Department of Art and Art History Art Education

Professors in Art Education Publish New Book, Are Honored by Texas Art Education Association

Wed. October 12, 2016

Dr. Paul Bolin
Dr. Paul Bolin, editor of Revitalizing History and 2016 TAEA Distinguished Fellow

The last academic conference on the history of art education was held at The Pennsylvania State University in 1995. In 2015, recognizing a dearth of scholarship in historical research among visual arts educators, assistant chair of The University of Texas at Austin’s Art Education Program Dr. Paul Bolin and his colleagues Dr. Ami Kantawala (Teachers College, Columbia University) and Dr. Mary Ann Stankiewicz (The Pennsylvania State University) organized the first conference on the history of art education held in the last two decades. Research submitted to the conference, “Brushes with History: Imagination and Innovation in Art Education History,” would later give rise to the forthcoming publication, Revitalizing History: Recognizing the Struggles, Lives, and Achievements of African American and Women Art Educators.


Edited by Bolin and Kantawala, Revitalizing History recognizes the historical role that many overlooked individuals—particularly African Americans and women—have played in the field of art education, and acknowledges the importance of history and historical research in this digital age. “The history of art education, similar to the traditional canon of art history, has been dominated by white men like Walter Smith,” remarked Bolin. “My colleagues and I felt that an introduction, or a re-visitation to the contributions of other art educators on the periphery of our historical view would challenge our field with new and more complex stories that are yet in the making, and provide a platform to sustain a vibrant culture of groundbreaking scholarship in art education. The papers submitted from faculty and researchers across the US has proven this point.”

Historical inquiry forms the foundation for much research undertaken in art education. While traversing paths of historical investigation in this field visual art educators may discover undocumented moments and overlooked or hidden individuals, as well as encounter challenging ideas in need of exploration and critique. In doing so, history is approached from multiple and, at times, vitally diverse perspectives. Revitalizing History hopes to generate conversations through publication that will encourage more interest in histories of art education, but also more sophisticated and innovative approaches to historical research in this field. Contributors to the publication include Art Education assistant chair Dr. Christina Bain and lecturer Dr. Heidi Powell, in addition to five former graduate students of the Department of Art and Art History’s Art Education Program.

Heidi Powell
Dr. Heidi Powell, contributor to Revitalizing History and recipient of Higher Education Division Outstanding Art Education Award

Bolin’s commitment to pioneering scholarship in the history of art education, advancement of the field, and his long-term contributions to the work of the Texas Art Education Association (TAEA) have earned him the distinct honor of being inducted as a TAEA Distinguished Fellow at the association’s fall conference this November. Additionally, Dr. Heidi Powell will be awarded the TAEA Higher Education Division Outstanding Art Education Award that goes to the nominated individual who has significantly contributed to the field of art education on the state, local and national levels.



Visual Art Studies students intern across the world, from San Marcos and Austin to New York and Italy

Mon. September 5, 2016


Work from students at Indigenous Cultures Institute in San Marcos
Work from students at Indigenous Cultures Institute in San Marcos

Junior Tanya Gantiva and Senior Paulina Dosal-Terminel, Visual Art Students undergraduates, worked at the Indigenous Cultures Institute in San Marcos. Gantiva and Dosal-Terminel interned as art directors for the institute’s free summer camp for youth. As a part of the Indigenous Cultures Institute’s mission to research and preserve indigenous culture, the summer camp offers youth a chance to learn about indigenous arts and their indigenous identities through hands-on workshops and projects.

“The whole process was such an incredible learning experience for me as an educator, artist and human being,” Paulina Dosal-Terminel writes. “Teaching art using indigenous methods, as well as working with a group of extremely talented individuals to guide students' on a path of learning that is both encouraging of individuality and conscious of the collective home we all share, really opened my eyes to how art is present in every moment of our lives.”

Madi Beavers (Visual Art Studies, 2018) interned at The Contemporary in Austin, working with the museum’s teen program. Over the course of the summer, Beavers learned the ins and outs of writing teacher materials and designing educational initiatives tailored toward a teen demographic. Ultimately, Beavers and her team of high school students created inventive zines as a product of their experiments, discussion and experience.

Julia Caswell at CMA
Julia Caswell at CMA

Julia Caswell (Visual Art Studies, 2017) had a fantastic summer internship as a School Programs Intern for The Children’s Museum of the Arts in New York (CMA). Working in collaboration with other nonprofits and arts organizations in New York, Caswell facilitated art-making inspired by interdisciplinary themes of CMA exhibits. Her work on a public art mural project is highlighted on the Children’s Museum of Art’s website.


Lastly, Visual Art Studies students traveled to Italy with Art History professor Dr. Ann Johns and made a brave journey to see Christo’s Floating Piers.

Through these internships, Visual Art Studies students are given the opportunity to practice pedagogy in the field, exploring the connections between trends in visual arts and contemporary art education.

Visual Art Studies students visit The Floating Piers during Learning Tuscany study abroad program in Italy

Thu. September 8, 2016

“Once we set foot on the dock, we were greeted by hundreds of people fighting their way to leave and to start their journey upon the water.”


three students on fabric of Christo's Floating Piers project


For four Visual Art Studies students, traveling to Tuscany through the Study in Italy program turned out to be incredibly more than what they bargained for. During the Learning Tuscany program, students and faculty are based in a small town in Eastern Tuscany. In this location they are uniquely positioned to visit and take in the rich cultural sites of many of the great art cities in central Italy. Michelle Zhou, Elysium Gonzales, Anabell Horton and Anamarie Delgado joined the program excited to tour the famous museums and historical sights, while putting their educational practice into a greater art historical context. And they did! But they also were given the once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s The Floating Piers.

The Floating Piers is a large-scale public art project conceived by internationally known artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Thirty years in the making, and the first project from Christo since Jeanne-Claude’s death in 2009, The Floating Piers spans a three-kilometer walkway across Lake Iseo and the two and a half kilometers of pedestrian streets in Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio. For many of the students, this was beyond compare, “As a girl whose family has never stepped foot on international waters, this one-of-a-kind experience of traveling to Italy and seeing The Floating Piers has given me a special kind of privilege,” writes Elysium Gonzales. “Knowing that this unique exhibition was temporary, and that we had arrived on only the second day of its opening was something I never would have dreamed of doing.”

The four students spent long hours of traveling and waiting to experience The Floating Piers, but ultimately found the experience worthwhile. “Being fortunate to see The Floating Piers and Studying Abroad in Italy has made be believe that I am capable of doing anything,” one of the students, Anamarie Delgado, writes while reflecting on the experience. “I had always seen studying abroad as a possibility, but never thought that I would actually be able to have the experience. But I am so glad that I let those worries go and just let myself experience the opportunity. This is what I hope to teach my future students. I want them to know that they should not limit themselves on what they think they can and cannot do. They should just take an opportunity that comes in their life and pursue it.”

To read more about their trip to The Floating Piers, visit the Learning Tuscany blog.


Apr 28

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