“I always wanted to be in the art world; I didn’t know how exactly. I turned it into teaching my junior or senior year [of high school], and I decided I wanted to do that. That’s what I went to school for, to be an art teacher. And that’s what I’ve been doing for 10 years now.”
Todd Richardson is able to be a part of two worlds. Originally from Edgerton, WI, now residing in Appleton, Richardson is both an artist and a teacher. He graduated from UW Oshkosh with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2008 and a Master of Science in educational leadership in 2014.
“I get to be around artists all day. Granted they’re beginning artists; they’re just figuring themselves out, but they’re still artists,” he says. “That’s the part I love most about it is I get to do my own thing. I get to see them do their own thing. I’m constantly teaching myself; they’re teaching me. And sometimes I just need to know when to take a back seat and say, ‘you’ve got this.’”
Richardson himself mainly works in ceramics and sculpture, his favorite style being figurative sculpture. His work has been shown at the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum in Neenah, The Trout Museum of Art in Appleton and Brewed Awakenings during Appleton Downtown’s Art on the Town last summer.
“What people get out of [my art] is totally different from what I put into it,” Richardson says. “I used to try to have some kind of important message built into it and I’ve kind of backed off from that more and more just for the reason that at the end of the day, people are going to get what they want out of it, and I’m okay with that.”
Being a part of the art world as both a teacher and artist puts Richardson in a unique position because he sees what art can do for a person throughout their life.
“We might not consider an art class a core course, but in terms of building a person, I think the arts are a core element,” he says. “It’s an essential part of making a person well-rounded.”
To see more of Richardson’s work, visit toddmrichardson.weebly.com. – By Sarah Wells