Key Note Speakers: Luis Camnitzer and Claudia Alvarez

Luis Camnitzer is a Uruguayan artist residing in the U.S. since 1964. He graduated in sculpture from the Escuela Bellas Artes of the University of Uruguay, and studied architecture in the School of Architecture at the same university. An emeritus professor of the State University of New York, he is a former Viewing Program Curator for the Drawing center in New York, He is the recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships (1961 and 1982), the Frank Jewett Mather Award, College Art Association (2011), the Printmaker Emeritus Award of the Southern Graphics Council International (2011) and the Skowhegan Medal (2012). His work has been exhibited in several international exhibitions, among them the Venice Biennial (1988 where he represented Uruguay with a one- person show), the Whitney Biennial (2000), Documenta XI (2002), and a retrospective exhibition in the Reina Sofía Museum, Madrid, in 2018-2019.. His work is in over forty museum collections, among them the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Tate Modern, London; and the Museo de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba. The Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid is organizing a retrospective exhibition starting October 2018. Among his books are “New Art of Cuba”, “Conceptualism in Latin American Art: Didactics of Liberation” and “On Art, Artists, Latin America and Other Utopias”, all published by University of Texas Press. His work is represented by Alexander Gray Associates in New York, and Galería Parra & Romero in Madrid.

Claudia Alvarez Claudia Alvarez was born in Nuevo Leon, Mexico in 1969 and immigrated to California with her family at the age of three. She attended University of California, Davis (BA 1999) and California College of Arts, San Francisco (MFA 2003). Alvarez worked at the University of California Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, California from 1987-2000. Deeply affected by the terminally ill children and elderly patients she encountered as a non-emergency ambulance driver, her painted and sculpted figures continue to reflect their strength and vulnerability. Her work addresses the way social, political, and psychological structures impact our behavior and personal interactions. By imbuing sculptures of children with adult characteristics and mannerisms, Alvarez tackles issues relating to violence, empowerment, endurance and what they reveal about human nature. Alvarez has explored subjects such as hate, fear, tolerance, human vulnerability and brutality. Her drawings and paintings depict fragmented narratives as reflection of human conduct, ethics, belief system, culture, race, assimilation, and displacement. As a Mexican American, Alvarez explores identity through concepts of memory portraiture. She is influenced by years of working with non-profit organizations teaching art in various communities. Alvarez is currently Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute and Lecturer at New York University. She lives and works in New York City.

PANEL 1: Art as Social Practice

MODERATOR:  Judith Burton

Andrea Avendano Caneo, Fico Guzman, Keonna Hendricks, Eduardo Torres Nicolas

Dr. Judith Burton, USA/CHINA,  is Macy Professor of Education and Director Emerita of Art and Art Education at Columbia University Teachers College; she received her Ed.D. from Harvard University in 1980.  She researches the artistic-aesthetic development of children, adolescents, and young adults, and the implications this has for teaching and learning and the culture in general.  In 1995 she co-founded the Center for Research in Arts Education and in 1996 founded the Heritage School, a comprehensive high school featuring the arts. She received the Manuel Barkan Award for excellence in research writing, the Lowenfeld and Eisner Awards for lifetime achievement in art education and the Ziegfeld Award for services to international art education. She is a member of the Royal Society of Arts, UK; a distinguished professor of The Central Academy of Fine Arts, China, and a trustee of the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Andrea Avendaño Caneo: CHILE, is a visual artist and art educator. During studies obtaining a Business degree she discovered her interest in art education. In 1999, during her internship in New York in the Art Market, she decided to work as a volunteer in Grand Concourse House, giving art classes to children. That experience led her to study Art Education at the School of Visual Arts. During this time she emphasized her current interest and field of research where the arts work as a political key in marginalized communities. Developing this field of work, she researched new tools for analysis, and integrated her Master degree in Art History, in IDAES (Institute of High Social Studies) finding links between anthropology, the visual arts, Indigenous Communities and education. She developed her thesis in how Copy (drawing) can be a mechanism of cultural resistance in a marginalized school in South America. Since then, she advocates for the Right that children have to live their own culture inside schools, issue that she has developed with Mapuche people. This work is based in a hypothesis where she affirms that Images can sustain phenomenon of oral culture, productions that have been overlooked for reading and writing in Education.

