As a professional sculptor, Paul Wandless knows a thing or two about breaking the mold. In fact, he has his own art studio in Chicago, has displayed his work at numerous museums and galleries, and has authored four books, written 24 articles, and led nearly 100 workshops regarding his art, techniques, and research around the U.S. and Canada. But beyond breaking the mold, Paul is also breaking down barriers – most notably for his students at Harold Washington College, where he’s taught 3D Design, 2D Design, and Sculpture for the last 11 years.

To his students, Paul is more than a professor – he’s also a real-world example of a successful black artist. Importantly, he’s someone that all of them, including and especially those of color, can not only look up to but also see themselves in.

Paul takes that responsibility seriously, but his work to break down barriers doesn’t end at representation. He’s also passionate about expanding the opportunities available to his students, and, thanks to his reputation as a nationally-recognized artist, he’s able to do just that.

In fact, by utilizing his network in the art field, Paul has been able to facilitate opportunities for two of his Harold Washington students to attend a weeklong summer workshop at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, one of the most prestigious arts and craft schools in the country, at no cost. By learning new techniques from professional artists, Paul knows these types of experiences will inspire his students and help them successfully transfer to four-year schools once they complete their associate degrees at HWC.

Further, living in a large cultural metropolis like Chicago expands the opportunities available to art students, Paul says. Just blocks from the Harold Washington campus in the Loop are dozens of world-class museums, galleries, and more, where he has created hands-on learning experiences for students that wouldn’t be possible in smaller cities.

Whether inside the classroom or out and about in the city, it’s clear that HWC students are in good hands with this sculptor as their professor.

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