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Faculty: Cynthia M. Zyzda

Department: Visual Arts/Humanities

Contact Information: 970-870-4432, Monson 306,


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Alveioli with Growth

Courses Taught

Blue Setting

Teaching Philosophy

Construction 6Art is a building process that grows with practice, commitment, investigation, openness and risk. I find it essential to be a guide, a resource, and an example in the studio classroom. As a guide, I offer information concerning technical skills, critical thinking skills, and issues of historical and contemporary significance. Hands-on demonstrations in concert with readings, slides, videos and DVDs provide students a variety of tools with which to learn or improve upon the basics. Through exercises and assignments, I challenge students to use skills as a tool and to push beyond technique to translate ideas, feelings, and research in an intelligent manner.     

bulbAt more advanced levels, class discussions and activities have included interdisciplinary research and investigation of the natural sciences, literature, social and political issues, and alternative employment in art. Additionally, I have students install art throughout campus. By installing art work throughout campus, students realize that the process does not end when a piece is built. Moreover, the campus community is exposed to art and the presence of the art department, and dialogues result.  In the near future, I hope to expose to students to the many art resources throughout the state, such as The Denver Art Museum, Anderson Ranch, Loloba Ranch, and more.

As a resource, I believe students should learn from as many different people as possible to gain multiple perspectives. It is my hope to bring national and international visiting artists to the campus for workshops and slide lectures. My curriculum also includes viewing the series, Art 21: Art in the Twenty-first Century.  Exposure to diverse artists and their processes assists in discovery, curiosity, and context. Finally, class discussions concerning workshops, conferences, juried exhibitions and residencies take place to prepare students for a professional life.

I am an example both as an artist and an instructor. I use experiences from my life and work to provide a tangible account of an artist’s life and work ethic. Likewise, for students, I provide challenging expectations, just as I do for myself. My hope is that they realize that art is a lifelong investigation and conversation, branching in innumerable directions, with countless possibilities. back to top

Osculum, OstioleCreative Statement

The human mind processes thoughts, images and insights in ways we cannot fathom. The associations a viewer is able to derive from visual forms is of interest to me. We have the ability to self-inform and create a relationship with the world by overlapping and intermixing information consumed through many senses. For example, the smell of a freshly baked pie is enhanced by its taste. Additionally, if the pie is made from my grandmother’s recipe and prepared specifically for me, I would find myself more intimately involved in the situation. Something more complete is experienced; however, there is no word for it. It is an experience. I experiment with nonverbal thoughts embodied in abstract forms.  Tastes, smells, sounds, and sometimes colors translate into shapes or three- dimensional forms in my mind. I explore the visual components that make up those sometimes absurd and sometimes profound associations. I am a filter. My agenda is curiosity. back to top

Courses Taught

  • Art History I
  • Art History II
  • Art Appreciation
  • Figure Drawing I
  • Advanced Figure Drawing
  • Ceramics I
  • Ceramics II
  • Ceramics III
  • Two Dimensional Design
  • Handbuilt Ceramics I

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