Karen Keifer-Boyd, professor of art education and women's studies, was honored with the 2013 United States Society for Education through Art (USSEA) Edwin Ziegfeld Award at the National Art Education Association (NAEA) annual meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, in March. Keifer-Boyd was also inducted into the Distinguished Fellows of the National Art Education Association, Class of 2013, along with Stephen Carpenter, professor of art education and John White (’94 Ph.D. art education).
The Ziegfeld Award acknowledges Keifer-Boyd's work has had a regional, national and international influence. Thanks to her efforts, Penn State now houses the Judy Chicago Art Education Collection, one of the most important private collections of archival materials on feminist art education. She has served as president of the National Art Education Association's Women's Caucus and is co-founder of the Graduate Research in Art Education annual conference. She has co-convened the Gender and STEAM Research Group, which fosters and facilitates collaborative research and teaching about gender representation and underrepresentation in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) at institutions of higher education around the globe. In 2005, she co-founded and co-edits the journal, Visual Culture & Gender @ http://vcg.emitto.net.
“Ziegfeld’s work is a commitment to ideas of social justice, and that the visual arts can speak across borders: national, political, cultural, geographical, disciplinary, linguistic, and personal—a belief that I share and embed in all the work I do,” says Keifer-Boyd.
Graeme Sullivan, director of the Penn State School of Visual Arts, credits Keifer-Boyd’s dedication and long-term association with Judy Chicago for the artist donating materials from her teaching projects (1970-2005) to Penn State. As a result of the collection’s placement at Penn State, Keifer-Boyd initiated Teaching Conversations, with feminist colleagues from across the university’s disciplines engaging in conversations to find ways to use the collection in their curriculums. “Art education is what we make it,” Keifer-Boyd states, “and we are making a feminist art education that promotes eco-social justice.”
Sullivan also notes Keifer-Boyd’s international experience – she was a Fulbright Scholar in 2006 and 2012. “Her extensive international experience and strong collaborative skills are evident in the teaching programs she initiates, and in recent years, many of these have involved faculty and students from overseas who are beamed in online to be a part of Karen’s global classroom,” Sullivan says. “Her status at the university reflects, in part, her philosophy and vision that art learning is a connective experience that unites, and thus empowers, and this is a central part of Karen Keifer-Boyd’s legacy.”
Photo: From left to right: Elizabeth M. Delacruz, Karen Keifer-Boyd, Patricia Belleville, Wanda B. Knight