Artist and Musician C Spencer Yeh is interviewed by Frieze Magazine in New York City last April 2013.
“Isabel Manalo was my Artist Mentor for the two final semesters of my MFA in Visual Art from Lesley University’s low-residency program in Cambridge, MA. Isabel was my local area guide to defining my successful thesis project. She took the time to listen and see what I was attempting to communicate visually and to clear away extraneous visual detail. My initial imagery included a lot of figurative representation. We had already met a few times, but in a single session, she suggested that I simplify and retain the ‘neuro eye’ image which I adopted and repeated on my 16-foot diameter geodesic dome installation. She truly helped me focus on my visual thesis concept and set me off working with a passion. Isabel is a connector, an exceptional mother, a sought-after curator, an art juror, and exhibiting artist with a studio practice and gallery representation. She is a gifted artist and teacher and an excellent human, not to mention her Yale fine art mafia.”
“Professor Manalo is an exceptional artist, educator and mentor. I took her Studio Art course at American University as a Freshman in college; it was truly one of my favorite and most memorable classes. Professor Manalo’s is the reason why I continue to pursue art. Her teaching methodology was unique, effective and fun! Her teaching style wasn’t confined in the classroom; she introduced us to other renowned artists, and we spent time in museums/galleries to learn about art at the front row. She taught me to challenge the way I pursue art as well as find my own style. Most of my peers in the class didn’t identify as artists, but it was evident how much they enjoyed the class as well. We found ourselves spending countless hours of our free time at the University studio working on projects for Professor Manalo’s class. She is a source of constant inspiration to her students. It has been 6 years since I first took her class, but Professor Manalo is still a champion for her students no matter how long time has flown by.”
“Isabel is a teacher who inspired and encouraged me to pursue art. She made me and countless other students feel comfortable and genuinely cared for, and she takes great effort to understand you and your goals. She was one of the only teachers at Burke who made students feel genuinely comfortable and cared for.”
“Brady is an outstanding professor and artist. I was blessed to have Brady teach professional practices of art during my first semester of graduate school. This course taught me how to successfully grant write and push relevant content out to promotional outlets. I couldn’t have had a better professor for this: Brady knows how to give you the essentials without the jargon and artspeak. Courses like this should be mandatory in any fine art program, and I admire that Brady was an advocate for this: she genuinely wants her students to succeed. Although I’m a few years out of grad school, Brady continues to be a reliable source of help regarding academic, gallery and curatorial positions. If you have the opportunity to work with Brady or take one of her workshops, do not pass it up. I speak for many of her former students when I say I owe much of my success to her.”
“I looked forward to going to school everyday because of Isabel. She made me realize the significance art holds in my life. As her student, she challenged me to take art seriously and showed countless approaches to creating a piece. I started to create artwork that I was truly proud of because it made me think on a deeper level. The classroom evnironment Isabel provided was icredibly supportive and constructive. Her honesty and compassion for her students is incredibly admirable. Isabel is easily the most intentional and inspiring teacher I have had. I learned many skills from her as an artist, student, and person.”
“Isabel’s remarkable energy to go above and beyond meant that she often took her students out of the classroom to museums and galleries, shared insights from her own vibrant art practice, and brought in other working artists to give her students direct experiences with what was new and exciting in the art world For quite a few students these eye-opening opportunities allowed them to imagine themselves as true artists for the first time.”