The Art Institute of Charlotte, a branch of Miami International University of Art & Design
Be authentic to yourself in all your work, and keep pushing yourself to explore a variety of mediums. Laurie Schorr , Photography Instructor , The Art Institute of Charlotte, a branch of Miami International University of Art & Design
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?
The moment I stepped into a darkroom in high school and looked through the 50mm lens of my old camera, I fell in love. I knew I wanted to be a teacher after I took a week-long workshop with Cig Harvey in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her passion for image making and helping others develop their personal vision pushed me to pursue education and inspire others the way she’d touched my life.
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?
I invite guest artists, speakers, and educators to share their work and open a dialogue about the realities of living as an artist. I make sure to keep students aware of professional opportunities, events, openings, calls for entry, and trends. I share my work, my process, and how I navigate through it all and balance life and work. We also take field trips to art galleries and studios.
What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?
I have students complete a personal project. They pick one cohesive idea or topic and then follow the technical aspects of photography. We do class critiques, ask questions, and offer constructive feedback. They become aware of how uniquely they see the world. In a class of 20 or 25 students, quite wonderfully, we get 20 or 25 completely different bodies of work and perspectives from these young photographers.
How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?
My students are often a mix of Fashion Design, Filmmaking, and other programs, so they bring a new perspective to class. Film students provide insight into creating with their vocabulary and the films that inspire them, and the Fashion Marketing or Design students provide a realistic approach to how photography can be used to build business and market work online, in print, and via social media.
What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?
Be authentic to yourself in all your work, and keep pushing yourself to explore a variety of mediums.