spent seven years as a graphic artist for a sign company in the seacoast area of New Hampshire. A graduate of nearby Plymouth State University where he majored in 3-D Art and minored in Art History, Tyler has also completed relevant internships at the UNH Museum of Art and the Currier Museum of Art. Currently, he is enrolled in a graduate program working toward an MAT in Art Education.

Tyler lives on campus in Moore, with his wife Katie and their new baby, James. He is also the assistant coach for the JV boys’ soccer team and a member of our snow sports program.

 

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