Conference Postcard

Join us for our 82nd annual conference as a space to reignite and reflect on your teaching, art practice, and leadership through connecting and collaborating with colleagues in the arts.  During a continued time of transitions, changes, and pivoting, the conference offers opportunities to reflect and re-energize!   

Where do you find passion and JOY in teaching and learning? This conference will provide the opportunity to examine current topics in the field through many lenses and perspectives.   

How do educators, artists, and leaders in the arts use our collective learning from a unique year of teaching and learning in the arts to refuel and reinvent one's work moving forward? This conference explores a broad range of topics to refuel one’s practice as teachers, artists, and leaders by examining contemporary topics in the arts and art education. Topics include: Building culturally relevant and sustaining classrooms and communities, exploring one’s personal work as an artist, incorporating mindfulness practices in educational settings and the value of storytelling in honoring individuals and communities.  

Our 82nd conference offers hands on sessions, small breakout sessions and dynamic speakers focused on timely topics in the field, opportunities to make art, space for connecting with local art educators coupled with time for exploring new spaces in the Sharadin Arts Building. In addition, the Miller Gallery will be featuring Figures and Projections: Selected Work from the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art.   

Join us for a day of revitalization- connecting and collaborating with each other through the power of the arts!  

Keynote Speaker - Dr. Browning M. Neddeau 
Dr. Browning M. Neddeau
A framework and conversation about cultural [mis]appropriation in classrooms

This keynote explores the AIR Framework (Ask, Invite, and Reflect) when presenting lessons representing cultures and people, and is intended to help educators and administrators reflect on your pedagogical practices, with a particular focus on culturally appropriate art-making in your classroom. Introduced in January 2020 in a National Art Education Association webcast and has since been included in national, state, and local conversations about cultural [mis]appropriation. The Framework is grounded in art education theory and practice; therefore, making it an accessible Framework for educators and administrators to fully realize in the spaces they occupy. Cultural [mis]appropriation is endemic in society. The AIR Framework provides an opportunity for you to intentionally address potential cultural [mis]appropriation. Throughout the keynote, we will question, acknowledge, and grow from our discomfort in ways that foster a learning environment respectful of the diverse cultures and traditions in your classroom. Honoring the linguistic and cultural diversity of the spaces you occupy moves beyond culturally relevant pedagogies and invites culturally sustaining and revitalizing pedagogies. As we reignite the arts moving forward, let us amplify our students’ lived experiences in a way that creates spaces for truths and agency to flourish.

  • Dr. Browning M. Neddeau Biography

    Dr. Browning M. Neddeau (he/him/his) is enrolled in the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. He is a jointly appointed Assistant Professor of Elementary Teacher Education and American Indian Studies at California State University, Chico located in Chico, California, USA. He is Chair of the National Art Education Association’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Commission. Furthermore, he holds a position on the National Advisory Council for the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education. He has three lines of research under the larger umbrella of student engagement: arts education, Native American culturally-appropriate representation in schools, and agricultural education. He explores issues, challenges, and misconceptions of content integrity and draws connections between the lines for interdisciplinary studies in education. His latest publications center on storytelling. In addition to publishing his work, Dr. Neddeau presents his research at international, national, state, and local conferences. Prior to becoming a tenure-track faculty member in the California State University system, Dr. Neddeau was a California public elementary school teacher and adjunct faculty member at public and private universities.

AIR Flyer
David R. Modler 

David Modler

David R. Modler is a maker, scholar and professor originally from Baltimore, Maryland. He earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Education in Art Education from Towson State University and his Master of Fine Arts in painting from James Madison University. Modler is an internationally recognized expert in the field of visual journals, which he utilizes to explore some of the stylistic, conceptual and contextual concerns of his research and studio practices. He facilitates numerous lectures and workshops around the world as well as maintaining a prolific studio practice creating paintings, visual journals and installations. Modler currently works as an Associate Professor of Art and serves as the chair in the Department of Contemporary Art and Theater at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Visual Journals 101 Workshop

This crash course on visual journals will give you all the craft (re)development you need to (re)envision a journaling practice of your own. Come and (re)ignite all those good intentions you have had of engaging and persisting as an expressive and reflective daily art maker. A wide variety of watercolor paint, watercolor pencil, collage, writing and image transfer techniques will be demonstrated for you to stretch studio practice and explore new ways of knowing.

