FULL NAME: David Frederick Wegener
BIRTHDATE: November 18, 1963 (Monday)
BIRTHPLACE: Denver, Colorado (Porter Memorial Hospital)
Dave Wegener has been a Visual Arts instructor/facilitator at Black Hills since it opened in 1997.
He's been an artist, singer, musician, mechanic, craftsman, tinkerer, and facilitator for most of his life.
His career as a full-time high school began in 1996 at Tumwater HS teaching two world history, one art history and two art classes.
For that first year, he shared an "office" made out of a library reading room with another new teacher, Mrs. Julie McBride, who is now a counselor at THS.
He had a different classroom for each of his classes around THS, and he used a "borrowed" grocery cart with a bicycle flag on it haul supplies to each room.
His classes have taken many forms since 1996, and for myriad reasons, such as educational trends, student needs, school needs, and ideas from personal or professional growth as an artist and instructor.
Each experience in the classroom - in the studio - informs him of what works, what doesn't, and what matters.
"I've always preferred seeing a few things done well, over a lot of things done half-heartedly."
Wegener is well aware of the fact that producing anything of significant quality takes time.
A culture obsessed with convenient distractions, mixed with the regimentation of school, a classroom of students that has grown from 20 to 30, and class periods that have shrunk from over 90 minutes to less than 50 and 40, makes any creative, labor-intensive productivity more challenging... but not impossible.
Despite these challenges, most students still produce quality artworks to exhibit with the time they have.
Some seize every minute of class time to do in the studio what they cannot do in other classes (or at home).
It's a good sign of quality when students cannot stop admiring their own creative work.
They want to show it to their friends. They want to keep it. They want to take it home.
"I don't like to do 'fake, busy work,' so I don't assign it. I like to keep things real."
Wegener assigns and models tasks that working artists would choose to do or be expected to do:
· practice drawing from life (by keeping a sketchbook or visual diary/journal),
· produce original art (When you must "borrow" ideas, do the right thing, and credit your sources.),
· present finished work (with display information) to an audience, and
· respond to viewers' (i.e. the customers') feedback.
"I do assignments and projects along with students, even things I (and they) have done before.
I'll re-work the assignment or do another version or variation on it."
"There's never one way to make an artwork. You can remake it a hundred times, and there'll be something you like about each one."
Wegener designates maximum class time and space for students to work on their art.
He gives prompts, sets parameters, demonstrates, and offers guidance to help students get started.
He believes that emulation is one of the best ways to learn how to do something.
Wegener's role is like a manager, facilitator, waiter, and "artist in residence" for students to observe and ask questions.
Similarly, the more productive art students in each class provide role models and discourse for create activity.
It is always the students' responsibility to decide what to do with the time they are given.
"I believe people's most memorable and meaningful learning experiences come from two things: 1) hands-on, tactile, physical experiences and 2) self-direction."
"You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead." - Stan Laurel
Q: How much of his own (unreimbursed) money did the art instructor spend on art students and the art program in 2021?
"What do the arts teach all of us?" Click HERE.
Dave Wegener's Life Outside of Facilitating a High School Art Program
He loves his beautiful wife, Leah (married 1991), two wonderful boys, Henry (b.1999) and Jacob (b.2000), and his family's dog, Cali (adopted 2018).
He likes to keep his cars in good working condition, repairing and improving them himself as much as he can with parts he finds at wrecking yards.
He likes projects, whether it's for his art, his house, his yard, his church, his neighborhood, the Art Room, or it's just giving something old a second life or new purpose.
He enjoys nature hikes, litter patrols, jogging, and walking to destinations whenever there's no need to drive.
He looks forward to drawing, painting, making music, and performing every week with other artists in his community.
He likes to read how-to magazines, biographies, history, pop culture, and (since March 2016) books on diet & nutrition - over 100 read so far.
He likes to explore and find things in thrift stores and junkyards.
He likes old films, especially pre-1970, cinema from Hollywood's "Golden Age" (1930s), and silent pictures.
He likes music a lot, listens to oldies on the radio, plays all styles/genres in class, used to be a U2 follower, sings with the church choir, and is a self-taught bass player.
He was born in Denver (1963), and grew up in its northern suburbs. His father made trout fishing part of every business trip, and he sometimes took his two boys with him.
He spent many of his childhood summers on farms in NW Kansas (Norton & Oberlin), at summer camps, and he often vacationed with his family in the Rocky Mountain region.
He loves to prepare (and share) whole-food-plant-based meals (even at work), especially since he reversed his pre-diabetic condition and lost over 100 pounds in 2016 just by changing what he ate. (You can read his story in the Winter 2021 issue of Forks Over Knives magazine or online at THIS site. You can also read it HERE within Mr. Wegener's webpage.)
Dave Wegener's Art
(See slide shows of INSTRUCTOR'S WORK in the left column of this webpage.)
