The Department of Art Education is sad to announce the passing of Dr. Jessie Lovano-Kerr, a beloved former professor and donor of the department.
Dr. Lovano-Kerr was a respected professor and earned a Ph. D. in Studio Art and Art Education. In 1982, after starting her professional career at Indiana University, she began her journey at Florida State while her husband enrolled in the graduate program in Psychology. She was a professor in the department for fifteen years and was essential to the development of the Art Education Program. Provost and former chair of the Art Education department, Dr. Sally McRorie, states that “Jessie was an indefatigable member of our faculty and groundbreaking leader of the Florida Institute for Art Education, heavily funded by Getty, Annenberg and other major groups over many years.”
While at FSU, Dr. Lovano-Kerr and her husband, Sandy, generously created and funded the Jessie Lovano-Kerr and Donald R. Kerr Graduate Scholarship in Art Education. This scholarship continues to provide financial assistance to graduate students today. Doctoral student and 2018-2019 recipient Elise Lael Kieffer shared that “Dr. Lovano-Kerr might never know the depth of my gratitude, not only for her financial support, which makes a very big difference for my family, but for the confidence that financial support made manifest.” She also stated that receiving this award made it possible for her to attend The Arts in Society international conference in Vancouver, B.C. and that “I will be always grateful. Now it is my turn to make her proud, and I will.”
Dr. Lovano-Kerr’s dedication to Art Education was unmatched. Previous students rave of her kindness and compassion while commending her for her exceling work in the field of art education. She served on several boards and committees to further art education such as the Getty Education Institute, a part of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. As an artist, her photography was exhibited in multiple galleries in and around the Tallahassee area such as the 621 Gallery and the Gadsden Arts Center. As well as showing her own work, she also curated several shows locally.
Instead of flowers, the family has asked for contributions to the Jessie Lovano-Kerr and Donald R. Kerr Art Education Graduate Student Fund are greatly appreciated and can be sent to the FSU Foundation, 325 W. College Avenue, Tallahassee, FL 32301.