Teacher Spotlight: Mr. Giacobello

By: Solana Gagliano, Staff Reporter

This September, the Overlook Journal got to interview one of Thornton-Donovan’s new teachers, Mr. Giacobello, who is teaching the Digital Photography and Graffiti Art classes.

 How many years have you been teaching?

“This is my third year teaching at TD.”


Why did you come back to Thornton-Donovan as a teacher?

“I was asked. I do a lot of photos for TD and I was helping Doug with photos for the new heritage building, and I was dropping something off, and he said ‘have you had any thoughts about coming back and teaching again?’ and that was only three weeks ago, shortly before school started (laughs).”


 How are you enjoying teaching so far?

“I enjoy it. I like helping people understand the camera and learn how to take photos, and I enjoy that aspect because one day you’re going to take a photo and amaze yourself that you were able to catch it.”


 What inspired you to learn about photography in the first place?

“I’ve always been interested in photos, I had all types of consumer cameras when I was young. When I turned eighteen, my mom gave me my dad’s camera; he died just before I turned sixteen; and it was a fully manual camera. No battery, no settings, you had to turn little dials to figure it out. I brought it to a camera store, I asked a few questions, he showed me how to get started, and I just started playing. And I’ve been doing that since I was eighteen.”


Why did you choose Graffiti Art as one of your classes?

“I have been very interested in graffiti art and street art in general and I’ve been photographing it for years and years. Every time I go somewhere, if I’m driving I pull the car over and I get out and take pictures of graffiti. I’ve always been fascinated with what people can do with a spray can and a marker.

Sometimes it only lasts a few days before it’s painted over. If you don’t catch it, next time you go by it’s gone. And there’s some interesting ties that we haven’t done in class yet with tattoos. So I’ve been interested in it, I’m a visual artist with a camera, but I’m not a visual artist with painting. But I want to try to teach the course from a perspective of a photographer.”


 What activity are you most looking forward to doing with your class?

“Field trips. I would love to take one of these walls at TD and have a class project doing the wall, and it still might happen. But more than likely we’re going to do smaller projects, like painting a canvas that’s two feet by two feet. Where you can do your own individual piece of art. So the art work is going to be really interesting. Hopefully everybody participates and tries hard. But I really like the idea of field work, getting outside, going to the zoo, going out and looking at what other graffiti artists have done.”


What aspect do you most enjoy about teaching?

 “I like installing knowledge into people. I like helping them learn, (points at an iPad) like if you’re using this as a camera, how to use that as a better camera. Not just going “click,” but actually making some decision. [The iPad] is more powerful than most people realize, and getting them to the point where they can take better photos. Not just snapshots but real photos, and in many cases, pieces of art.”
Good luck to you and your class, Mr. Giacobello!