In the second of a two-part series, we complete our interview with Jennifer Zwilling. This post focuses on how Jennifer makes the world a better place by promoting art-filled inspiration.
You’ve spoken of unity between art and life, and the importance of inspiration.
“Yes, I understood how meaningful this was to me. I chose a profession where I could look at art, and help others be inspired by art in their lives. It helps to be aware so that you can be grateful and continue to be inspired, so raising awareness about it is also important to me.”
As an Adjunct Professor in the Art History department of the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, Jennifer frequently teaches a two-semester “History of Craft” course in which students learn about the history of different craft media, and also create connections to contemporary craft.
“[In the History of Craft course] art students are taught to see their surroundings and continue to be inspired by them, and this has a big impact on the work that they do.
This past semester I had a Graphic design student who was so inspired by Victorian hair jewelry that she did her whole final project, which was to create a book, on the history of hair jewelry and she studied it and found all these wonderful photographs, and that was really exciting for me.”
What are your plans for the future, and how do you plan to inspire the next generation?
“I’m excited to continue teaching and I’ve been expanding my teaching role. Next semester I will be teaching at PAFA [Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Art] about Frank Furness the architect. I’m really inspired to teach the students who go to school in the building and see it every day about the architect and get them to know the architectural history and notice it. (Note: this is in conjunction with a celebration of the 100th anniversary of his death.)
I’m also interested in getting back to the museum world in education, in terms of inspiring the next generation, because it’s how you interpret these things and how you help people see what they’re looking at in all its layers that is important.
It makes a difference when that person goes home and starts to look at their own surroundings and they think “I would like to have a chair like the one I saw at the museum”- or a new one made by an artist – and they start to understand that it’s a different kind of art, but one that they can live with every day.”