I had the opportunity to interview the art instructor at Yuba College, Sara Sealander.
How long have you been teaching at Yuba College?
Which courses do you teach?
I teach two studio courses, Printmaking and Drawing. I also teach Art History 1A and 1B and Women in Art, which is an art history course.
Where did you go to school?
I have an MFA from UC San Diego
Did you work anywhere before you started at Yuba College?
I had a job through another college where I taught Art History to inmates at a women’s prison. They had an program set-up for the women to earn their AA degrees and needed a course to meet the Humanities requirement. It was during this time I first had the idea to create a women’s study course. I mean, here we were, a room full of women being taught by a woman and the entire course was focused on all male artists. Something had to change, so Women in Art was born, and I have had the most fun researching the heck out of that class.
You moved to the Yuba-Sutter area to teach here, right?
Yes, I’m originally from Southern California.
What was your life like when you first moved here?
Even though I had a good salary and great benefits I continued to live like a student.I didn’t go out and buy a house that isolated me from the rest of the world. I rented a studio space in downtown Marysville. I created my art in the front and lived in the back. It was a shopfront – it didn’t have a kitchen, the closest I had to a stove was a hotplate. It had a men’s restroom and a women’s restroom and no shower. I had to turn the men’s room into shower. Rent was never more than $150 a month. The neighborhood was full of artists and writers and people who read a lot. It was kind of like a commune except we all didn’t live in the same house. My upstairs neighbor planted vegetable in the dirt strip along the sidewalk and the people from the city would drive and jokingly harass him about how that was their land. He would give them a cabbage and send them on their way. It was really a great neighborhood.
What kinds of changes would you like to see on the Yuba College campus?
I would like to see more connections between people. There needs to be a greater sense of community. I know that it is difficult with the hours that community college students have to keep. The hours people have to work make it hard to connections on campus. That is why I love it when students hang out in the art department and connect with one another. I love having visitors in my classes. I love to see people getting involved.
If you could let your students know one thing, what would it be?
Even though I’ve been teaching for 32 years, I still really enjoy my students.
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