Professor Wayne Hulgin helps a student during one of his drawing classes in room AH-301 at San Diego City College. Photo credit: Edgar Inda
Professor Wayne Hulgin helps a student during one of his drawing classes in room AH-301 at San Diego City College. Photo credit: Edgar Inda

A love for art and teaching

In classroom 301 of the Arts and Humanities Building, a drawing class is about to begin.

Students of all ages sit in their chairs anxiously waiting for the day’s lecture to start. Everyone is eager and attentive when the professor walks into the middle of the room.

Stopping to take a quick look around the room with a big smile, he waits for his audience to give him their undivided attention and everyone goes silent. Now he can begin. Class is in session.

The process of art and teaching for Professor Wayne Hulgin has always been about the journey. His classes are filled with students who feel the need to learn more about art. Hulgin is well-known on campus for his teaching methods, regarded by many as a source of inspiration as well as intimidation.

“I’ve been told by people that I have a tendency to push my students,” Hulgin said. “But I like to keep the mood light, let the students have a sense of being relaxed in the classroom while still keeping that sort of parent/child line.”

Hulgin has been an arts advocate at City College for 17 years. He has a bachelor’s degree in painting, a master’s in painting and drawing, and an associate’s in graphic design. His passion for teaching wasn’t always apparent for him since he originally worked for a newspaper in his native town of Akron, Ohio.

Hulgin said he realized after seven years that the newsroom wasn’t for him and he decided to go back to school at Arizona State, where he received his degrees in the arts. He moved to San Diego after a short time of teaching in Arizona and after setting foot on the City College campus he quickly realized he belonged here.

“The beach brought me here. I was only going to stay for two years and move to New York to start a teaching career in the arts field there. But two years turned into 17 and I’m still here. I absolutely love it,” Hulgin said.

One of his students commented on Hulgin’s teachings and overall persona.

“I’ve been in a few drawing classes before but his is my favorite,” Rachel Fetterman said.

Fetterman is undecided about her career path but enjoys the peace and relief she receives from drawing: “This a great place for me to unwind. I love the free-thinking mindset in here. Hulgin is humorous but he really takes an interest in everyone.”

George Aburto is an old student of Hulgin’s, currently enrolled in independent studies and club president of City Collective, the arts club to which Hulgin is adviser.

“He’s such a big influence on me; he is the reason I wanted to become a teacher.” Aburto said. “His passion for teaching and art and making sure his students have the knowledge to make it in the art world … that’s the type of teacher I want to be.”

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A love for art and teaching