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La Porte City painter to teach Art

January 13, 2010
Dysart Reporter

Local, professional artist, Mr. Jeffrey Dean of La Porte City, announced today that he'll be teaching a series of fine art classes for adults. When asked what motivated him to begin teaching again, he said, "It was a series of events, really, that all started out with posting my artwork on a website. It's been there for several years now, and because of what people see, I've been asked 'how-to' advice from everyone from an art professor of a Bulgarian university, to degreed, experienced artists, to hobbyists and those just starting out. But as an artist, I've always been reluctant and rather timid about sharing what I know, choosing to leave teaching to the experts, I suppose. Then last summer, I learned that Iowa ranks only 45th in the nation as far as public support of the arts. A lot just hadn't been done, and I was embarrassed for Iowa, especially since everything man-made you can think of involved an artist at some point or another, be it an architect, a graphic designer, a draftsman, or yes, even a fine artist but I still didn't put it together that as an Iowan, being ranked 45th was my problem too, and that I could do something about it, if only on a very local level." According to Dean, it took a man from Illinois to ask for an apprenticeship last fall before it became obvious that he "might have something worth sharing and probably shouldn't fight it anymore," he said. "That's when it occurred to me that I could teach, improve appreciation for art indirectly by improving the talent base." For his classes, Mr. Dean plans to use a combination of traditional teaching methods and those he learned while attending St. John University, Collegeville, during an independent, interim study in experiential, teaching techniques. "Anyone can teach," he said, "but showing people their potential is the key. Too many of us limit ourselves with 'I can't' when just the opposite is true. I proved that with some sixty 7th and 8th graders back then and since through all of the corporate training seminars I've led. Database management is totally different from art, but if there's even just a small desire to learn, even with zero experience, people can be fast-tracked to 'expert' in a hurry given some good, solid basics and proper facilitation." The two-hour classes will be held at the La Porte City Community Center in La Porte City on Sundays from January 17-February 21. Mr. Dean is purposefully limiting his class size to 15 so that everyone attending will get the personalized instruction they'll need. For class schedules, a syllabus, and registration information, anyone interested can visit or call Mr. Dean's studio phone at 319-342-3694.



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