David Molder work
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Dr. Browning M. Neddeau

Exploring your story(ies): How storytelling, power, and privilege are (un)seen and (un)heard in your classroom Workshop

Dr. Browning M. Neddeau

I have a story for you to share. Come hear how storytelling moves us to reimagine our classrooms as culturally sustaining and revitalizing places for students to learn and grow. In this workshop, we will explore the use of power and privilege in storytelling and how understanding these concepts can help your students be their authentic selves in your classroom. With the national conversations swirling around Critical Race Theory (CRT), this workshop offers space to explore how our identity(ies) and the opportunities to explore multiple perspectives is part of your students’ stories. The workshop will not focus on a single story. The presenter acknowledges that teaching is inherently political and invites participants to attend the workshop who are willing to sit with discomfort and allow others in the room to sit with it, too. Storytelling is a very powerful and important element in our teaching and learning. Come share, learn, and grow with us as we explore telling your story.

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Macy Bui & Elisa Hannay

Macy Bui and Elisa Hannay

Macy Bui is a K-12 Art Teacher in the Hempfield School District. She received her undergraduate and graduate degree in Art Education from Kutztown University. Macy is passionate about both the visual and performing arts, assisting with the musical and dance program at Hempfield High School.  

Elisa Hannay has been an elementary art teacher for Manheim Township School District for five years and taught as a K-12 art teacher in Haiti for three years. She received her graduate and undergraduate degrees from Kutztown. 

Collaboration Through Collage Workshop 

Join Elisa & Macy as they explore collaboration through innovative and hands-on activities. They will share their exciting experiences of working collaboratively across neighboring school districts. This workshop promises to leave participants with inspirational takeaways and ready-to-teach lesson handouts that all students will love! 

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Michael Miller
Michael Miller

Michael L. Miller is a KU Alumnus and earned his MFA from the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland.  After showing his own artwork for several years in the Philadelphia area, he became interested in community-based art.  This interest stemmed from the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia.  Over the past 15 years, he has created collaborative murals together with hundreds of people and many community organizations in the greater Reading area.  He has taught art in Berks County for 28 years.

Possibilities in Collaborative Public Art

In this workshop, you will first see examples of collaborative art projects Mike has coordinated together with his students, local community organizations, as well as international collaborations.  Over the past 15 years, he has directed the Public Art Workshop, an in-house public art design and fabrication studio at Wyomissing Area Junior-Senior High School.  We will then work together to create a temporary piece of public art for Sharadin Studio using hand-cut stencils as our method. The mural will be located in the Sharadin Arts Building Art Education wing.

Mark Miller mural
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Marilyn Stewart
Marilyn Stewart

Dr. Marilyn Stewart taught at Kutztown for 31 years and received the Arthur and Isabel Wiesenberger Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching.  She is author of Thinking Through Aesthetics, Rethinking Curriculum in Art, Davis Publications’ K-8 art textbook programs, Explorations in Art, a frequent keynote speaker and consultant here and abroad, and has conducted over 200 professional development seminars in over 35 states. A Distinguished Fellow of the National Art Education Association, she has received recognition and numerous awards for her contributions and was named the 2011 National Art Educator of the Year.

What I Did Last Summer (and the 27 Months Before)

Since retiring from teaching at KU, I have been working nonstop on a brand-new Middle School Art textbook program for Davis Publications. Please join me for a hands-on and lively presentation as I introduce its structure and components, share with you the many global contemporary artists who will be featured, and disclose my plan for providing the highest possible flexibility for teachers and the most engaging and choice-filled experiences for students.

Marilyn Stewart work
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Lavett Ballard
Lavett Ballard

Lavett Ballard was born in East Orange, New Jersey in 1970. She is an art historian, curator, and author. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art and Art History with a minor in Museum Studies from Rutgers University and an MFA in Studio Art from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Ballard’s art has been included in literary, film and theatre productions and museum, galleries, public, private institutions, and exhibitions nationwide. She was named by Black Art In America as one of the “Top 10 Female Emerging Artists to Collect” and was nominated for the inaugural Art for Social Change Pew Foundation-funded Residency, among other distinguished honors.

Artist Talk in the Marlin and Regina Miller Gallery

Lavett Ballard will be speaking about her life as an artist, the Miller Gallery's Petrucci Collection Exhibition, and her strong interest in visual storytelling creating a visual lexicon of African American, female, self-identity.

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Elaine Cunfer and Vicki Meloney
Elaine Cunfer

Elaine Cunfer teaches graphic design in the Art and Design Department in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. A member of the KU faculty since 1991, she brings her experience as a professional graphic designer,  illustrator, and information graphics specialist for various publications into the classroom.  Among the many topics she teaches are all levels of graphic design  and illustration courses.

Prof. Cunfer graduated from Kutztown University in 1983 and received her MFA degree in Visual Design from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in 1991.

