Executive Director's 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.

Happy 75th Anniversary, NAEA Community!

What a unique moment in time to be celebrating a milestone anniversary and to further the impactful work of visual arts, design, and media arts educators. As I reviewed the text for our forthcoming 75th Anniversary edition, I began to reflect upon my experience during the past 25 years as an art educator and key moments, milestones, and mentors. I’ve invited some colleagues to share their experiences, and perhaps you can join us in your own reflection on these questions. We’ll continue this conversation in this column throughout the year.

Who was the art education scholar/influencer that had the greatest impact on your early career?

For me, it’s hard to choose one as multiple people have made such an impact on my art education journey. I’ll start with my undergrad advisor, Dr. Stephanie Danker, she believed and supported me in any endeavor I went for during my time in the preservice art education program. I also want to acknowledge art educators Flavia Zuñiga-West, Alisha Mernick, and my grad school advisor, Dr. Joni Acuff. Individually they have inspired me, supported me, plus motivated me to speak up, set boundaries and create change in art education.

—Jasmine Floyd, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Dr. Vesta A.H. Daniels, Professor Emeritus of The Ohio State University for sure. As a PhD candidate at Florida State University I gave a poster presentation at the 2010 Art & Design for Social Justice Symposium: 15th Anniversary Kids Guernica Peace Mural Project and she told me that my work was important. This inspired me immensely and I will always be grateful for her motivational words to me.

—Zerric Clinton, Past President of Georgia Art Education Association; Artist Educator, Dutchtown High School, Hampton, GA

Many of us have art education mentors–what’s a memorable story about you and your mentor?

James Rolling and I met at SAL, where we discovered we were “twins” in multiple aspects of our lives. We quickly connected and bonded. He became a mentor and encouraged me to reach for opportunities I never would have otherwise considered. Through many ups and downs, he continued to encourage me whenever I felt “imposter syndrome,” and reminded me what I had to offer from my unique experiences.

—Tiffany Lin, ED&I Commissioner, Program Manager, Partner Schools and Network (Exploring the Arts), New York City, NY

In the 1990s, at a professional crossroads, I sent letters to two exemplary art educators: Laura H. Chapman and Ronald N. MacGregor. Both agreed to meet me during the next NAEA convention. Ron explained he could not tell me what to do, but would ask questions that might help me make decisions. Within a few years, I was asked to become editor of Art Education, following in Ron’s footsteps; when I initiated strategic planning for NAEA as president-elect, Laura was a key advisor.

— Mary Ann Stankiewicz, Past President of NAEA; Emerita Professor of Art Education, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA

What’s a significant shift or milestone in art education that stands out to you?

NAEA leadership played an important role in the rollout of Discipline Based Art Education (DBAE). Organizational priorities included a focus on developing leadership capacity across the nation and a major emphasis on developing a research agenda for the field.

—Sarah Tambucci, Past President of NAEA, Pittsburgh, PA

What’s a memorable NAEA moment that you won’t ever forget?

Meeting some lifelong friends through my SAL Class of 2019. They have been my cheerleaders and counselors throughout the last few years in some very life-changing moments—career promotions, a loved one’s passing and parenthood. NAEA is more than just art educators. Art educators understand the human side of our society and many times understand what it feels like to be siloed. I have been very fortunate to be a part of this compassionate and stellar cohort.

—Trinity Villanueva, Cofounder, Mixt Collective; NAEA Supervision and Administration Division Director-Elect, Washington, DC

Personally, I still remember my first NAEA National Convention in New York City, 1990. My colleague, Alice, introduced me to this energetic community of like-minded, creative, and serious-about-arts-learning folks, and I immediately felt connected. We presented a session on a schoolwide identity project, “Who Are We?,” where students explored the style of artists to then communicate their own stories in a similar fashion. One of my favorite pieces was a 7-foot tall sculpture titled Remburgers, a fast food–inspired re-creation of a Rembrandt painting. At the end of that session, through a happy accident, I met the founder of the grad school program that I would enroll in a few months later. I didn’t even know that there was a “Supervision and Administration in the Visual Arts” program, let alone through a partnership between Bank Street and Parsons School of Design. This one moment changed the course of my career.

How has NAEA contributed to your story? How might NAEA contribute to your next 25 years? Or vice versa?

Column by:

Mario R. Rossero

Mario R. Rossero, NAEA Executive Director
NAEA, 901 Prince St., Alexandria, VA 22314

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