For Mary Martin, spending part of her childhood in Germany made one thing crystal clear to her: context is the key to learning. This was true for her own education in German language and culture, and she finds it equally applicable to her students’ education at JSC, where she’s been since 2004. Therefore, she sees real value in going to see art, not just relying on slides or books to teach art history. “Taking students to Italy or New York, seeing art in person, speeds up the learning process,” she says.
Mary’s academic interests include German Expressionism as well as African art, the topic about which she wrote her dissertation. Her interest in art extends beyond the academic, however. Visual arts, music and theater are all integral parts of her life — in fact, she started out as an undergraduate theater major before she fell in love with art and art history — and she paints and sketches, too. This energy for the arts is something that feeds her teaching — both in the classroom and on the road.