Fico Guzman, SPAIN, is a social justice artist who has shows internationally and is very involved in the Western Sahara.  “I am a native of Seville, and I work as an artist, researcher and teacher. As a visual artist my work is poetic, intuitive and committed to life. I work on collective projects in combination with a personal exploration of my imaginal world. I conceive my work as part of a continuous process of inner liberation through the practice of the arts, in an effort to tear down walls to recover common spaces of exchange, conversation, life.”

Keonna Hendrick, USA, School Programs Manager, is a cultural strategist, educator and author nurturing equity through art and museum education. Her teaching, writing and strategic planning reflect her commitment to providing all audiences with educational experiences that promote critical thinking, expand cultural perceptions, and support self-actualization. In 2014 Ms. Hendrick co-founded SHIFT, a collective of cultural workers engaging in critical reflection and accountability for shifting their practice as educators, administrators and artists toward an anti-oppressive feminist paradigm. The collective draws on the expertise of its members to lead professional development on topics where they can share their skills, and in areas where they want to draw from others’ experiences in order to grow in their leadership within their institutions and in the field. Keonna currently serves as School Programs Manager at the Brooklyn Museum, where she leads a department of skilled and empathetic educators in facilitating experiences that invite learners to expand their understanding of themselves and the world. She holds a B.A. in History and Studio Art from Wake Forest University and a M.A. in Arts Policy and Administration from The Ohio State University.

Eduardo Torres Nicolas, CHILE, has been the director of art therapy programs in Santiago, Chile, and brings his artistic talent to his work as an art therapist, architect and psychodramatist.  His painting presents the diversity of Chilean life with Mixing images of adults, children, fantasies, toys, animals, flowers, places and others is not a random event. In the beginning, they symbolized feelings and emotions of a confused internal world with very painful contents

PANEL 2: Personal Transformation Through Art

MODERATOR: Judith Schwartz

Lahcen Amjoud, Oscar Ceballos, Barbara Ellmann, Spyros Kasimatis

Judith Schwartz, Ph.D., USA, Professor Emeritus, New York University, Head Sculpture: Craft Media. She is curator of national and international exhibitions notably: NYNY: ClayAll Fired UpConfrontational Ceramics, InCiteful Clay and author of Confrontational Ceramics. Vice President of the International Academy of Ceramics. Chair of notable conferences “Case for Clay in Secondary Education” and “Criticism in Crafts Arts. Educational consultant to Lenox China Company; Board of Directors: Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts (Past President), Studio Potter Magazine, The Joseph Schein International Museum of Ceramic Art, at Alfred University (Advisory Committee), K12 Ceramic Art Foundation, The Clay Art Center, Port Chester, New York, Board of Trustees, Arts Westchester and the University Council for Art Education (Past President). Juror and consultant to numerous national and international exhibitions – the Ceramic Biennial in Icheon, Korea, European Biennale, Bornholm, Denmark, and The Figure Competition – Westerwald Museum in Germany. Honorary member of National Council for Education in Ceramic Arta J. D. Rockefeller III grantee and the Everson Museum award for excellence in art education, Fulbright Senior Specialist to the National School of Art and Design, Dublin, Educator of the year award, Renwick Museum of Art, Washington, DC and  2017 NYCATA/UFT 2017 Higher Ed Art Educator Award. Excellence in Teaching, NCECA, 2018. Professor Emeritus, NYU 2017.

Lahcen Amjoud, MOROCCO, graduated from the Faculty of Law in 2017, after which he received training in education and teaching. Lahcen considers painting and drawing a faculty he was born with. He worked for a charity drawing murals on the walls of many public educational institutions, and participated in several art competitions. He received the first prize in the art competition organized by the environmental club of Ibn Zohr University. He has joined Abigate School about a year ago teaching arts and science crafts to facilitate/consolidate learning of science concepts.

