Current VPA News

Jennifer Russo

Mary Ann Stankiewicz

The art education program will host the 13th annual Graduate Research in Art Education (GRAE) conference this weekend, Oct. 28 and 29. This is the first time Syracuse University has hosted the summit. All events are in Room 102 of the Whitman School of Management and are free. Today's keynote takes place from 6:30-8 p.m., including a short question-and-answer session. Graduate student presentations take place Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

James Haywood Rolling Jr., dual professor of art education in the School of Education and the College of Visual and Performing Arts, was able to facilitate the department’s hosting of the conference with support from the Lila Bull Trust Fund at the School of Education, which also provides 1-2 assistantships and scholarship prizes annually for students who major in art education.

Rolling says, “The conference organizers acknowledge and appreciate the generous support of both the School of Education and the College of Visual and Performing Arts during the organization of this event.”

The opening keynote will be given by noted art education historian and Syracuse alumna Mary Ann Stankiewicz ’70, G’76, professor of art education at Pennsylvania State University, who will speak on “Categories and Experience: Returning to the Start of a Career” on Friday evening. An authority on the history of art teacher preparation at Syracuse University, where she received a B.F.A. and M.F.A., she is one of three alumni serving as respondents at the two-day conference.

The GRAE conference promotes collaboration and the sharing of ideas generated by emerging graduate student researchers while facilitating the dissemination of students’ research and creative activities to offer a more diverse range of feedback before their projects reach completion. The conference provides a forum for students from Penn State, Ohio State University, Teachers College at Columbia University and Syracuse University to meet to discuss issues and developments in art education that are being opened up by current graduate student research. This conference features 10 dissertation research presentations on Saturday, organized into three panels.

Friday’s presentation and keynote address are centered on the question “How might your undergraduate studies have shaped your current research interests in art education?” Two of the respondents to the GRAE conference's presentations also received doctorates in art education from Syracuse University's School of Education: Laura Reeder ’14 and David Rufo ’16.

Reeder is chair and associate professor of art education at Massachusetts College of Art & Design, where she supervises graduate and undergraduate artist teachers as they teach K-12 students in Greater Boston. Rufo is director of the Portal Learning Project, editorial assistant at Art Education Journal and an instructor in art education at Syracuse University. Alice Pennisi, chair and associate professor of art education at Buffalo State University, is the third respondent.

Saturday’s doctoral presentations include panels on “Visual Participatory Practices and Art as Critical Public Pedagogy,’’ “Life Narratives, Identity Development, and Arts-Based Communities of Practice” and “Re-presentation, Response-ability and the Social Movement of Ideas.” Presenting are doctoral students from Penn State, Ohio State and Teachers College.

Stankiewicz says she can trace the roots of her research interests to two Syracuse faculty members, one who taught freshman English and the other sophomore design.

“In their classes I verbally and visually explored relationships between two concepts: categories and experience,” she says. In graduate school at Ohio State, she compared theory and ideology to begin shaping a conceptual framework for a history of the first century of art education at SU. Her dissertation was titled "Art Teacher Preparation at Syracuse University, The First Century."

Stankiewicz’s latest book, "Developing Visual Arts Education in the United States: Massachusetts Normal Art School and the Normalization of Creativity," was published in June. A former president of the National Art Education Association, she was NAEA’s 2014 National Art Educator.

Support was provided by the School of Education and the College of Visual and Performing Arts during the organization of the event.