Professor receives lifetime achievement award for contributions to art education

October 22, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Karen Keifer-Boyd, professor of art education and women’s, gender and sexuality studies, has been awarded the Elliot W. Eisner Lifetime Achievement Award for her distinguished and enduring contributions to art education.

Awarded by the National Art Education Association (NAEA) for more than a decade, the Eisner Award recognizes an individual for lifetime professional achievement that has advanced art and art education.

“I am honored to receive this award that recognizes my work, which is based on my deep belief that visual art is integral to forming subjectivity, community, agency and enacting social change,” Keifer-Boyd said. “Visual art is a powerful way to interpret histories, concepts and experiences. Socially engaged participatory art can develop human potentials for dialogue, empathy, personal and collective healing, and can create solutions to nuanced and complex eco-social justice issues.”

Throughout Keifer-Boyd’s nearly 30-year, internationally recognized career, she has made significant contributions to the field of art education. Among them are her tenure as president of NAEA’s Women’s Caucus in 2010-2012, and her service on the NAEA’s Task Force on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in 2018-19 and NAEA’s Research Commission Data Visualization Think Tank since 2017.

She is the recipient of several awards, such as the Beverly Gerber Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, the Art Education and Technology Outstanding Research Award in 2015, and the 2013 USSEA National Ziegfeld Award. In 2013 she was also inducted as NAEA Distinguished Fellow.

A prolific author of numerous chapters and articles, she is the co-founder of the Visual Culture & Gender Journal and has served on the editorial board for Studies in Art Education, the Journal of Social Theory in Art Education, and Visual Arts Research.

In 2012 she was awarded the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Gender Studies in Austria, and was a 2006 Fulbright Scholar in Finland. She was also the keynote speaker at the 2017 InSEA World Congress in South Korea.

Keifer-Boyd’s contribution in disability studies includes being the co-author with Michele Kraft of the book “Including Difference: A Communitarian Approach to Art Education in the Least Restrictive Environment.” She is also one of several distinguished leaders for the Kennedy Center’s ongoing arts and special education research, which culminated in “The Arts and Special Education: A Map for Research,” published by the Kennedy Center in August 2017.

“Professor Keifer-Boyd is a trail blazer who continues to help redefine the field of art education, a challenge she has been successfully pursuing for her entire professional career,” said Graeme Sullivan, former director of the Penn State School of Visual Arts. “She not only demonstrates excellence across multiple dimensions of art education theory, practice and policy, but she has also pioneered new identities to encircle art educators mostly missing from formal art education narratives.”

Last Updated October 22, 2020