Members of MICA community honored for prestigious education, illustration awards

Multiple members of the MICA community—from faculty to alumni to endowed chairs—were selected for prestigious awards by the Maryland Art Education Association (MAEA), by the National Art Education Association (NAEA) and by the Society of Illustrators.

“It is awe-inspiring to see all of these MICA faculty and graduate students being recognized for their work and accomplishments, both locally and nationally and across different fields and communities,” Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost David Bogen said. “It is testimony to the depth of reflective practice and commitment to student learning that is central to these programs, and to the work of these amazing artists and educators.”

Maryland Art Education Association

Katie Morris ’93, ’94 and Clare Grizzard, both Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) faculty, and McKinley Wallace III ’21 (MAT) all were recognized by MAEA. These awards recognize the exemplary contributions, service, and achievements of outstanding art educators at the state level. 

“I am so honored to work with this talented group of art educators,” Lisa Hochtritt, faculty and program director for MAT, said. “They are exceptional ambassadors of the MAT program and I am thrilled that the Maryland Art Education Association recognized them with these awards. They are all so deserving and their dedication and expertise contribute to our program in such essential ways.”

Katie Morris

Morris, who was named Maryland Higher Education Art Educator of the Year, is an artist/teacher/seeker who does not distinguish between history and becoming. Her work is an exploration of labored tinkering with utilitarian materials trying to mirror a human interest to be seen as something other than what they appear. 

Morris came to Baltimore from rural Pennsylvania earning a BFA (Painting, Printmaking) and MAT from MICA in 1993/4. Her more than 24 years in art classrooms range from pre-K to college, teaching of studio art and art education. In 2018, she completed an MFA degree. Her work has recently been exhibited at Sense Gallery in DC, ICA in Baltimore and the WICOMICO building in Pigtown. 

“I feel overjoyed to receive this recognition from MAEA. Our state organization is the strongest art education association in the Eastern Region and one of the best in the nation,” Morris said. “I hold this recognition with great honor. This award is also a recognition of the remarkable colleagues and phenomenal students who propel my teaching and challenge me to be my best semester after semester.”

Clare Grizzard

Grizzard was named Maryland Emeritus Art Educator of the Year. She is currently adjunct graduate faculty at MICA at the Hurwitz Center for Art Education. She has been part of the NeuroEducation Initiative at the Johns Hopkins School of Education since 2012, where she has been the arts-curriculum specialist creating and conducting randomized-control trial studies. 

“In a state that recognizes the critical importance that arts education has in our lives, the MAEA has been at the helm, providing the leadership and support that has been a gift to me and my professional work,” Grizzard said.

Grizzard has worked with The Brain Targeted Teaching Model ® designed by Dr. Mariale Hardiman since 2000, and has lectured and trained teachers regionally and internationally on arts integration and its relationship to brain-based teaching and learning. Prior to this work, she was at Roland Park Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore City for 21 years as the Fine Arts Coordinator and Arts Integration Specialist.Grizzard received her BFA from Pratt Institute and her Master of Arts degree in Art Education from the MICA.

McKinley Wallace III

Wallace, who was named Maryland Pre-Service Art Educator of the Year, is a mixed-media painter whose art depicts strength expounded by the oppressed and an educator dedicated to cultivating people-oriented environments that foster inclusive community building and high-quality learning. 

Wallace will receive his MAT degree from MICA in Spring 2021. Wallace has worked as a teaching artist with Access Art Inc. Baltimore Youth Arts, and Interlochen Center for the Arts. He earned a BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art and has held fellowships with the MICA Office of Community Engagement, Young Audiences Arts for Learning Maryland, and Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance. His studio work has obtained both local and national attention, and in 2019, Wallace earned Maryland State Arts Council’s Individual Artist Award, Bethesda Painting Award, and Betsy Meyer Memorial Award.

“I am honored to receive the Maryland Pre-Service Art Educator of the Year Award,” Wallace said. “Hopefully, as a result of this award, more Black men will feel encouraged to get certified and be active facilitators of culturally relevant teaching.”

National Art Education Association 

In addition to state-level awards, MICA educators also were awarded with accolades from the National Art Education Association (NAEA).

Lisa Hochtritt, faculty and program director for MAT, was awarded National Higher Art Educator of the Year, Vanessa López, Practicum Coordinator and MAT faculty, was awarded Eastern Region Higher Art Educator of the Year, and Pam Lawton, Endowed Chair in Art Education, was awarded the inaugural Pearl Greenberg Award for Teaching and Research in Lifelong Learning by the NAEA.

Lisa Hochtritt

Hochtritt is inspired by those who work collectively in the arts to make the world a more interesting and equitable space. In keeping with her social justice art education agenda, she prioritizes critical engagements that are participatory, collaborative, and contextually relevant, connecting through theory and practice. 

