Ruben Olguin

Teaching and Workshops

There is a famous argument between Max Bill and Tomas Maldonado about whether or not art could be taught in an academy. I believe art in an academic context needs to be untaught. Students have many misconceptions of what it means to work as a contemporary artist. College students have the burden of being conditioned to perform within a matrix of academic standards, which often conflict with developing creative processes. This problem leads to student’s making art only for the classroom, disconnected from the outside world. My teaching methods approach these challenges with creative solutions focusing on real-world art practices.

Teaching and Lectures


Electronic media, ceramics, video, audio

Currently adjunct faculty at UNM Department of Art and Art History. Ruben Olguin has 3 years of university level instruction teaching new media art, video, audio, and web based art projects. "I believe my successes as a teacher come from listening to the students' individual interests. Engaging with their unique experiences facilitates personal meaning in artistic production." I take their personal interests and encourage exploring those areas with research, history, tools/technology, and contemporary art practices."


New media and indigenous ceramics

Art needs to be untaught. I focus lectures on dispelling preconceptions about what contemporary art is or is not by showing the diversity of art practices among working artists. Using theoretical readings and artist interviews for discussion engages critical thinking skills. Exposure to the varying boundaries of art practices contextualizes how art is exhibited and commoditized in the contemporary world.


STEM-Arts Workshops

Electronic Media, and Earth Sculpture

STEM-Arts instruction exposes students to the creative process with application for non-arts learning and problem solving. The workshops use the lessons and reasearch of STEM core requirements and finish with creating artwork. Using electronics, geology, hydrology, acoustics, as the basis for creating art to be displayed and appreciated. In a highly competitive job-market, teaching students how to think creativly is a skill which can be applied to any disipline. Recent workshops include Sculpting with the Science of Nature for The Paseo, Taos; and Explora Museum in Albuquerque.


Ceramics, electronics, earth sculpture

Using principles in earth based materials and simple electronics. Teaching indigenous materials and basic practices for creating earth works and small sculptures. Electronics projects include piezzo-transducers and simple electronics for creating responsive artworks and acoustic performances. Recent workshops include a seedpot building workshop for Albuquerque's 2nd annual seed swap.

Workshop Images