Artwork Celebrates Texas School Social Workers Conference 20th Anniversary

Three painted murals and ceramic tiles depicting local Austin scenes and social work values, respectively, are a new addition to the main hall of The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work.

From left, Texas School Social Workers Conference Coordinator Liz Nowicki and Conference Director Kathy Armenta.

The artwork, installed in January, was created by many hands to celebrate the upcoming 20th anniversary of the Texas School Social Workers Conference, to be held Feb. 23-25, at the Doubletree Hotel in Austin.

Each year, the School of Social Work sponsors the conference, which provides school-based social service providers with a wide array of effective techniques and programs to enhance their work.

Vincent Martinez, an AmeriCorps volunteer working with Communities in Schools, painted three murals of local Austin scenes.

“During the 2010 conference, we arranged to have every participant design and decorate a 4″x4″ tile in order to create a mural for the School of Social Work, to celebrate our 20th conference anniversary this February,” said Clinical Professor Kathy Armenta, conference director. “School of Social Work students and faculty completed the remaining tiles, and the project grew to include three painted murals that commemorate the School’s 60th anniversary this year.”

The murals were painted by Vincent Martinez, an AmeriCorps volunteer working with Communities in Schools. Each mural is framed with tiles created by school social workers from across Texas. School of Social Work alumna Leonor Vargas, a social worker with the Austin Project, served as art consultant and provided assistance with the installation of the tiles through her business, Su Casa/Mi Casa.

Mural detail from local scene.

The 20th annual conference theme, “School Social Workers: Reflecting on the Past, Impacting the Future,” will feature four keynote presenters:

Carrie Contey, Ph.D. & Bernadette Noll, Co-founders, Slow Family Living

Kevin Jennings, Assistant Deputy Secretary of Education, Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools

Tom Jackson, M.Ed., Expert, Active Learning

Barbara W. White, Ph.D., Dean and Centennial Professor in Leadership for Community, Professional and Corporate Excellence, UT Austin School of Social Work.

For more information, visit the Texas School Social Workers Conference Web site: http://www.utexas.edu/ssw/ceu/ssw/

Register online: http://utdirect.utexas.edu/txshop

Texas school social workers created tiles about social work values.