Department of Art and Art History Art Education

Alumnus Teodoro Estrada partners with department to provide college preparation for students

Tue. November 24, 2015

two people present to group in an auditorium
Tedoro Estrada begins presentation with Diana Mendoza, assistant director of undergraduate admissions. Photo by Vivian Zapata.

When Teodoro Estrada (B.F.A. in Art Education, 1981) returned to his hometown—Brownsville, Texas—he didn’t set out to become play a major part in leading arts education in the community. And yet, this year marks five years of service as the Supervisor for Visual Arts for the Brownsville Independent School District.

“It is so exciting to see what is happening at the district level,” remarks Estrada. “I started to see the gaps and started working with teachers to start filling those gaps.”

After graduating from UT Austin, Estrada taught in middle schools and high schools in Houston for 20 years. He maintained his own studio practice as well as creating new programs for his students. Estrada collaborated with the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston to bring communities into schools. His projects included murals and exhibitions of student work that welcomed community members into the middle school and brought student work outside of the classroom.

“Art doesn’t have to be just on paper or canvas,” describes Estrada. “It can be out in the community for people to enjoy it.”

In 2006, Estrada moved back to Brownsville and completed his M.F.A. in studio art while teaching art at the high school level. In 2010, he applied to and was offered a position as Supervisor for Visual Arts for the Brownsville Independent School District.

“We started a portfolio review five years ago. The first one was at the Museum of Fine Arts in Brownsville and had four universities participate,” says Estrada. “About 50 students showed up and they really got into it. They saw how the portfolio review could help them get into art programs they wanted to study.”

By providing students an opportunity to show their work to college faculty and arts professions, Estrada provides a platform for students to get feedback and learn about pathways to different careers.

man leans over table to discuss art with two students
Eric McMaster reviews portfolios. Photo by Vivian Zapata.

“There’s a huge gap that needs to be addressed,” says Estrada. “This includes student’s preparation for college and that many of our community members don’t see art as a career. Every opportunity we get, we go out into the public to teach the community that art is a viable career.”

For the last two years, the Department of Art and Art History has participated in Estrada’s portfolio review and collaborated in presentations and discussions to increase college preparation.

“I’m always looking for new opportunities for our faculty and our students. I am looking for opportunities to build our art programs. Here in the valley, we have to create opportunity—we need to yell out to the world.”

Learn how the College of Fine Arts and other alumni are leading outreach efforts in the Rio Grande Valley

Jacky Cardenas awarded 2015 TAEA Student Teacher of the Year

Thu. October 29, 2015

woman posing for photo in front of brick wall
Image courtesy of Jacky Cardenas

Undergraduate in Art Education Jacky Cardenas was recognized the TAEA Student Teacher of the Year.

The award is given to one TAEA member from each division who is nominated and has significantly contributed to the association and to art education on the state, local and/or national levels.

In her nomination, Christina Bain wrote:

As a co-director/president of UT Austin’s Artists in Action Group (UTAIA), Jacky has demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities. Jacky’s efforts greatly contributed to UTAIA receiving one of the UT Tower Awards in 2014, recognizing the organization’s work for service learning/community outreach.

Jacky believes that art can be used as a tool to improve our quality of life and brighten our communities. She is one of the most reliable and personable student leaders that I have worked with at UT Austin. Her leadership style is inclusive—always seeking to work collaboratively toward common goals. Jacky’s involvement in student leadership extends far beyond her dedication to UTAIA and the undergraduate Art Education program. Some of the groups Jacky volunteers with include: The Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Via Colori, The Memory Project, Austin Animal Shelter, Clean Up Austin, and Celebracion. Recently, she was featured in an Ethics Unwrapped video.

Jacky is a student leader who “walks the walk” and demonstrates by example. She is committed to her studies as well as serving those around her. UT Austin’s motto “What Starts Here Changes the World” is one that Jacky exemplifies through her actions as an inspirational student leader.

Faculty, students, alumni speak at Art Education conference, Brushes with History

Thu. October 29, 2015

people sitting in auditorium listening to lecture

Dr. Paul Bolin served on the organizing committee for the conference, Brushes with History: Imagination and Innovation in Art Education History. The conference takes places at the Teachers College at Columbia University November 19–22, 2015.

Department of Art and Art History faculty, alumni, and students presenting include:

Dr. Christina Bain, “The Fabric of Our Lives: Discovering Art Education History Through Puppets, Place, and Pedagogy”

Dr. Heidi Powell, “Becoming a Curator of Memories: Memorializing Memory and Place in Art Making for Art Education”

Amanda Barbee (M.A. in Art Education, 2015), “Red Scaring Students: The Cold War’s Effects on American Education”

Debra Hardy (M.A. in Art Education, 2015), “The Detrimental Effects of McCarthyism on African-American Art Institutions”

Kirstie Parkinson (M.A. in Art Education, 2015), “Life and Work of Helen Gardner: Examining Art Through the Ages”

Elise Chevalier (M.A. candidate in Art Education), “Lessons From Dorothy Dunn: The Studio at the Santa Fe Indian School”

Allison Clark (M.A. candidate  in Art Education), “(Re)Telling Stories in Art Museums as a Wartime Service, 1917-1918”

Rebecca Dearlove (M.A. candidate in Art Education), “The Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Film: How Educational Film Programs Responded to Social and Cultural Changes in the United States”

Michelle Voss (M.A. candidate in Art Education) “Women’s Work: Art Education for Women in Late 19th Century America”

Early bird registation available through November 1, 2015.

Marya Spont-Lemus featured for FrankenToyMobile project

Wed. October 7, 2015

white cube and hexagon shapes on green background

Marya Spont-Lemus (M.A. in Art Education, 2010) was featured in Newcity Design for her project, FrakenToyMobile.

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