Higher Education Division Column: Feb/Mar 2022

NAEA News Feb/Mar 2022

The columns for this issue of NAEA News were written prior to the 2022 National Convention. As such, you may find information about Convention sessions and references to past occurrences in the future tense.

Highlighting the Radical Responsiveness, Resiliency, and Creativity of Higher Educators—Join us at the 2022 NAEA Convention!

The 2022 NAEA Convention will soon be upon us, and we look forward to a time to connect with colleagues, share in generative conversation, and celebrate the incredible achievements of higher educators who—even in the midst of multiple crises—have been able to harness art’s capacity to serve as a catalyst for creativity and change.

Each year at the NAEA National Convention, the Higher Education Division hosts a Conversation With Colleagues session as a time to connect and share in dialogue with other art educators. Often, the conversations at these sessions help us identify significant issues facing the field. Given that, at the time of this session last year, we were taking part in a virtual convention due to the global pandemic, we asked participants to engage in small group discussions around the following questions:

  • What exciting things are happening in your program or institution?
  • What challenges are you facing in your program or institution?
  • How do you see the field transforming in innovative and creative ways in the future?

The image below captures Jamboard documentation of some of the responses:

What was so inspiring about these responses was that, in the face of challenges such as isolation, disconnect, and concerns for students’ emotional well-being, we also saw evidence of positive change––such as increased university responses to the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as a desire to harness the creativity generated from the unique experience of being forced to respond to a global pandemic.

It was, therefore, with both acknowledgement for the challenges facing the field and recognition for the pursuit of radical responsiveness, resiliency, and creativity that we ultimately framed the two forward-looking Higher Education Forums for this year’s convention:

  1. The Changing and Shifting of What Care Looks Like in Art Education: This session will include presentations by five panelists in higher education whose work addresses the intersections of care and art education. Their work responds to questions such as “What does it mean to care?” and “How do we care in the technology-(in)dependent new normal and the future post-pandemic era?” Facilitators: Kate Collins (Eastern Region Director) and Hyunji Kwon (Southeastern Region Director)

  2. Art Education During and After COVID-19: Is Virtual Learning Here to Stay?: This session will include presentations by six panelists who will reflect on the successes and challenges of online teaching in higher education and consider how these experiences could shape future practices and research in art education. Facilitators: Carissa DiCindio (Pacific Region Director) and Felix V. Rodriguez Suero (Western Region Director)

The calls for proposals for both of these forums resulted in an overwhelming response, with a total of nearly 50 proposals. We hope this means that we have indeed touched upon issues that are timely and that warrant further discussion and inquiry. We invite you to attend these forums, each with an impressive group of panelists, and take part in the open dialogues that will follow the presentations. In addition, please join us for the Conversation With Colleagues session at this year’s Convention, where you can become a part of the critical conversations that might fuel the direction of inquiry for next year’s forums.

Beyond these wonderful opportunities for discussion around vital topics, we also look forward to recognizing the outstanding achievements of those in our Division. Our celebration of these achievements will be particularly meaningful given that it has been 2 years since we have been able to gather in person to honor awardees. At the convention, we will celebrate those receiving the following awards:

  • National Higher Education Art Educator
  • 4 Regional Higher Education Art Educators
  • Manuel Barkan Memorial Award
  • Preservice Chapter Sponsor of Excellence Award

Of course, we will also have a robust group of Higher Education Division sessions that are sure to further illuminate the remarkable resiliency and creativity of our members. We can’t wait to see you there!

Christina Hanawalt, Division Director
Assistant Professor of Art Education, University of Georgia, Athens. Tel: 717-991-1153.

Trina Harlow, Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Art Education, University of Central Arkansas, Conway.

Regional Directors:
Eastern: Kate Collins,
Southeastern: Hyunji Kwon,
Western: Felix Rodriguez,
Pacific: Carissa DiCindo,

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