By Simon Tran
Rhonda Holberton joins SJSU as the newest faculty member of the Digital Media Arts program in the Department of Art and Art History. She received her BFA at the California College of the Arts and her MFA at Stanford University.
Before becoming a teacher, Holberton was a mechanical engineer managing a small team to install public art pieces. This job ultimately inspired her to become an educator because she realized she liked teaching her team.
Holberton has taught classes at Stanford University and CSU East Bay. Her students examined the usage of data as an art medium, how material can store data, and the discourse of human bodies in art. Holberton’s decision to come to SJSU was driven by the school’s culture.
“It’s important to me that SJSU is a state school because it gives back to the community,” says Holberton. “I also really like the students here. They are inquisitive and bright. They are real artists and technologists.”
Her curriculum is a reflection of her own art. Holberton is an accomplished Oakland-based artist who uses technology and other multimedia platforms to represent the human body.
“In my art, I explore the politics of the body in relation to technology. I spend a lot of time on my computer. I want to talk about the life that we all live,” explains Holberton.
As an educator, Holberton brings her art into the classroom. She incorporates technology in her curriculum to bring attention to how integrated technology and multimedia are in society.
“The most important thing I can do as an educator is to show students how to look critically at the world around them and make connections between things that are seemingly incompatible,” says Holberton. “This outlook can be used in not only art, but in our daily lives as well.”