Alum Don Jolley to Retire after 31 Years as Art Teacher in Marin County

Friday, June 21, 2019

POINT REYES LIGHT -- Mr. Jolley, who grew up in Southern California, comes from a long line of teachers that includes both of his parents. He graduated from Sonoma State with a studio art degree, and it wasn’t until partway through a Master of Fine Arts program at San Francisco State that he decided to change course. He recounted that an adviser in that program helped him link the ideas he was learning in a conceptual design class with the practice of teaching.

“In a way, that professor gave me permission to be a teacher,” Mr. Jolley told the Light last week. “Conceptual design is about how to work with an idea, how to let that idea evolve and take shape and trust that it is going to take you someplace exciting. It’s not compartmentalized in one way of thinking. He told me, ‘You are a conceptual designer: that is your artwork.’ That was an entirely new take on teaching that legitimized it for me.”