Professor Schulte, endowed with arts education, creates destination for the study of childhood art

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Full Professor of Art Education Christopher Schulte

Endowed professor Christopher Schulte establishes the School of Art at Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences as a destination for the study of childhood art.

Schulte joined the School of Art in the fall of 2019. Since his arrival he has founded the Center for the Study of Childhood Art, has contributed to the Master of Arts and PhD programs and, more recently was appointed deputy director of the School of Art. .

“Christopher Schulte is an exceptional and rare colleague in the field of arts education. He is one of the top international scholars focusing on children’s art, especially children’s drawing practices,” said Angela LaPorte , director of the arts education program. At the same time, Chris is a dedicated educator, collaborator, leader and innovator. His many outward-facing engagements through the Center for the Study of Childhood Art have established a national and international reputation for the University of London. ‘Arkansas as a sought-after center for the study of childhood art. ”

Schulte received his PhD in Arts Education from Pennsylvania State University and has a diverse background in teaching with experience in early childhood as well as elementary, middle and high schools in rural, suburban, and urban settings. , in addition to his career in higher education.

His long-term goal of developing a center for research, teaching and community engagement focused on the art of childhood accelerated when he accepted the role of endowed professor of arts education at the School of Art.

Schulte describes himself as someone who likes to build things. He is particularly interested in creating unique educational programs and initiatives.

The transformational donation from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation establishing the art school has also created an incredible opportunity to build and position the school as a center of excellence in arts education, art history. , graphic design and studio art curriculum.

Schulte saw this opportunity to build, but ultimately decided to join the art school due to the gift’s clear expectation that the core principles of equity, diversity and inclusion are central to the development of the ‘school.

“It’s rare to be part of an arts education program like the one that’s built here,” said Schulte. “I understand that this is a once in a generation opportunity, a chance to make a real and material difference, not only for the arts education program, but also for the community and the education field. As an endowed faculty member, it is important to me that the generosity of the gift and, in particular, the tremendous support that I receive as a result of my position as an endowed chair, be used to provide a significant and lasting change for the students, the youth of the community and the field of art education and its related fields of research.

The Schulte Fellowship focuses on the artistic, playful and aesthetic practices of young children, in particular childhood drawing, and on how these practices materialize the body, life and ecology of children. Schulte has published extensively in textbooks and other edited volumes, as well as in national and international peer-reviewed journals. Since joining the Art School, Schulte has edited and co-edited three major anthologies, with a fourth currently in press.

He shares that his personal goal is to make the U of A’s arts education program an international destination for the study of childhood art. This goal is already advancing with the development of CSCA, the only research, teaching and community engagement center in the world dedicated to the study and practice of the arts of childhood.

“Christopher Schulte’s Center for the Study of Childhood Art will be a valuable addition to the field of arts education, while also being an important resource for the community of Northwest Arkansas,” said Gerry Snyder, Director Executive of the School of Art. “His commitment to studying the impact of art as an important component of the life and educational experience of every child will enrich our understanding of art and childhood.”

CSCA’s mission is a deep and intensive commitment to advancing critical and reconceptualized approaches to childhood art and its relationship to historical and contemporary childhoods.

“Art offers children an important opportunity to contemplate their lives and their relationships with the world,” said Schulte. “Art allows children to contemplate and test the flexibility of experiences that can be difficult to face or difficult to understand.”

Schulte brings the mission of CSCA to the community through diverse programming.

CSCA Childhood Art Lecture Series features leading scholar-practitioners whose research has the potential to reshape the way individuals think about and approach the study of childhood art. The series is currently taking place virtually and is free and open to the public.

Childhood Art: A CCAA Podcast is designed to extend the introductory engagements of the speaker series by facilitating interviews that further illuminate the work and its personal, historical, political, methodological and theoretical foundations.

The sketchbook, which was piloted this fall, is a free, community-based visual arts program designed for young people living in Northwest Arkansas to question, explore and expand the possibilities of artistic creation in their lives. .

The program will serve as a site for the students of the School of Art to conceptualize and implement school programs to challenge dominant ideologies related to children and childhood and to generate innovative, equitable and inclusive approaches to the visual arts and of their education. In the future, The sketchbook will also serve as a research site for professors and graduate students.

The Childhood art internship offers undergraduate students of the School of Art a unique opportunity to gain experience related to the visual arts and their childhood education. Depending on the intern and his professional interests, responsibilities are developed in relation to one of the following three areas of intervention: teaching and learning, design and research.

Starting in spring 2022, the CSCA will launch its annual awards program. The program will provide financial support to emerging and established researcher-practitioners, including U of A professors, whose work makes timely and important contributions to the study of childhood art.

Schulte said he was excited about the challenges and opportunities within the arts education program and CSCA. He and his colleagues continue to imagine, plan and build for the future.

To learn more about the work of CSCA and Schulte, visit the website and follow the center on social media.


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