What do your students call you?
Mrs. Kent. Although sometimes they'll accidentally call me Ms. Clay which is an understandable mix-up!
What has been your proudest professional accomplishment?
There are two:
The growth of the ceramics program at FSHA and my individual growth as a leader. There are so many ways of working with clay; my aim has been to create a program where ceramics students are exposed to a wide range of options in both materials and approaches to art making. Students in the FSHA ceramics program are able to explore the depth and breadth of ceramics as creative and curious fine artists and as functional, utilitarian object makers, all the while, using technical, material based knowledge to inform their artistic choices. Each year, the work created in our studio by students at all levels demonstrates this commitment by myself, the students, and our community, to continued studio and program excellence.
Taking on leadership roles at FSHA came as a surprise to me as I didn't originally consider myself a leader or someone who sought out those opportunities but I have found tremendous rewards in these roles. Collaborating with my co-workers to create and facilitate in-house professional development workshops relating to curriculum, making, and the student learning experience; and being part of the continued evolution and growth of FSHA's Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) programs are most notable in terms of where I feel I've been able to grow and contribute as a leader in the community.
What has been your favorite teaching moment at FSHA?
It happens every year! The moment when a student sees their ideas start to take shape; when an abstract concept can be translated into expressive reality. This is particularly exciting when it's something a student has been struggling with and finally 'breaks through' technically and/or conceptually.
What is FSHA's best kept secret?
I know, I know, it's going to sound canned and hokey but... the arts program! We have so many outstanding opportunities for students to develop as artists. Our arts faculty are wonderfully talented artists themselves who are deeply invested in sharing their knowledge and passion with others. And while we have outstanding productions, it's what's happening in our visual and performing arts classes each and every day that gives us such a strong and vibrant program.
What do you love about the all-girls environment at FSHA?
I love how each student is able to more fully explore her individually and find her voice.
What's your favorite spot on campus?
The corner of campus just outside the 3D studio overlooking Pasadena & the San Gabriel Valley
When not in the classroom/office, where can you be found?
Grabbing coffee and working out on the faculty patio, taking a minute to take in the view outside the studio, or in someone else's class observing!
What's your favorite place in the world?
In the early morning or evening, surrounded by nature outside or in a barn.
What are you surprisingly good at?
Sewing. Occasionally I'll make my own clothes although I wouldn't consider myself good enough (or patient enough) to make more complex pieces such as fitted pants or jackets. Items like shirts, simple dresses/skirts, lounge pants and the like are right up my alley.
Who has made the biggest impact on your life?
My husband! He inspires me to be constantly curious and to not take things too seriously while also striving to do the best. His approach to making and creating is so open and fascinating to watch. He can see an item in the hardware store and imagine five alternative uses for it as a sculpture, prop, or mechanical object.
What book, movie, work of art, piece of music, etc. can you not imagine life without?
There cannot possibly be a single answer to this, it changes and is a cumulative thing!
What did you want to be when you grew up (at age 12)?
Horseback rider and/or teacher
What do you want to be when you grow up (now)?
A strong, realistic, and available role model and resource for my daughter and others. Back