What Does an Education Look Like?

Tessa Kauffman

About Tessa

During the last few years, I have been studying at MSU Denver and around the world, learning about art and thinking about how culture acts on individuals. I am passionate about the ability of art to tell stories. For me, there is nothing better than discovering connections and learning through art. The kindness and freedom that art programs foster have only increased my love of making and learning. Throughout my journey in college, I have been challenged to think deeply about a range of topics and engage in many experiences I would not have access to otherwise. The process of learning has always fascinated me and that is what I chose to focus on for this symposium.

About Tessa's Research

How people perceive education is often restricted to institutional learning especially in the academic world, but learning is too organic to be limited to such constraints. Knowledge that is gained through independent study and life experiences is slowly being recognized as valid and worthy of recognition.  Nearing the end of my undergraduate study, I felt disappointed in a diplomas ability to communicate the expanse of my college experience. There was so much that I learned from being in college that wouldn’t show up on my transcripts. Visiting lectures, study abroad program experiences, and working jobs to pay the tuition were all just as educational as taking a three-credit course.

In this project and presentation, I explore my relationship with education, as well as create an alternative documentation to my educational experience during the last six years. The artwork consists of forty-six portraits that are seven inches square, as well as string that maps the connections between each person. With  my research I applied contemporary artists, the theory of Felix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze, as well as personal experiences into the work. The resulting installation is a visual representation of my experience in college.