The Summer Artist / Educator Residency (SAER), coming up from June 19–25, is Moore College of Art & Design’s first studio-based artist residency program built to address the needs of creative educators.
This year we’re welcoming Candy González, Dr. Meagan Corrado and Mary Patterson as our keynote speakers. Each of our speakers brings with them new and inspiring expertise in weaving creativity into educational spaces.
Read on for a Q&A with Candy González, who will speak about trauma-informed arts education at this year’s session.
What is something you wish your educators had provided for you that you hope to provide for those you educate?
When I look back at my MFA experience, I can perceive that understanding and flexibility was lacking in our program. I can also perceive how punitive our education system is. As a trauma-informed educator, I've learned that students need to feel seen, heard and supported in order to be able to engage in the classroom, and that being understanding and empathetic with my students goes a long way to help them feel supported by me. Additionally, rigid deadlines and harsh grading is counterproductive to a person's artistic development and personal growth. It is important to me to see my student's humanity and treat them with respect, as equals.
What brought you to the path that you are currently on?
I was inspired by the students I worked with at Moore as an adjunct in Fine Arts. I developed meaningful and mutually transformative relationships with my students. I got to listen to their stories and develop an understanding of their needs, specifically those that are not currently being met. I developed an understanding of what shifts need to happen within higher education in order to fully support all of our students, not just a privileged few. I chose to embark on a Ph.D. program so that someday in the future, the majority of our student population can graduate feeling like they got the support they need while in school.
In your opinion and experience, what makes Philadelphia a great place for emerging artists to live or visit?
The art community in Philadelphia is unlike any other I've encountered. I feel like the community here goes out of their way to support each other and show up for each other. It feels like family.
Candy Alexandra González is a Little Havana-born and raised, NYC and Philadelphia-based, multidisciplinary visual artist, poet, activist and trauma-informed art educator.
Candy received their MFA in Book Arts + Printmaking from the University of the Arts in 2017. Since graduating, they have been a 40th Street Artist-in-Residence in West Philadelphia, a West Bay View Fellow at Dieu Donné in Brooklyn, NY, Leeway Art and Change Grant Recipient and the 2021 Linda Lee Alter Fellow for the DaVinci Art Alliance. Candy is currently an Art + Art Education doctoral student at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Candy is a graduate of the Bartol Foundation’s training in Trauma-Informed Practice for Teaching Artists and Trauma-Informed Teaching Artist Practices and Identity. They are also certified as a Trauma-Competent Professional through the Lakeside Global Institute.