Angela Paterakis Professor of Art Education (2015). BA, Webster College, St. Louis. MFA, University of Chicago. Publications: Art Education; Journal of Korean Society for Education through Art; Studies in Art Education; Teaching Tolerance Magazine; Chapters in Art, Culture, and Ethnicity; Art and Social Justice Education; Debates in Art and Design Education; From Our Voices: About LGBT Issues, and Transforming City Schools Through Art. Public Art Commissions: CTA Central Park Station, Harold Washington Library, American Creates for the Millennium (Kentucky), S.P.A.R. C. Los Angeles, Northern Illinois University Museum. Awards: National Art Education Association Manuel Barkan Award, NAEA Viktor Lowenfeld Award, NEA–Art in Public Places, Arts Midwest/NEA Fellowship, Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, UIC Great Cities Scholar.

Personal Statement

My mission in the field of art education is to influence the curriculum content of public school art education. I urge teachers to analyze the hidden curriculum of old stand-by projects and to invent new school art styles that teach meaningful making in the context of contemporary art practices.

My art education writing is based on the curriculum experiments of the youth art program Spiral Workshop, on engagements as a visiting artist in schools and communities, and on my work with teachers in school district, museum and university settings. 

I classify my curriculum research in four categories: inventing new projects, critiquing traditional projects and curriculum, articulating new structures for organizing school curriculum, and developing models for conceptually-oriented theme-based curriculum units.

Art projects encode complex technical, aesthetic, and conceptual methods of investigating the world. When students are not introduced to a range of new meaning making strategies, they tend to fall back on familiar, hackneyed image-making techniques. In this age of "post-studio" practice, it is challenging to invent projects that engage students while introducing them to authentic open-ended techniques through which they can explore significant content.

In my article, Principles of Possibility: a 21st Century Art and Culture Curriculum, I propose new organizing principles for art education curriculum. Noting that all state and national standards include goals related to understanding the uses of the arts in a culture, I articulated a list of major functions and potentials of cultural experience—Playing, Forming Self, Investigating Community Themes, Encountering Others, Attentive Living, Empowered Experiencing, Empowered Making, Deconstructing Culture, Reconstructing Social Spaces, and Not Knowing—and suggested that each year of an art education curriculum be organized to introduce students to these possibilities.

My research plan now includes writing articles that demonstrate how each principle contributes to meaningful art education in a democratic society.


Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.