Larry Caveney

Larry Caveney

Through collaboration you can realize and create something new or fresh. Larry Caveney , General Education Instructor , The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University

Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

I’ve been an artist for a long time but eventually found the more traditional forms limiting. I realized that I wasn’t commutating social issues through painting or sculpting like I wanted to. I wasn’t making any change for my community because of the limitation of my audience. I wondered why so many fellow workers at the factory didn’t know what the heck I was doing in my art. Gallery openings catered to a certain group, certain class. I could see the evolution of my work but, where was the evolution of audience? I started to question why some people were not aware of the art world and its social impact. I shifted the direction of my thinking about the role of audience and started collaborating with school children, fellow factory workers and the public in general. That’s how I got into my current creative path. Collaborating with my friends at the factory allowed fresh ideas and new possibilities to come into the work. It allowed, through their involvement, a new audience to witness my work.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

All of my projects have strict and tight deadlines with rigorous expectations, just like the real world.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

In Contemporary Art class I have my students choose a memory and through one –on-one counseling I help them to turn that memory into a painting, video, sound, sculpture or other art forms. Through this, my students are making their own artwork based on, in part, their own cultural identity.

How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

Collaboration is a great way of learning. I do it all the time in my studio practice and bring it into my classroom as well. It doesn’t let any one person totally control the situation, and through collaboration you can realize and create something new or fresh.

What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

Passion; make sure you have passion for your industry.

Anything else?

"Every human being is an artist, a freedom being, called to participate in transforming and reshaping the conditions, thinking and structures that shape and condition our lives" -Joseph Beuys