Faculty Spotlight: Adjunct Professor Daniela Barbani ‘14, Department of Art

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Please describe a favorite memory from your time at APU.

“Nothing will top the time that the Art Department rented a giant bounce house as a way to celebrate the end of the spring 2022 semester!”

Do you have a study tip for students who take your courses?

“Keep making art! It doesn't matter if you fail at it. You learn by doing...over and over and over again! If you wait for "inspiration to strike," you'll never get much done. Work through the difficult moments and your art will flourish. You gotta be willing to put in the time! But most importantly, allow yourself to have fun while creating!”

Where is your favorite spot on APU’s campus? Why?

“The printmaking shop off of Duke Hallway! It's my safe haven. It's a small, but mighty shop that is home to our large printmaking press and silkscreen setup. Not too many students know about it! It's also the place where I realized I wanted to pursue printmaking when I was an undergrad (all thanks to the amazing Jamie Sweetman!). Now, I get to teach my own printmaking classes in the same room. Full circle moment!”

What’s your advice to someone pursuing a career in the field you teach?

“Don't be afraid to make connections with people. I encourage students to get to know their peers and faculty members. These are the people that you will be working alongside after you graduate! Many of these connections will present opportunities to you. So, take advantage of what APU has to offer you. There are no assignments after you graduate, so you are in charge of keeping yourself on track. Having a good group of people to connect with aids in keeping you motivated in your practice. If you are interested in teaching, do your research on grad schools. Make meetings with your faculty to talk about the experiences that they've had. School, whether it be undergrad or graduate level, is what you make of it. What you put in is what you will get out.”

Have you ever experienced a season of failure within your profession? If so, what did you discover during that season, and how did it change you?

“Many artists experience multiple failures, sometimes more often than successes. It's actually an important part of being an artist. Without failure, there is no room for growth. I've gone through many seasons of failing. Instead of completely giving up, I allow myself to experience and wrestle with those difficult emotions for a bit. Only then can I use it to help fuel my passion. I've recently been trying to let go of the failed pieces and make them into something new and different. It's a low-risk way of experimenting. That being said, it's a continuous battle and something that I will always have to work on from time to time.”

What are your ultimate goals when it comes to teaching the next generation?

“I truly strive to create safe spaces for my students to experiment with their art practice. It's important to foster good connections with your students no matter the class subject. Ultimately, I want to share the love I have for art and help push students out of their comfort zones.”

What projects, if any, are you currently working on? Please tell us a little about it.

“For the last few years, I have been focused on creating an ever-growing body of work as a response to the diminishing wildlife population of Los Angeles. Specifically, I am visiting urban construction sites in natural habitats, collecting discarded materials, and repurposing them into artworks as a call to action.”

Barbani’s art focus is the conservation of wildlife and she has published an article, given talks, and exhibited art all related to her studies. She volunteered and worked with the non-profit organization Citizens For Los Angeles Wildlife, helping educate the community about our local wildlife.