Monthly Mentor

Stacey Salazar, Ed.D. (September)
Stacey Salazar is on the faculty of the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), where she directs the Master of Arts in Art Education program, a low-residency and online program integrating artmaking, teaching, and research. Prior to joining the full-time faculty at MICA, she was the visual arts department chair in a large, suburban public high school, the accomplishments for which earned her, her colleagues, and her students, national and regional recognition. In addition, for over 15 years she taught college studio art — primarily foundation painting, drawing, and design – at a community college, a large university, a small liberal arts college, and at MICA. Stacey’s research has been published in Studies in Art Education, Visual Arts Research, and Art Education journal. In addition to MFA and MAT degrees, Stacey holds a Doctorate of Education in Art and Art Education from Columbia University Teachers College. Stacey is the recipient of the 2015 Manuel Barkan Memorial Award for research in art education, and the 2013 MICA Trustee Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching.

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« It’s Youth Art Month! | Main | Visual Culture - Part 2 »

March 04, 2013

Visual Culture

The second path I want to journey down is my passion for Visual Culture and how that ties into our classrooms.

Let’s kick off with a little about my passion for Visual Culture. It was probably always lurking in the background, but it came to light with beginning to pin down a topic for my MA thesis at the University of Northern Iowa in 2008. Christopher Schulte* was there pushing me to dig deep into what drove me, to find a passion for a topic. I shared a story with him about a recent article I had read titled “50 Works of Art You Should See Before You Die” and a television commercial I had seen while watching football with my family of boys. The middle of the commercial for Sprint® featuring Peyton Manning (then quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts) flashed a few second likeness to M. C. Escher’s “Relativity.” I immediately caught the likeness, but no one else did. With the wonders of DVR, I backed the commercial up and asked my three boys (husband and two sons, ages 14 and 8 at the time) if they recognized any likeness of a work of art in the commercial. They didn’t. I grabbed the laptop and pulled up Escher’s work and they could then recognize the likeness. (Go ahead, search youtube for the “Manning’s Mind” commercial. You know you want to.)

This made me wonder if I was teaching my students to recognize the subtleties in today’s world where famous works of art were being infused all around us. The moment clicked. I had found my passion … Visual Culture.

*Now Dr. Christopher Schulte is an Assistant Professor at Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia after receiving his doctorate at Penn State University. Dr. Schulte is also a 2013 Elliot Eisner Doctoral Research Award in Art Education Runner-Up.

—Ronda Sternhagen   

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