“This recognition from my peers means so much to me and I am deeply honored to receive this award,” she said.”

Hochtritt obtained a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in Art and Art Education from Teachers College Columbia University in New York City and a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Creativity and Arts Education from San Francisco State University. She earned a California teaching credential in K-12 Art, with supplementary certiļ¬cation in Drama and Speech. Hochtritt has over 25 years in arts and education and has taught students of all ages in schools, museums, community-based settings, and universities and presents her research at state, national, and international conferences.

Vanessa López

López received her Bachelor of Arts in art history from Purchase College, State University of New York and a Master of Arts in Art Education from MICA. She is a nationally recognized art educator through her service on the writing team for the National Core Arts Standards in Visual Arts, as the coordinator for the 2010 National Art Education Association Convention held in Baltimore, and her role on the National Art Education Association Task Force for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. She currently serves on editorial review boards for the Art Education Journal, the Baltimore Arts Initiative Advisory Committee, and the POC in Art & Design Coalition. She is on the Steering Committee of crea+e (Coalition on Racial Equity in the Arts and Education). 

Her research interests focus on cultural identities in school settings, race, intersectionality and urban education. She has been published in the Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, the Art Education Journal, Art and Social Justice Education: Culture as Commons (2011), and the National Art Education Association blog. She makes things that die.

“For me, teaching is fundamentally a relationship. You can not teach anyone anything if you do not see them and seeing is a dialogue. Making together, creating something out of nothing requires trust and commitment. You can not teach someone if you are not able to love them.  As a teacher of teachers, my role is to be in dialogue with my students; to be a witness and mirror,” López said. “This honor belongs as much to me as it does to my colleagues at MICA and the state of Maryland who have inspired and lead the way in art education for decades.”

Pam Lawton

Lawton was born into a family of artists, writers, dancers, singers, actors, and musicians. As a fifth-generation educator from Washington, DC, she spent much of her formative years engaged in the arts with her grandmother, great uncles and aunts, cousins, parents, and siblings as a form of learning about the world and how to survive and thrive as a woman of color. These intergenerational arts-based lessons stayed with her. Her scholarly and artistic research revolves around visual narrative and intergenerational arts learning in community settings with specific emphasis on BIPOC communities.

As an artist-educator-researcher, Lawton’s artwork is grounded in social practice, seeking to illuminate contemporary issues, cultural traditions, and the stories of people impacted by them. Her personal work, mostly prints and mixed media pieces, is a visual narrative of the people, places, and traditions that influence her life. Lawton combines both images and words in her work to tell a story that many who have viewed it find both inspirational and familiar, for it tells the story of everyday life that many people understand and have experienced.

“I'm extremely honored to have been considered for this award. Pearl was so influential in my involvement with the Committee on Lifelong Learning (NAEA),” Lawton said. “I had the opportunity to meet her as a doctoral student at Teachers College where she also received her doctorate in 1971. We worked together for a year as part of the planning committee for the 2002 InSEA World Congress. During that time we had many conversations about intergenerational learning which was the topic of my dissertation research.

Lawton earned a BA degree in Studio Art and Sociology from the University of Virginia, an MFA in Printmaking from Howard University and attended Teachers College, Columbia University where she obtained her EdDCTA (Doctor of Education in the College Teaching of Art).  

Society of Illustrators

Whitney Sherman

Whitney Sherman, an award-winning illustrator who has worked in design, advertising, packaging, and television, received the Society of Illustrators Distinguished Educator Award.

As undergraduate Chair of Illustration at MICA from 2000-2010, she grew the department into the largest at the College with innovative interdisciplinary courses, a concentration in book arts, and programming geared for the gaming industry. Sherman is the founding Director of the MFA in Illustration Practice program, and co-founder of the new MA in Illustration at MICA. 

“For illustrators who also teach, the Distinguished Educator in the Arts Award from the society of Illustrators in NY is a mark of high distinction in our field. It comes after chairing MICA's undergrad illustration department for 10 year, there creating interdisciplinary programming, spearheading entrepreneurship before the advent of Art Market, creating the Book Arts and Illustration concentrations [now minors], then founding the Illustration Practice MFA, and co-founding the MA in Illustration with Rebecca Bradley,” Sherman said. “I'm quite honored to get it, joining the likes of Alan E. Cober, Barron Storey, Howard Pyle, Robert Weaver, Alice Carter, Melanie Reim, and Rudy Gutierrez who each made their mark in our field as well as in the classroom.”

As Co-Director of Dolphin Press & Print @ MICA, Sherman directed book and print projects with Henrik Drescher/Wu Wing Yee, Peter Kuper, and Michael Bartalos. Sherman's current work in limited edition house wares and prints, under the brand Pbody Dsign, represents her view of the illustrator's expanding roles. Sherman has illustrated several books, and recently wrote Playing with Sketches from which she has conducted workshops in Mexico, China and the US.