Mr. AdamsNick Deterding


By: Brian Baker (Whetstone contributor)


Brian Baker: How long have you been teaching?

Zachary Adams: At the collegiate level, about 10 years. I’ve taught two years of high school, and a couple years at community centers and art leagues.

BB: How have you changed your style since you started teaching?

ZA: That’s a tricky one. I don’t know if I necessarily have. I have become much more comfortable with students and their needs when it comes to teaching. I don’t see myself as an answer-giver, but more of a facilitator of information.

BB: What have you taught and what are you currently teaching?

ZA: I’ve taught 3-D design, 2-D design, Drawing and Painting I, Ceramics I, plein air painting, and watercolor. Currently I’m teaching Drawing I, Painting I, Elementary Art, and Design I.

BB: What rewards do you personally get from teaching?

ZA: It’s an opportunity to redesign the art program. In classes it’s the chance to interact with students and learn from them.

BB: Where did you go to school? What was your major?

ZA: I did undergrad at University of Delaware, and got my bachelor of fine arts in ceramic and sculpture. I went on to Indiana University of Bloomington for my Masters in Fine Arts.

BB: What drew you to this field?

ZA: Besides that I grew up doing this, it was a way for me to find my own path. I was never a fan of falling into the corporate pattern. Plus I get to steal some cool ideas from students.

BB: What did you want to be when you were in college?

ZA: When I first started? I wanted to go into biology. Then I got into ceramics. I played with the chemicals to make the glazes, and I fell in love. It was in ceramics that I also really got into the idea of teaching.

BB: Are you where you want to be right now?

ZA: Yes and no. I’m about four years behind where I’d like to be. I was hoping by now I would have a secure job, but I am still teaching which is always great.

BB: What was your most interesting job as a student?

ZA: I’d say a work-study when I was a janitor for all the art studios as an undergrad. It’s amazing what stuff you have to clean up, especially after your friends. Then I did too many years of coffee shops, and became a coffee addict. Really, I did whatever to pay for college and survival.

BB: Born and raised?

ZA: Born in Milford, Del. I grew up in Frederica, Del. Slowly I moved north and west from there. Somehow, I ended back here.

BB: Favorite movies?

ZA: I’ve probably seen most movies since the 1960s. I love movies with a good story. Today’s movies are all about flash and bang and surface stuff. So I think I like independents best, so long as they are not overly depressing.

BB: Favorite book, play, or screenplay?

ZA: I don’t like plays or screenplays too much. For books, the subject matter is always changing. My reading is a stream of consciousness. I can start in a novel, move to philosophy, then to science, then back to a novel. However, I will say I will probably never read 50 Shades of Gray.

BB: Favorite music or artist?

ZA: For music, classic rock is obvious because I have it on all the time. Artists, there are too many to name. When it comes to contemporary stuff, I actually prefer sculptors and painters from England, mostly. They seem a little more clever than their American counterparts.

BB: What are your favorite pastimes or hobbies?

ZA: Reading and drawing. Traveling, too.

BB: What are you most passionate about in life?

ZA: Helping other people.