making art public

Part of my passion as an art educator is showcasing student artwork in various traditional and non-traditional ways and involving students in the curatorial process.

This passion comes from my experiences in diverse art world spaces. I worked at a traditional art gallery for 2 years, co-founded and co-directed an alternative studio/gallery/community space for a year and a half, collaboratively created a series of publications about artists’ practices, and worked for 2 years in the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection at SAIC. In high school, I was involved with my school’s award-winning literary-arts magazine as both a designer and editor. 

Additionally, I draw from the Reggio Emilia practice of documenting and displaying student work in a way that includes all stages of investigation and problem-solving. In the Reggio Emilia tradition, learning is recorded in a variety of ways and is carefully displayed for other students, teachers, parents, and community members.1

As an art educator, I’m dedicated to creating opportunities for my students to curate, prepare, and exhibit not only their artwork but their artistic thought processes. I want to encourage students to think outside the box when it comes to displaying their artwork. Where can art be displayed? Where can art be installed? How can art be made public? How can art be published? I would love to support students in the creation of a school literary-arts magazine and introduce them to artists’ books as another way of publishing and distributing their art.

1 Cadwell, L.B. (1997). Bringing Reggio Emilia home: An innovative approach to early childhood education. Teachers College.
© Ava Lonergan 2023