Hurwitz Center

Art Education Mini Conference

This conference, held in 2004, honored Dr. Karen Lee Carroll’s appointment as the Florence Gaskins Harper Endowed Chair in Art Education, MICA’s first endowed chair.

Guest speakers, faculty, students and alumni gathered for a day-long series of talks dealing with factors that influence the course of artistic development. Presentations covered a range of topics related to artistic development, giftedness, instruction, how drawings by children from different cultures vary, narrative storytelling, and holistic theory and practice. Guests discussed the historical references than brought child development to light, influencing the evolution of theory and practice in the field of art education.

Dr. David Baker
Rousseau, Emile, and Discovery of the Child

Dr. Baker regards Rousseau as a genius, whose ideas led to the emergence of developmental theory that has had a huge influence on Piaget, Cizek, Lowenfeld, and many others.  The story of Emile’s upbringing by a mentor includes the role drawing plays in child development.


Dr. Sandra Kay
Developing Expertise: Nurturing Strengths and Abilities

Dr. Kay’s background as an art educator with a doctorate in gifted education, sheds light on questions related to the definitions of "giftedness" and the development of expertise.  She makes the case that art educators need to think about developing art appreciators, as well as artists.


Dr. Marianne Kerlavage
What Difference Does Instruction Make?

Dr. Kerlavage’s research demonstrates the ways in which instruction can influence the normal course of artistic development, expanding learners' capacity to depict greater form and detail.  She models how action research can lead to the  assessment of instruction by comparing work to pre- and post- samples.


Dr. Al Hurwitz
Drawing with Children Around the World

Dr. Hurwitz traveled the world, dropping into classrooms near and far, engaging children through drawing in response to stories ranging from a tale of Chinese dragons to Noah’s Arch.  He was fascinated by the moments selected by children to draw, as well as differences he surmised reflected different cultures.


Dr. Janet Olson
Envisioning Writing: Narrative Drawing

Dr. Olson is a foremost voice for narrative drawing and its relationship to the development of writing.  Rationale and strategies for engaging learners with characters, settings, times of day, weather, plots with beginnings, middle and ends, and more, make the case for the role of narrative in all art.


Dr. Peter London
Holistic Approaches to Art Education

Dr. London has been a leading voice for holistic theory and practice and an advocate for mindfulness in teaching.  He moves from the importance of telling one’s own story to others eager to listen to the ways in which art educators can develop a congenial environment that calls forth all dimensions of human beings - mind, body and spirit. He proposes that to welcome the whole human being cultivates self-sufficiency as well as more love, compassion, wisdom, greater grace, and a sense of well-being.

More About this Event

Two presenters reported on research that has led to new publications: Janet Olson and Maren Olson’s, "Envisioning Writing: Integrating Drawing and Writing" (2nd ed, 2016) and Sandra Kay’s, "On Human Potential: Nurturing Talents, Cultivating Expertise" (2018). Other guests were authors of earlier publications including "Drawing Close to Nature" (Peter London, 2003), "Memory and Imagination: Thematic Drawings by Quatari, Taiwanese, Malaysian, and American Children" (Al Hurwitz and Karen Carroll, 2008), as well as "Creating Meaning through Art: Teacher as Choice Maker" (1998) co-authored by seven art educators, four of whom gave presentations at this conference (Sandra Kay, Marianne Kerlavage, Janet Olson, and Karen Carroll).