The Department of Art Education and the Graduate Art Education Program welcome Dr. Amber Ward to Florida State University and the city of Tallahassee. The Art Education program places emphasis on the value of art as a catalyst for social change to promote both individual development and to enrich the world around us.
Dr. Amber Ward has an extensive repertoire of professional experience in art education. She received her BFA in fiber art from Colorado State University, her MAAE from Maryland Institute College of Art, and her PhD from University of Missouri. Dr. Ward spent twelve years in K-12 art education. Part of her responsibilities included developing online art curriculum for high school students. She joins us from California State University, Sacramento, where she was an assistant professor of art education and the Credential Advisor for the Pre-Credential Program.
As a visiting professor within the department, Dr. Ward teaches online master’s level courses, including Program Development and Art for Life, a class that teaches the philosophical framework of the program, which focuses on honoring the sense of self, sense of place, and sense of community in art education, based on the book Art for Life: Authentic Instruction in Art by Dr. Tom Anderson and Dr. Melody Milbrandt. She reports that she enjoys the flexibility of online teaching, as well as the opportunity to reach students with new technology.
In addition to teaching, Dr. Ward also hopes to work with other faculty members to strengthen the online Graduate Art Education Program by taking the first steps toward creating a more regional, and eventually national and international, presence of FSU’s online Graduate Art Education Program.
Additionally, during her visiting professorship within the Department of Art Education, Dr. Ward is pursuing collaborative research that uses creative qualitative methodologies to advance equity. For example, she is collaborating with FIU assistant professor Becky Christ on a research inquiry into sphering and braiding as theory, as well as our impact on the environment. In February, she plans to install a solo interactive art exhibition in the William Johnston Building Atrium Gallery, focusing on gender roles and equity by gathering stories from members of the FSU community regarding how race, religion, family, and social media have informed their expressions of gender.
Dr. Ward’s other research areas include cultural and critical theories, social justice art education, and contemporary art. Her art practice focuses on feminist themes through the use of fibers, sculpture, and instillation work.
Dr. Ward is pleased to be joining the students and faculty in the Department of Art Education and the Art Education Program at FSU for the 2019-2020 academic year.