Head of Arts, Master Art Teacher
Andrew’s students have consistently achieved outstanding results in the Cambridge International Examinations in Art and Design including 10 Top in the World and numerous Top in New Zealand awards. A number of his students have gone on to pursue careers in art and art education attending some of the most prestigious art schools worldwide.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I did my undergraduate degree in Fine Arts at Curtin University in Australia and my postgraduate studies in painting at the University of New South Wales. After that I came back to New Zealand and spent two years as a practising artist, showing my work at several galleries. I then decided I would like to pursue a career in teaching and went to Christchurch Teachers College. I then taught at various schools around. New Zealand before joining ACG Senior College in 2002.
What’s the secret to your teaching success?
I find a way to make students passionate about art. I expose them to classic and contemporary works of art. My style of teaching art encourages independence, confidence and tenacity in students’ work and our approach focuses on developing students’ individual styles. This is different from many art departments at other schools.
Is art something you need to be naturally good at?
As long as you have an interest, art is something that can be taught. I always try to bring out the students’ strengths and encourage their passion.
What inspires you?
I go to a lot of exhibitions and keep in touch with what is happening in the art world and I am always inspired by painting. I travelled to Europe for the first time not that long ago and got to see the great artworks that I’d only previously seen in books. This was truly inspiring.
How can art education benefit those who are not interested in a career in the arts?
Through art you can develop visual and hands-on skills that can be used in any career. I’ve had students who have gone into medicine, engineering and design. Some people go off to do other degrees but then their passion for art takes over and they switch careers and start pursuing art instead.
What advice would you give to students who want to succeed in art?
They need to take risks, be disciplined and work hard.