Dr. Grant Taylor Challenges Himself and His Students
Dr. Grant Taylor likes mammoth challenges, especially when they relate to lifelong learning and collaboration with students.
Dr. Taylor, chair of art & art history and associate professor of art history, has completed a variety of personal projects, including numerous public art installations and authored books.
Currently though, he’s blazing a new path at The Valley with students by his side.
He utilized iPads to teach the College’s first paperless course, Art of the Body, a First-Year Experience class. He also collaborated with students for LVC Reimagined, an exhibition featuring architectural 3D-printed models designed by LVC students and additional elements related to the College’s 150th anniversary celebration. LVC Reimagined: Transformative Architecture was featured at the Suzanne H. Arnold Art Gallery.
“Students have the opportunity to build and showcase their work, which gives them a sense of accomplishment,” said Dr. Taylor, who taught the LVC Reimagined course. “The class includes students from all over campus—not all art & art history majors—just students passionate about the challenge of completing something large-scale and technically difficult.”
Dr. Taylor can personally relate to that sense of accomplishment, having created The Maze installation at the Arnold Art Gallery shortly after getting married. He spent months in his basement creating 67 seven-foot-high church steeples for the popular exhibit.
A public art installation on the roof of Neidig-Garber Science Center for LVC President Dr. Lewis Thayne’s inauguration is another mark Dr. Taylor has left on the campus.
A native of Australia, Dr. Taylor was drawn to the United States because of his research interest in computer art. A friend sent him the job posting for his position at LVC and he flew in for a weeklong interview. He did not have any expectations for what a small liberal arts college would be like, having attended and taught at the University of Western Australia.
However, Dr. Taylor soon realized The Valley was the right fit for him.
“You can help shape the College by having an impact on the curriculum and the intellectual culture,” he said. “Sharing your vision for the future can add to the identity of the institution, which is really amazing.
“I teach a lot of different things. It’s about self-discovery, learning, and my way to explore the world. I’m naturally inquisitive and seek new areas to explore,” he finished.
Next on the horizon for Dr. Taylor awaits another book, focusing on the 1970s and 80s and the impact of the personal computer on visual arts.
He’ll also continue to develop new projects where students can be involved in the collaboration, another benefit of LVC’s environment and a factor that attracted him to teaching.
“I enjoy seeing students develop and gain a sense of self,” Dr. Taylor said. “They really grow up from freshmen to seniors and take responsibility for their intellectual and professional growth. They are willing to be active in their own development and decide how expansive they want their education to be.”