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Liza Amor (April)
Liza Amor is the 2014 Nevada Art Educator of the Year. Liza is originally from Buffalo, New York, where she received a B.F.A. in Painting from State University of New York at Buffalo and a Post-Baccalaureate License in Art Education from State University College at Buffalo. In 2010, Liza completed her Masters of Education Degree in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is a class of 1998 Buffalo Seminary Alumna. Liza has taught in Clark County School District for 9 years at the elementary level. She currently teaches at Frank Kim Elementary School and Earl B. Lundy Elementary School. She served on the Clark County School District Visual Arts Curriculum Task Force in 2009. Liza promotes her art program and advocates for art education continuously through her community by bringing student art out of the classroom and into the public eye.

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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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