MA in Socially Engaged Art

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Artist Statement

A Teacher's Practice
by Emily Elliott

A teacher's practice lives in the experiences and collaborations with students. It is experiment, success, failure, vision, revision, empty pages and inspiration. 

Throughout a 21-year teaching practice, I have learned and tried and failed and tried again. I have been inspired by my love of my students and the knowledge that they have the answers and solutions to the world's problems. 

Through imagination, conversation and the portal of virtual life, I was able to collaborate with others to make art. My collaborators include crafters from far flung places, students known and unknown, teachers from memory, conversations with mentors (real and imagined) and philosophers through their texts. Not a single thought or item in this exhibit could have been created without them. 

The work that follows is a sample of the experiences and experiments of the past year with constrictions of COVID-19 safety concerns. 

View more of Emily's work here.


Click through to enlarge and view individual artworks from Emily's MFA thesis project.


Building Spaces is a free collaborative group design project for students in grades 5–12. Using either Minecraft or Floorplanner as a design space, students worked together to build (virtually) their ideal learning environment.

Recomposed, 2021

This hand constructed composition book contains art and reflections from my time teaching art in the School District of Philadelphia. During that time, I was struggling with my mental health and my role as a participant in a system I believed to be harmful to the students it is supposed to serve.

TRIGGER WARNING: Self-harm is mentioned in marked section. 

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