2020 Judy Chicago Art Education Award shared by teacher, Penn State med student

July 17, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The 2020 Judy Chicago Art Education Award will be presented July 24 to two winners, Camellia Termini, of Los Lunas, New Mexico, and Sarah Walser, of State College, Pennsylvania.

Supported by Penn State University Libraries and the Penn State School of Visual Arts, the award is made possible by Through the Flower and the generosity of MaryRoss Taylor. The proposals from this year’s winners — selected from 31 applications submitted from around the world by a panel of judges representing Judy Chicago Portal collaboration institutions — were so exceptional that judges decided to select two winners to receive the award.

Camellia Termini is a visual artist, photographer and art educator at Belen Middle School, in Belen, New Mexico. Originally from Silver Spring, Maryland, she received a master of arts in teaching degree and a bachelor of fine art in photography degree, both from the Maryland Institute College of Art. 

Termini’s proposal will use Judy Chicago’s archives to support Belen youth artists’ exploration and documentation of gendered identity related to environmental concerns through reflective practice and image-making. She will work with Belen area youth to develop critical arts-based skills connected with empowerment and social action. Chicago's butterfly motif, “an image of liberation and resurrection,” will also be used as a reference point for student dialogue and making. 

“I chose to go into the field of art education because I wanted to share my passion of art making with others. The arts function as a catalyst for social change,” Termini said. “Receiving the Judy Chicago Art Education Award allows my teaching in the Belen community to come full circle in leveraging Through the Flower as an educational resource for my students.”

Sarah Walser of State College, Pennsylvania, is a rising third year medical student at Penn State College of Medicine’s University Park campus. She received an undergraduate degree in psychology from Bard College and worked in the research field exploring the ethical, legal and social implications of genomic medicine prior to her decision to pursue medical school. 

Walser is interested in how medical language, and healthcare providers as purveyors of such language, gives false legitimacy to oppressive social constructs. Her two-part project explores this concept, building off her previous work on the conflation of social constructs about sexual purity with biology. She will survey medical providers and students on their beliefs about the physiologic basis of virginity. 

The second part of Walser’s project will ask medical students to read work by Penn State DuPont/Class of 1949 Professor of Philosophy and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Nancy Tuana on the epistemologies of ignorance, then engage with archival materials from Chicago’s “At Home” project housed at Penn State to reflect individually and in discussion groups on themes related to ignorance; what remains hidden in issues such as rape, prejudice and body image; and the role of the medical community in perpetuating oppression.

“It is such an honor to receive this award. I've admired Judy Chicago’s work as a feminist artist and activist since before beginning medical school,” Walser said. “I’m excited to build off her work to explore systems of discrimination and oppression in medicine, which the COVID-19 pandemic has only served to further highlight.”

The awards will be presented at 5:30 p.m. Mountain Time, or 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time, on Friday, July 24, at an outdoor ceremony near the Through the Flower Art Space in Belen, New Mexico. The ceremony also will be live-streamed on the Through the Flower’s Instagram and Facebook pages.

Application details for 2021 Judy Chicago Art Education Award will be available later this fall. For more information about the annual Judy Chicago Art Education Award, visit https://judychicago.arted.psu.edu/award. Past recipients’ projects are available via the Judy Chicago Art Education online archive of award-winning curricula.

Last Updated July 17, 2020