Official Background

...a Better Background on me by my wife!

For 34 years John Watrous had the pleasure of working in a very creative art department in a 2 year college. This was from 1974 to 2007 at Santa Rosa Junior College in Northern California.

I found that working in a 2 year college focused everyone on the teaching/learning and minimized institutional bureaucracy. Having worked in both 2 and 4 year colleges, the fact that there was no real diploma after 2 years, meant all effort was on substance. From my own student days some of my best teachers were at 2 year colleges. And historically, my mother who graduated from U. C. Berkeley in 1936 first attended Riverside City College for two years. She said that all her friends also did this as that was expected to take the pressure off U. C. for undergraduates. So in California, 2 year colleges have a relationship to the U. C. system.

My colleagues were extremely important both in mentoring and giving me license to do my own thing. Will Collier taught me about the creative cycle of “play, aim, work, judge.” And Max Hein showed me how to organize and graphically present concepts. Jean Yates emphasized how the craft of ‘making’ was essential. And my students cannot be left out of this as they taught me as much about teaching as anyone.

The following describes some of the ways I tried to get students to operate more creatively. My focus was three dimensional design. I tried to save examples mostly for other students and I am very proud of what they accomplished.

Class Projects

Art 5 Handout

Alien Object: First day project

Tower project

Modular Relief project

Compact Transformer project

Folded Alphabet project

Constructivist Portrait project

Balsa Pin Project

Kinetics Balance project

Million project