Meet Beth Hacker | Critique Facilitator & Creativity Instructor

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Thursday, January 16th, 2020

Caring for our creative minds is something that we don’t always practice as much as we should. In this season of resolutions to eat better, drink less, and clear clutter, we should also be thinking about how we are stretching ourselves and our ways of thinking as well as creating time to engage in activities that make us happier – activities like making art!

PCA&D offers Creative Care and Art Support classes specifically focused on making time to engage in art as a non-artist, leveling-up your professional skills as a practicing artist, and building your creativity, which is important for all of us. One instructor whose teaching spans all of these areas is Beth Hacker.

Beth has her BFA and MFA in printmaking with a focus on site-specific installation. She is originally from Fort Worth, Texas, but grew up all over the Midwest before finally landing in Pennsylvania. Not only is she a practicing and teaching artist, but she also is Office Manager at the Lancaster Conservancy. This winter, Beth is teaching the class Strengthening Your Creativity, and is facilitating critique sessions in our Art Support programming.  We sat down to talk to Beth to find out more about these classes.

What are you teaching this winter and can you tell us a bit more about your classes?

BH: This winter I am teaching Strengthening Your Creativity and Art Support: Critique.

In our Strengthening Your Creativity class, I am most excited to help people realize the gifts and skills they underutilize or undervalue. I’m also looking forward to helping students loosen up and reconnect with their ability to play in order to make breakthroughs with their work. This class is not just for artists but anyone looking to build their creative capacities! We will explore what it means to be and think creatively, what creativity is, how to better access it, and how it can benefit your work and life.

I love critique because it creates an opportunity to see your work through someone else’s eyes. Being able to improve the visual dialogue between you and your viewer is really important. Critique empowers artists. I’m excited that our critique class provides an opportunity for artists who don’t typically get critique, or are not sure of how the process works and are somewhat skeptical of it, to have an experience where they can get professional feedback in a positive atmosphere. I’m also really hoping to teach everyone how to provide feedback, because I think there is a misunderstanding in the art world about critique. I believe that positive feedback is positive not because it’s all complimentary, but because it’s considerate, well thought out, promotes positive growth, and creates an open dialogue between artists that benefits everyone. It’s like team-building for artists. Artists need support to keep moving forward with their visions and I not only want to provide that but also show them how to do it for themselves and provide that for others.

What are some of the most important things that prospective students should know about your class?

BH: The ultimate take-away for both classes would be a change of perspective. Whether you’re improving your critique communication or strengthening your creative practice, it requires a change in perspective – even just a slight shift will make a difference. 

What do you do for fun when you’re not teaching/working?

BH: I make an effort to inject fun into the spaces between “work,” so beyond those little moments I can say that I love trees, rocks, staring at the sky, and watching animals, so I take every opportunity to notice nature. I spend time with friends and family and I love making art, which I do both collaboratively and individually. 

Feeling energized and ready to explore more? There’s a sale happening on both our Creative Care and Art Support classes until January 21, so don’t wait!