Sun Yun has delivered engaging visual arts programs to Chicago youth for nearly 19 years through institutions such as Columbia College (the Arts Integration Mentorship Project), Art Resources in Teaching (which is now merged with Urban Gateways), Marwen, and South Chicago Art Center. Many of her residencies are specifically designed to integrate math, science, literacy, and social studies based on Illinois and National Core Standards.
Working with the Core Standards, she learned to appreciate the challenges teachers and schools are faced with and to see her role as a connector to transform how the creative process is taught. Sun believes that art is in part learning the skills to paint, draw, and sculpt, but the most important aspect of art making is learning how to think and ultimately learning how to create, innovate, and problem-solve.
Sun’s approach to teaching is to design an environment that promotes curiosity, observational skills, critical and creative thinking, based on inquiry learning. Students are asked to discuss, analyze, question, experiment, evaluate, and create. Sun also asks her students to consider bigger concepts and ideas that connect the various disciplines.
Along with developing an extensive set of curricula that emphasizes the Core Standards, Sun has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Columbia College, and Elmhurst College. Sun is a practicing artist and actively exhibits in galleries and other venues here in Chicago as well as abroad. Some of these venues include Packer Schopf Gallery, Gallery Uno, and Berliner Liste.
Sun’s journey is about learning the paradigm shift in teaching models as well as navigating the challenges of collaborative efforts and the incredible successes that can be achieved from them. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge to make the arts a relevant and necessary component of contemporary life.