Chavón January Intensive: Meet the Faculty

September 15, 2022
Chavon Faculty

We are thrilled to spotlight two of our wonderful faculty members leading the January Intensive at Chavón. This three-credit, two-week program is an immersive experience at Chavón's studio facilities in the Dominican Republic. Students will receive direct feedback from these experienced Parsons instructors while working on collaborative projects, infusing the Parsons School of Design methodology and inspiring surroundings into their portfolios. Continue reading to learn more about Marie Genevieve Cyr and Joe Jagos.

Marie Geneviève Cyr

Marie Geneviève Cyr is the Director of the BFA Fashion Design program and an Assistant Professor of Fashion Design at Parsons School of Design. In addition to her work at Parsons, Cyr has created and taught experimental design workshops for universities such as Donghua University (Shanghai), Royal College of Art (UK), Amsterdam Fashion Institute(AMFI, NL), China Academy of Art (Hangzhou), Chavón La Escuela de Diseño (DR), HEAD (Geneva), and various art organizations. We asked Marie to answer a few questions about teaching at Chavón.

Chavon Faculty

What makes Chavón a unique school? What makes it a good fit to host a Parsons program?

Chavón is unique for its environment. When I arrived at the Chavón La Romana campus, it was like arriving at an artist paradise with outdoor workshops and incredible views. The landscape surrounding the campus is part of the experience. Santo Domingo offers an explosive city environment where sounds, materials, and people are at the core of your research and processes.

What were some of your most memorable assignments when teaching at Chavón?

The most memorable moment was when students walked around their neighborhood for a research and color study assignment. They came back with the most amazing color composition and print studies. The room was lit up with excitement and an amazing energy. I was very impressed and inspired by them.

How did you pull from your own creative work when creating this course?

Over the years, I have been invited around the globe to teach young artists and designers about unique research and design processes. It is very important to me to engage with creative audiences and participants from different backgrounds: economic status, race, class, and cultural contexts. By sharing tools, methods, and thinking—creative thinking, research methodologies, unique ideas for processes, and observation skills as well as intuition and spontaneity development—I can empower or activate individual creative identity.

Joe Jagos

Joe Jagos is a photographer currently based out of NYC with a background in fine arts, and currently owns and operates Photo and Motion project space Knick Studios. Joe also regularly travels to China to teach fashion photography workshops and continues to make relationships with Chinese educational organizations. We asked Joe a few questions about his experience teaching in the Chavón program.

Chavon Faculty

How did you get involved in the Chavón program?

I originally visited the Chavón campus in both Santo Domingo and La Romana in Winter 2020. The staff and campus was very welcoming and helpful at both locations and assured an informative experiential stay. Stephen (the long time school director) was very enthusiastic about the campus which easily rubbed off on me once he warmly welcomed us in and showed us around. He insisted I come back and do a workshop via Parsons/New School if the opportunity ever presented itself. I will be co-teaching Fashion Design Explorations at the La Romana, Dominican Republic location with Marie Genevieve Cyr. Students will explore Altos de Chavón and La Romana to extract and abstract influences to create four intensive projects. I will be focusing on artist research, illustration, and photography with the students on their journey in creating an ethnographic body of work in respect to the localized environment.

What makes Chavón a unique school? What makes it a good fit to host a Parsons program?

The location of Chavón provides a tropical environment that allows students to place themselves in a rich vibrant Caribbean culture and fully immerse themselves in island life. Students will be challenged to understand the extreme variances of social balance and imbalances in the Dominican Republic. Chavón provides international level design resources while providing an opportunity to experience and participate in Latin American culture. It is a good fit for a Parsons program because diversity and real world experiences of other cultures is key to providing students a worldly view and knowledge via first-hand experience. Fortunately, Chavón can provide these levels of resources in such a unique and empirical educational setting.

How did you pull from your own creative work when creating this course?

I pulled a mix of skill-sets developed in my various international workshops developed for Parsons Paris, Parsons BFA Senior thesis, FIT MFA, 5 locations for SIA intensives in China as well as my Parsons BFA Fashion illustration course and AAS Fashion experiential marketing & photography class. I utilize and refine techniques from all classes and workshops to give students the tools they need to research an artist/designer, create visual reference guides to develop and own their own style, then I instruct how to document the work through professional image capture. I also use my background as a fine artist to help students understand the history of the compositions they ingest on a daily basis so they can authentically and respectfully build their own design identities with acknowledgment to their influences and predecessors. I also previously ran a film and photo production studio in Brooklyn, NY working with a number of talent and celebrities which I extract lessons from to offer students real world situations and knowledge on how to work and communicate with a team.

Learn more about Chavón and sign up for the January Intensive!

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