Miguel is a wonderful art professor. He is patient, personable, and kind-hearted. For example, he adopts stray cats and allows them to live in his studio. Enough said. He cares about every one of his students, and is invested in our improvement as painters. From an artistic standpoint, Miguel is highly qualified. He attended RISD for undergrad and the Columbia MFA program.
Although he is a working artist, Miguel takes his job as a professor seriously. He brings hardcover books to class to teach us about a variety of artists. The way he is able to discuss art is unlike any Art History professor I've had. He brings an artist's eye, and a fascination with the personal backgrounds of artists, to his teaching. While touring MoMA as a class, Miguel illuminated the work of Rousseau, Picasso, Mondrian, Dali etc. by telling us historical anecdotes about their lives.
Our class was able to visit the Met and MoMA, and even took the train out to Dia Beacon (a Minimalist sculpture garden about an hour outside of NYC) for a day. During the last class, we had the opportunity to tour Miguel's studio in Harlem. As Miguel led our class into his brick warehouse, two of his neighbors called out, "Miguel, you're a professor? Who knew?!" This interaction only confirms Miguel's humility. In his studio, we gaped at Miguel's surrealistic oil paintings and life-size sculptures of jungle animals. Not many art professors allow students to walk into their personal studios.
By the end of the semester, our class felt like a family. We bonded over museum visits, mutual appreciation for Miguel, late nights in the studio, and lunch breaks. Take this class first and foremost if you want to learn how to paint, but don't be surprised if you make a few close friends along the way.