Pete Hocking is an interdisciplinary artist, activist, and teacher based in Providence, Rhode Island & Provincetown, Massachusetts.
His studio practice focuses on personal narrative and the construction of identity within the context of contemporary social and political life. He is co-founder and collaborator on several community-based initiatives, including New Urban Arts, Community MusicWorks, Project Eye-to-Eye and Equity Action. In addition, he has served on many boards of directors, including Southside Community Land Trust, AIDS Project Rhode Island, and The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities. At New Urban Arts he was an Artist Mentor Fellow from 2007-2009 and periodically serves as a Community Story Teller.
From 2007 to 2011 he served as interim director of Rhode Island School of Design’s Office of Public Engagement. Prior to that, for more than seventeen years, he was on the staff of the Howard R. Swearer Center for Public Service at Brown University, where he served as director from 1992 to 2005. As the Swearer Center's director and as an Associate Dean of the College, he worked to develop university-community partnerships, innovative leadership pedagogy, undergraduate research opportunities, social entrepreneur projects, and to integrate community-based learning with academic study. In addition to teaching at Goddard College full-time, he periodically offers courses in social practices in the arts, leadership, Queer Studies, Illustration, and ecology/sustainability at Rhode Island School of Design.
Teaching Philosophy and Areas of Interest:
As a teacher, I am committed to the intrinsic dignity and value of each of us as learners. I believe that we rarely acknowledge and embrace what we truly know. We are taught not to value what we know; instead being directed to trust on facts, figures and experts who tell us that they know more. The process through which we come to understand ourselves as theoreticians, meaning makers, and actors-in-the-world is sacred to me. I am committed to understanding how we "own" knowledge, and believe the arts to be a critical means through which we can articulate and convey our knowledge to others. I believe that artists hold a special trust in our culture as makers of critical meaning, as translators of ideas, as theoreticians, and as seers.
My theoretical preoccupations include Progressive Education and arts pedagogy; the American Transcendentalists and American intellectual history; Queer Theory and LGBTQ history; Phenomenology; ecology and sustainable systems; the public engagement of artists; and documentary practice. As an adoptee, I am interested in adoption rights and the effects of trauma on identity formation. I primarily work as a visual artist and writer. I love comic books.