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Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Visual

Kentuckians in Visual Arts

Jeweler, Metalsmith, and Arts Administrator Tim Glotzbach
Hindman, Kentucky

Tim Glotzbach

Who Tim Glotzbach, a professional jeweler and metalsmith, has served as an educator for more than 20 years. He grew up on his family’s farm in southern Indiana with seven siblings, surrounded by an environment that both stimulated and encouraged imaginative solutions to everyday needs. In high school, Glotzbach followed his interests in math and science in preparation for college. As an undergrad at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, he chose to major in archaeology. But by his junior year, he had taken several graphic design and art courses and found himself spending more time in the studio than anywhere else. He eventually learned the art of jewelry and metalworking, which led to an MFA at the University of Southern Illinois at Carbondale. After teaching two-dimensional design, drawing, and jewelry/metalworking courses at the State University of New York in Oswego, he moved to Kentucky to start a new jewelry and metalworking program at Eastern Kentucky University. There he also served as a consultant for various art projects throughout the area and worked to develop new programs and recruit students. In 1999, he joined a national advocacy council to devise a new community college program. Soon afterward, he accepted the position of academic dean of the Heritage and Humanities Division of Hazard Community College and helped to found and direct the Kentucky School of Craft in Hindman, Kentucky. Meanwhile, he continues with his own art; his metal work has been exhibited every year since 1975 in noted museums, galleries, and traveling exhibits across the United States.

What “Aside from teaching students and working in the studio, my work at Hazard Community College and the Kentucky School of Craft involves many different tasks. Any given week, I might spend time meeting with legislators, representatives from the governor’s office, and colleagues in the arts education field. I spend a lot of time working on KSC’s budget, determining the school’s goals and programming, hiring and training new staff, searching for new faculty, and developing new courses that fuse craft and design instruction with training in business and career development. As academic dean at HCC, I report to the division chair, working with the president and provost to develop new music, interpretive arts, and visual arts programs.”

When “I usually have an open-ended schedule. I start the day around 7:30/8:00 am in the office, attend one or more meetings, etc. I keep my day flexible enough to accommodate new challenges, and I often work at night. I don’t often think of it as ‘regular job’ kind of work. In terms of using my own creativity to build these programs for KSC, it’s more like working in a studio.”

How “You have to realize that creativity takes many different forms. There are opportunities to be creative in sports, in business, and especially in solving problems. People get bored when they are denied the chance to solve problems using their own talents and abilities. My day only becomes ‘typical’ when I have to meet or work with people that only see one solution to a problem, usually a ‘quick fix.’ I try to avoid cut-and-dried solutions to the problems I know I can solve more effectively with a little hard work and imagination. And that’s what anyone in my field will tell you about how important the arts are for young people. The arts strengthen the way we observe and judge our quality of life and the decisions we make.”

Why “When I began as an artist, I never would have believed that I would have this job at KSC. After teaching for more than 20 years of my life, I had often considered the idea of opening my own school and jumped at the chance to direct the school. Ever since I can remember, I drew, I invented things, and even though we were living and working on a farm, I always believed that we were really rich, especially looking back. We were a ‘making family,’ using our creativity and knowledge to take care of all sorts of things. This gives a person, especially at a young age, a special desire for independence and a ‘yes-you-can’ attitude. Later, in college, and under the guidance of one of my teachers, I got to lead a four-week course during my senior year. The combined experience of helping students and my work as an artist led me to believe that management, education, and creativity can all go hand-in-hand. This really came full force at EKU as I had the opportunity to teach, work in the studio, and help develop programs that focused on the creative aspects of career development and business skills.”

Getting There “Anyone interested in teaching should obviously stay in school and work hard. Learning discipline as a student in several areas makes it easy to recognize a direction to take. When the light bulb goes on, you’re more capable of knuckling down in pursuit of your passion. In arts administration, the work requires you to be a good organizer and motivator, both of yourself and other people, putting the group first as someone who has an expert understanding of the organization’s direction. You have to believe sincerely in the work you are doing, because a teacher or leader’s response to problems either brings out the creativity of the class or group or encourages a kind of apathy. It’s a teacher’s job to work with students to help them along the path to finding their own passion, not telling them what it might be.”

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