Russ addressed her first class in the spring of 1995, and has been working as a part-time instructor in the Faculty of Fine Arts ever since. She currently teaches screen printing and digital printing, as well as lithography.
Russ is no stranger to evolution: a lot has changed at Concordia in the last 20 years. For one thing, she remembers when the first computers were set up in her office.
At the time, Russ said she didn’t mind doing the budget by hand and wouldn’t need a computer. Now she can’t imagine life without one.
Change can inspire art, she says. “We have traditional techniques, like working off limestone, but then we also have very new ones — like the integration of digital ink-jet images.”
The instructor finds that the whole definition of print has become much more inclusive of other media. She cites the combination of video and performance art with printed images as an example.
“It’s a lot more vibrant right now,” Russ says. “It’s really a great area to be in.”
Another transformation came about a decade ago, when Russ moved from the Visual Arts Building on René Lévesque Boulevard West to the ninth floor of the Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex (EV). There, she discovered “beautiful state-of-the-art facilities and an amazing view.”
Russ sees the value of innovation in her work as a teacher. A favourite part of the job is watching her students’ creations take shape.
“Students bring so much,” she says. “They have a fresh way of looking at things. They come with fresh eyes and fresh ideas and a fresh view of the world.”
Christopher Trueman: ‘Teaching is the best part of my job’
Associate dean of Academic Affairs, Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science
40 years at Concordia
In the past four decades Christopher Trueman, associate dean of Academic Affairs for the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science, feels like he’s seen it all.
“Concordia has grown so much in the years that I have been here,” he says. ”We have more programs, more rules, more administration, more complexity and a great many more students.”