Page 43

2016 Ashland Gallery

Ashland Gallery Guide 43 St. Mary’s is a Catholic school, yet its students are a diverse mixture of cultures and spiritual traditions. So Christman wants his windows to not only “help students understand the Christian story but have links to cultural elements they are familiar with.” By employing Hebrew or Chinese writing and symbolism, for example, Christman hopes to show a global connectedness. “I can explain things, but it’s really teaching by showing,” he says. Christman is not only describing how he educated himself but also the way he teaches others. By apprenticing himself to other artists (“This is how I basically taught myself stained glass”), Christman has become a firm believer in the power of observation. “I would watch other artists, how they moved the clay or what kind of materials they used,” he explains. And now “what I teach is largely through observation. How to hold a tool. How to use waterbase clay.” For all artists who teach, teaching deepens their art practice, and profoundly connects them with the world and the human experience. “I love it when a student has an ‘ah-ha’ moment,” Christman says. “They might be working on a figurative sculpture, not getting the eyes right, and then with a tweak of the clay, they get it and are so happy. They can finally see.” “I can explain things but it’s really teaching by showing.” Christman teaching another teacher, Burns Photos by Jim Chamberlain


2016 Ashland Gallery
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