Caity Fares

Digital Photography

Adjunct Faculty, Digital Photography
The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University

Caity Fares

Finding support in colleagues, friends, and artist communities is also crucial for momentum. Caity Fares , Adjunct Faculty, Digital Photography , The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University
What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

I began teaching photography as an undergraduate and loved how practice and pedagogy inform one another. The same surge of joy that I felt while making artwork also manifested while teaching students.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?

My background in the fine arts world, as well as in community activism and organization, has enabled me to release the idea of a strict teacher/student hierarchy and to create a space ripe with collaborative opportunities and knowledge sharing. Rather than acting purely as a disseminator of information and skill sets, I approach arts education by passing along a piece of myself as a unique individual and practicing artist. Every artist faces challenges; you have to be driven and to truly believe in yourself and your work. Finding support in colleagues, friends, and artist communities is also crucial for momentum. 

Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

I teach communication, kindness, empathy, introspection, personal growth, and risk-taking alongside traditional photographic techniques. It is important to allow students to approach image making with interest and openness. I often use short writing reflections to encourage individuals to slow down and contemplate imagery that they have seen or made. Teaching constructive critique methods allows for the formation of a safe space with room for the development of ideas and mutual understanding. Reworking images, sequencing methods and presentation techniques is an important part of any art practice, so I highly encourage patience while recognizing and praising motivation. To help move someone from a state of looking to a state of seeing is one of the most important aspects of an arts education.

What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?

Nothing in this world exists in a vacuum; our art practices are constantly informing one another. 

In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?

I teach students to listen to their intuition—my ultimate goal is to find and nurture each developing artist’s unique strength to help them become more confident people. Art making is more than just a practice that happens inside of a classroom or studio; it is a way of interacting with the world. As artists we are creators of culture and with that sentiment comes great purpose and responsibility.