2001 - PRESENT - Collaboration, Set Design & Construction (various plays, musicals, performances), Black Hills HS, Olympia, WA
2009 - Collaboration, Staffulty Art Project, Black Hills HS, Olympia, WA
2007-08 - Collaboration, Wegener's Post-Flood Home Rebuild, Centralia, WA (BHHS Staff, Richard Granlund, students... so many came to Mr. Wegener and his neighbors' aid!)
2006 - Collaboration/Installation, Garden for New Gym, Black Hills HS, Olympia, WA
2004-05 - Collaboration/Installation, Garden of the ARTS, Black Hills HS, Olympia, WA
2003 - Group Exhibition, WA Art Instructors, Art Institute of Seattle, Seattle, WA
1999-03 - Collaboration/Installation, Little John, Black Hills HS, Olympia, WA (pictured above w Annelise Haft in 2003)
2003 - Solo Exhibition, ADMONITVM, Childhood's End Gallery, Olympia, WA (review by Alec Clayton in The Ranger/The Weekly Volcano)
1998 - Group Exhibition, Point of Origin: WWU Art Alumni, Western Washington University
1997 - Collaboration/Installation, 55 T-bird, Tumwater HS, Tumwater, WA
1996 - Solo Exhibition, Omni Room, Western Washington University
Mrs. Jane Ulrich's 4th Grade Class - 1973-74
, Wyco Drive Elementary School, Northglenn, CO(Wegener is in the back row, 3rd from the left.)Dave Wegener's Education
MEd - Lesley University (2001)
BA - Western Washington University (1995) w/ Honors, Majors: Fine Arts & Art Education, Minors: Art History, History & Social Studies (singing/dancing cowboy in Summer Stock production of Oklahoma!)
AA - Pierce College (1991) w/ Honors (met & married his beautiful wife, Leah Ruth Overman ❤)
Certificates - USAF Tech School & Community College of the Air Force - w/ Honors, Fields: Civil Engineering & Cryogenics
HS Diploma - Northglenn HS, CO (1979-82), 2-yr 1/2-day concentration in Graphic/Commercial Arts with Voc-Ed Center, 2nd place @ state VICA
Jr. HS - Northeast Jr. HS, Northglenn, CO (1978-79), 9th grade was a wonderful year of returning to his friends in public school... painted a library entrance mural of the USA that was protected by Mr. Daryl Eugene Habgood, art instructor, until his retirement (c.2000).
Jr. HS Diploma - Belleview Schools/Pillar of Fire (private school) Jr. HS, Westminster, CO (1976-78), adolescence, puberty, and "the new kid" at the meatless, no bluejeans, no band, chapel-every-Friday, longest bus-route ever, private school from Hell. However, a young Mr. Wegener was introduced to drawing with charcoals by one of the resident teachers, Mrs. Wolfram.
Wyco Drive Elementary, Northglenn, CO (1970-76) "Go, Wizards!", dance/hoedown partners w Paula Diane Bullock ❤ in 6th grade, 1st Chair alto saxophone and Honor Choir in 5th & 6th grade, lead role as "Dan Dentist" in school play, 1st Place in 3-legged race w Debby Lynn Jenkins ❤ in 4th & 5th grade, 1st Place in Science Fair, 1st Place in City Refuse Mascot Design... 4th grade class was THE BEST YEAR EVER at Wyco! (Mr. Wegener still writes to his 4th grade teacher and several classmates.)
Gethsemane Lutheran Kindergarten, Northglenn, CO (1969-70) (Mr. Wegener still keeps in contact with a few of his classmates from Pre-School and Kindergarten!)
Gethsemane Pre-School, Northglenn, CO (1967-68 & 1968-69) (Many kids attended Pre-School a second year at that time to "get in line" with Colorado's new enrollment age requirements.)
Dave Wegener's Work Experience
1997-PRESENT - Visual Arts Instructor, Black Hills HS
1996-97 - Visual Arts, World History & Art History Instructor, Tumwater HS
1992-96 - Picture Framer, Art & Frames Inc., Downtown Bellingham, WA (Thank you, John & Faye Creed! You treated me like family!)
1991-92 - Portrait Photographer, Expressly Portraits, Bellingham, WA
1987-91 - Cryogenic Plant Operator & Truck/Trailer Mechanic, Union Carbide/LINDE/PRAXAIR, Fife, WA
1987-87 - Carpenter's Assistant/Apprentice, Dale Moultine, Lakewood/Tacoma, WA
1987-87 - Driver, South Sound Auto Auction, Kent, WA (Thank you, Robert Plant and The Geritol Gang, for the advice!)
1983-87 - Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, HVAC, Cryogenics Mechanic in US Air Force (Bitburg AB, Germany and McChord AFB, WA)
1980-83 - Cook, Shakeys Pizza Parlor, Thornton, CO (Thank you, John Vogel! What an exciting and fun store to work at! You rock!)
1982-82 - Shipping & Receiving Clerk, A&O Distributors, Denver, CO
1979-80 - Food Preparation Specialist, Dairy Queen, Northglenn, CO (est. by former Denver Bronco, Odell Barry, '64-'65)
1977-79 - Deliverer, various door-to-door advertisers, Denver, CO