Ms. Toby Sisson earned her B.F.A, Magna Cum Laude, from the College of Visual Arts in Saint Paul, Minnesota and her M.F.A. from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Her areas of specialization include drawing, painting and public art, as well as community-based research and service learning.
Creative Research and Teaching Interests
Ms. Sisson is an abstract artist whose individual studio practice encompasses mixed media drawing, oil and encaustic painting. Her visual studies range from the creation of land based art forms, to the hybridization of indigenous and immigrant artistic traditions, as well as the innovative use of ancient and organic materials. Her work has been exhibited in solo and select group shows, and acquired for numerous private collections. Sisson’s creative research and teaching interests are also engaged in community-based art.
"Fundamentally, I believe that art is a quest for understanding about how the world works, rather than perpetuating the norm of right and wrong, or mere decoration." This philosophy guides Toby Sisson as an artist and educator. She actively seeks opportunities to join art and everyday life and create holistic experiences for individuals and their surrounding communities to become fully engaged with one another.
Sisson's courses include Drawing and Painting (beginning and advanced levels), Studio Topics (the capstone course for art majors), and Senior Thesis (A senior seminar in preparation for the senior thesis exhibition in Clark University’s Schiltkamp Gallery). Since joining Clark University in 2009, she has been the recipient of the Hodgkins Award (2011) for meritorious contributions in creative practice, teaching and service, as well as the Hayden Faculty Fellowship (2015) for deep and sustained engagement with the Clark community.
Recent Public Work
• Fostering ecological stewardship within ethnically diverse communities through aesthetic projects that assist inner-city neighborhoods in converting blighted areas into healthy and beautiful green space.
• Establishing collaborative programming between non-profit agencies and institutions of higher learning to provide summer art camps for youth from underserved immigrant populations.
• Developing off-campus opportunities for college students to partner with a social service organization to create a permanent on-site artwork that reflects the mission of the organization.