By Jane Zunamon
DENVER- Anyone walking into Brandon Siscoe’s 3D Approaches class can sense a vibrating energy that radiates among the students. Students laugh as they fiddle with their sculptural projects and Siscoe walks around providing insights and encouragement. Siscoe was employed by DU this past fall quarter; taking a position in the SAAH department specializing in sculptural art as a visiting professor. Siscoe said that his overall goal is: “Just trying to breathe some life back into the sculpture program, get more bodies in here.”
Siscoe is already making a strong impact on the student community. He’s only been here for fall and winter quarter and already has students who followed him from one course to the next. As well as, students enrolled his courses now that want to take his course next quarter. Mallory Crew had Siscoe for Experiences in the Visual Arts fall quarter, is now enrolled in his 3D Approaches class, and would like to take one of his courses in the spring quarter. According to Crew, the best aspect of Siscoe’s classes are, “The amount of knowledge and joy he has for the field. It’s great to have someone who truly likes what they do in life and find joy in sharing that with others.” He is a great asset to the Studio Art and Art History department.
Before coming to DU, Siscoe had a broad range of experiences from teaching to art shows. He didn’t have the most conventional education, being that he didn’t start his higher learning until the age of 29 at Illinois State University. There, he received a BFA in 2012 and then went on to receive his MFA from the University of Oregon in 2015; while also teaching a few sculptural courses. He was hired by the University of Washington, where he taught for a year.
Life hit Siscoe hard at age thirty-two when he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Siscoe looked away as he described the time of the diagnosis.“I was going through all this drama, losing my vision, I couldn’t walk well…I was unable to lift big stuff and manipulate things really well with my hands for awhile,” said Siscoe. Both his late start to higher learning and his MS diagnosis has given him a strange and interesting background that he’s able to bring to the classroom.
His knowledge enables him to challenge his students, which he says is something that all educators should be doing. Siscoe said that his biggest goal for his students should be not only focusing on the process and incorporating our unique experiences and identities, but becoming good citizens and understanding of what kindness means. The most rewarding part of the job for Siscoe is his students. He talks about how there’s a lot of things in his life he struggles with, but the moment he walks in class and sees the students roll in, everything changes. He goes home happy, no matter what. “Students give me joy, it’s really simple.”
Siscoe at age five, holding his grandmother’s fake teeth. A photo that perfectly describes the fun and weird vibes he embodies. For examples of some of Siscoe’s work and contact information, visit his personal website at http://www.brandonsiscoe.com