Applying for various positions I stumbled on the letter below:
Anitra Haendel, CAA
275 7th AVE. 18th fl
New York, NY 1001
212.691.3893 ext. 204
March 22, 2010
Dear Mrs. Kidney,
Tereza Swanda is a superb candidate for the position of Faculty in Visual Art at Northern Essex Community College.
I know firsthand the joy teaching brings to Tereza. I have witnessed Tereza teach in the Bronx. I saw the attention and respect she earned from her students. She makes certain that her eyes are being met, and that her words are getting through. She says that students are her teachers, and that teaching is an exchange. At the same time, she works very hard at preparing syllabi, thinking about her students needs and gearing the lessons to them. She has complete respect for each student no matter what age or background. She believes that art is essential to every person’s life. Not only will she teach the students technical skills, she will impart values of self-determination that will carry over into other parts of their lives.
She has a very professional manner that makes her easy to work with. I have seen her interact with a wide variety of people from many different settings. When she and I studied together in South Africa, we met teachers, political activists, and artists. Tereza maintained a dignity throughout. She is not afraid to share her own experiences, which makes her able to connect with people from all walks of life. This ability also makes her an exceptional teacher, one able to interact professionally and personally with both students and colleagues.
For Tereza, art and education are inseparable. As her résumé will show, she has extensively studied and practiced them both. Yet her research is ongoing, her perspective is always broadening. She is constantly looking to improve herself, her teaching, and her art. Even while currently away from an institutional position, she is teaching painting and drawing to adults from her neighborhood, as well as organizing exhibitions for them. She has helped these students establish goals and made them excited about their work.
Along with an expertise in more traditional art techniques, Tereza is savvy with computers, and can teach Photoshop and other visual applications. Her background is in the fine arts of oil painting, sculpture in clay, stone and wax, and charcoal figure drawing, which we studied together in Florence, Italy. I then shared an art studio with Tereza for three years in Brooklyn, and I have seen how she develops her artistic skills through practice and exercise, as well as how she experiments and plays with different mediums and methods.
As an employee at the College Art Association who interacts on a daily basis with art instructors and practitioners, I can attest that Tereza is someone who works according to the highest professional and ethical standards. Her knowledge, passion, generosity, and friendliness will be enormous assets to your program. I recommend her wholeheartedly.