Oscar Ceballos, SPAIN, is a native of Seville and has been working for CIEE for over 15 years. He obtained a B.A. from the School of Fine Arts at the University of Seville and an M.A. from the University of Seville in Philosophy and Aesthetics. Óscar has pursued post-graduate studies in design and editorial projects from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra of Barcelona. He is currently pursuing doctoral studies in communications and aesthetics.

Barbara Ellmann, USA, was born in Michigan and lives and works in New York. Her paintings have been exhibited in galleries and museums around the country and beyond including the Haslla Art World Museum, Bellevue Art Museum, the Montclair Art Museum and the Parrish Art Museum. Ellmann has been a teaching artist at Lincoln Center Education (formerly Institute) since 1980. A consultant for universities, orchestras, theaters, private schools, and arts programs, she conducts professional development for teaching artists and faculty members. Currently, she is also a museum educator at the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum; she teaches encaustic workshops for R&F Handmade Paints in her Long Island City Studio.

Spyros Kasimatis, GREECE, is a teacher of classical literature and music in the schools in Athens, Greece, but has moved into the role of full-time professional developer and coach for teachers to support the use of a wide range of modes of learning (including the arts) to support social and emotional learning of both students and teachers. 

PANEL 3: Leadership in Education

MODERATOR:  Devin Thornburg

Mustapha Aabi, Kathleen Modrowski, Graciela Ostrowski, Rasamimanana (Hanta) Ratovoni, Koen Schaap

Devin Thornburg, USA, is a Professor of Education at Adelphi University, teaching courses in psychology, culture and the arts, language and learning, always within the frameworks of social justice and human rights.  He has been involved in educational reform for three decades, writing about teacher-student relationships and roles in diverse settings.  He served as part of the leadership team of a non-profit addressing the challenges of educational equity and access and has been deeply involved in collaborations with community-based organizations in the U.S. and other countries all of his professional life.  For the past several years, his work has focused on the experience of immigrant students in educational settings as well as those who educate them–particularly through the lens of the arts.  His latest work is on trust in learning, having conducted research in 10 countries on 3 continents.  With degrees from Tulane, Harvard, and NYU, Dr. Thornburg is the father of two daughters who have taught him how much there is to learn in this world.

Mustapha Aabi, MOROCCO, is an Associate Professor and MA course leader of Educational Leadership & Management at the faculty of Human Sciences, Ibn Zohr University, Agadir – Morocco.  He is the founder of private nursery and primary settings in Morocco, and a consultant on education in the Arab countries. His research interests lie in the areas of cross-cultural studies and education.

Kathleen Modrowski, INDIA, is a long-time human rights and global educator, emphasizing the humanities and the arts in her own work.  Formerly Dean of Global College of LIU, she is now Dean at Jindal Global University in Delhi, India.

Graciela Ostrowski, ARGENTINA, has been a teacher and school principal (now a superintendent) in urban, low-income areas of Buenos Aires.  She believes that the arts are a central part of the curriculum that students can use to more holistically understand the world.  She has led curriculum development and design projects that involve the arts over the years for both students and teachers’ professional development.

Rasamimanana (Hanta) Ratovoni, Madagascar,is a primatologist that has been doing research on lemurs in Madagascar for 35 years. During this time she has also been a professor training teachers in life and earth science at Ecole Normale Superieure at the University of Antananarivo in Madagascar. Concerned about the ongoing destruction and vandalism of the local wildlife and environment, she came to the conclusion that education should teach the Malagasy people to have more respect for nature and the beauty of this amazing Island. From 2006-2008, with famous primatologist, the late Dr Alison Jolly, she collaborated on writing six bilingual (English-Malagasy) books about six lemur species which was illustrated by School of Visual Arts instructor, Deborah Ross.  Hanta is very excited about introducing art into the Malagasy school curriculum.  Visual art is a subject that is has not previously been taught there. 

Koen Schaap, NETHERLANDS, is a teacher of human rights and the social studies, integrating the arts.  He has now become Director of IVKO, a Montessori secondary school for the arts in Amsterdam.  He also supervises student teachers in schools using the arts as part of their curriculum through the University of Amsterdam.