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Linda Darty: passionate about metals

(Aug. 15, 1995)   —   When it comes to annealing metal or honing minds, Linda Darty approaches each task with a passion.
“My passion for metalworking makes my own life more complete,” said the art professor and recipient of an ECU Teaching Excellence Award.
“The joy I find in sharing that passion with my students is the most satisfying part of teaching,” she said.
After spending several years as a part-time lecturer, Darty joined the art school in 1991 as an assistant professor of metal design. Her students include those who are seeking careers as metal smiths and others who are working with metal for the first time. She trys hard to provide a enriching experience for both types.
She believes it is important to structure her courses to introduce as many techniques as possible. After presenting the techniques, she designs problems that force her students “to look inside themselves for their own answers.”
“The students need to learn how to learn, how to set priorities and how to solve problems creatively so that they can succeed in whatever art career they choose,” she said.
Although the technical information about metals is challenging to teach, Darty said it is the easiest part of what she does.
“It is also important to me to reach students on a personal level, helping them to get in touch with who they are and what they want and need to create.”
Her efforts have brought positive and sincere responses from her former students.
Her introductory metals design class gave one student a sense of “direction and determination.”
“This came partly from seeing other metal majors strive to do their best, but it also came from Linda’s knowledge and in her interest in me to help me strive to be my best,” the student wrote.
Another student described Darty’s enthusiasm for metalwork as “absolutely contagious.”
“This influenced me to make metalwork my area of concentration in the School of Art. Linda provides a classroom environment that inspires the student to explore beyond her instruction.”
John Satterfield, the metal design coordinator, said Darty’s proficiency as a teacher and her knowledge of the metal design field have been “to no small degree, responsible for the growth of our program.”
He also praised her other accomplishments. These include her national reputation in metal enameling, her many awards in regional and national art exhibitions and her promotion of North Carolina crafts. She is also designs a series of art objects, presented by the governor to businesses that contribute to the arts.