Every year thousands of art educators descend on a U.S. city to commune as a professional field and celebrate the accomplishments of peers and institutions. The annual convention of the National Art Education Association (NAEA) is a vital marketplace of ideas and research for the field of art education. For many Ph.D. students in art education, this is an important national stage to present their research and Penn State graduate students continue to make an impact on the organization and the event. NAEA 2017 in New York City was no different.
Several graduate students were honored. J. Célèste Kee was recognized by the NAEA Seminar for Research as runner-up for the prestigious Elliot Eisner Dissertation Award for outstanding work in completed dissertation research. Asavari Thatte Penderkar represented the program at the annual Marilyn Zurmuehlen Working Papers Doctoral Research Session where graduate students from doctoral programs in art education gather to present and share their dissertation research. Leslie Sotomayor was awarded the Caucus of Social Theory in Art Education’s Graduate Research Award for “Feminist Art Matters: Embracing Change and Exploring Social Justice through Pedagogical Practices,” her research presentation on feminist curatorial practice in relation to conversations about migration, identity formation, and art practice process.
While some students received awards, others were presenting for the first time. Christen Sperry Garcia, with Leslie Sotomayor, gave a presentation about examining the role of needlework in initiating informal art education spaces through Judy Chicago’s “Birth Project” and fabric patterns found in La Familia magazine. Sperry Garcia also presented with SoVA Director Graeme Sullivan, an interpretive analysis of the contemporary art group, the Nationwide Museum Mascot Project, using art educator David Ecker’s conception of qualitative problem solving presented at the 1965 Penn State Seminar. Indira Bailey presented “The Challenge of Teaching While Black: Mary Godfrey’s Contributions to Art Education.” Bailey researched Mary Godfrey in the Penn State archives. Godfrey was the first African American hired in Penn State history and a faculty member in art education for more than twenty years.
We congratulate all of these Penn State graduate students as they begin to shape the future of research in the field of art education.