2018 Judy Chicago Art Education Award presented to Michigan teacher

April 19, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Judy Chicago Art Education Award has been awarded to Melissa Leaym-Fernandez of Flint Community Schools in Flint, Michigan, for her submission titled “The Power of Our Mothers.” The award was presented to Leaym-Fernandez, who will join Penn State this fall as a doctoral student in the College of Arts and Architecture, during a ceremony on April 17, as part of the inaugural U.S.-China Art Summit.

Inspired by artist and art educator Judy Chicago’s “The Dinner Party,” art installation and curriculum project, Leaym-Fernandez will guide students to create “a work to explain the power, experiences, and the awesomeness of their own mothers,” she said, in her award submission essay. Her intention with this project, she added, “is to teach kids how to find their voice, a voice of appreciation, or anger, regarding the strong women in their lives.”

Leaym-Fernandez plans to create an interview guide for her students to use with their own moms, to help her students learn about their mothers—as individuals who work hard and have their own dreams—and to allow students to creatively express what they’ve learned about their families. After the interview process, students will create 12x12 inch quilt squares that depict their experiences, to be sewn together and then hand finished by the students. The finished quilt will be displayed at an art show for the Flint community.

“Judy Chicago plays an influential role in the narrative of feminist art,” said Dewey. “The Art Education Award offers a tremendous opportunity to focus on how libraries and scholarship can erase the deficit of feminist art and knowledge and preserve this erasure forever.”

The Judy Chicago Art Education Award honors Judy Chicago and her pioneering work as an art educator. The award is open to scholars, artists and educators for a project based on primary research incorporating any of the three archives that are collaborating in the development of the Judy Chicago Portal, to be launched in 2019. These archives include: Judy Chicago’s Visual Archive at the Bettye Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA); Judy Chicago’s paper archives at the Schlesinger Library for the History of Women in America at Harvard; and Judy Chicago’s Art Education Collection at the Special Collections Library at Penn State which includes the K-12 Dinner Party Curriculum. The annual award includes a certificate and a $1,000 prize.

In the spirit of Judy Chicago’s collaborative and participatory approach to making and teaching art, the institutions — a public university library, a private university library, and a national museum — have joined together in a rare collaboration to link their collections in an effort to provide scholars with a robust and accessible research experience. The Judy Chicago Portal will highlight the impact of Judy’s work and feminist practice via art and art education for which she is celebrated and seen as a forerunner. The Judy Chicago Art Education Award celebrates this collaboration and encourages engagement with the collections as living archives that build upon continued scholarship and teaching to preserve feminist histories and feminist pedagogy.

For complete details about the award, visit https://libraries.psu.edu/judychicagoaward. Past awardees projects are available via the Judy Chicago Art Education online archive of award-winning curricula. The Judy Chicago Art Education Award is made possible by Through the Flower and the generosity of bestselling author Faye Kellerman and administered by Penn State University Libraries with support from the Penn State School of Visual Arts.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 19, 2018