Her illustration and design work has been published in national design journals including Print Magazine and the Society of Newspaper Design Annuals.  Included in her many interests are fine metals and jewelry design, and printmaking.

Vicki Meloney

Vicki Meloney is an award-winning graphic designer and Professor at Kutztown University. She received her MFA from Temple University and has worked in the Philadelphia area for more than a decade before becoming an inspiring educator. Prior to teaching, Vicki worked with clients as small as local non-profit organizations and as large as international global brands. Her specialties include image-making, concepting, and all forms of print media with a special emphasis on Design for the Greater Good. Vicki's passion for community-based design led her to co-founding Replace-the-Hate and KUCD Designathon. Vicki also owns and operates a freelance design business and enjoys traveling the world to experience different sights, sounds and flavors.

IDEA Studio Screen Printing

Our hands-on workshop will explore how to create low budget cut paper, vinyl stencil and drawling fluid silk screen prints. Using low-cost supplies with no need for expensive light boxes or photo emulsion chemicals, we will learn several low-tech image making techniques that can be utilized by artists of all ages and skill levels

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Alexandra Aiken and Maggie Horvath
Alexandra Aiken

A tenured elementary art teacher with 7 years’ experience teaching in the PA public school system in Montgomery County. Ali has a passion for clay and had been working in the medium since 2003.

Maggie Horvath

A Kutztown Alum currently an Assistant Professor of fine art and the Coordinator of the Art Department at Campbell University. Maggie has been working in clay since 2005 and teaching ceramics since 2017.

Introduction to Elementary Ceramics through a Picture Book Elementary Ceramics Toolkit Workshop

Teaching ceramics in the elementary school classroom should be as app”roach”able as introducing any other new medium. In this session you will be introduced to an elementary ceramics toolkit. An easily accessible way to teach ceramics using “A Bug in a Mug” a picture book created by the presenters. Lesson plans that align with standards and a general ceramics Q and A. Bring your ceramics questions.

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Peg Speirs
Peg Speirs

Peg Speirs, Ph.D., is a Professor of Art Education in the Department of Art Education at Kutztown University. Her research interests include feminist art, theory and pedagogy; issues-based art education; and digital storytelling, currently editing a video about women and tattoo. Dr. Speirs co-edited the text, Contemporary Issues in Art Education, and co-authored articles and essays on teaching art for social justice, art and ritual, gender equity in arts education, a national study investigating curricular influences of new art teachers, and The Dinner Party Curriculum Project, an on-line resource for K-12 teachers. Dr. Speirs served as Interim Associate Dean in the College of Visual & Performing Arts for 4.5 years with the last term ending in 2018. She resumed this role part-time for the 2021-22 school year. Dr. Speirs is an artist, curator, and co-developer of Random Oaks, a creative research community in Kensington, OH.  

Landon Peacock

Landon Peacock is currently an art education graduate student at Kutztown University. He received his BFA from the University of Wisconsin- Madison in 2011 where he focused on painting and drawing. He has been a practicing artist since that time, exploring three-dimensional form through furniture design and concrete and then focusing solely on painting. He now teaches private painting lessons at his studio in West Chester, PA and enjoys seeing his students explore their unique creativity. For Landon, painting is a means of self-improvement that can help individuals become authentic versions of themselves as well as critical thinkers in a world that rewards conformity. This perspective guides Landon’s intention as an educator as he creates lesson plans and considers how to effectively meet student needs.

Jessica Skuraton

Jessica Skuraton is a junior at Kutztown University, and is currently working towards degrees in Art Education and Studio Art with a concentration in painting, in addition to a minor in Art History. She hopes to work as a secondary education teacher after graduation, while also maintaining her own artistic practice. Jessica aspires to create a future classroom where she prioritizes the discussion of relevant issues, while also sharing her own passion for creating art with her students. 

Rose Cushwa

Rose Cushwa is a senior in the Art Education Certification Program at KU. She enjoys all art making, but is especially passionate about oil painting and ceramics. She loves studying all things education and is excited to start putting all of her learning into practice student teaching in the Spring.  

Bethany Sherman

Bethany Sherman is an Art Education undergraduate student at Kutztown University minoring in English as a Second Language. Bethany is an active member in the university’s chapter of NAEA, and she also works as a student course assistant for Dr. Brenda Muzeta’s EDU 150 course on the instructional needs of English Language Learners.

Curricula for Adolescent Learners Workshop

This presentation will offer five units of art instruction appropriate for adolescent learners that address a variety of contemporary social issues.


Body Talk by Dr. Peg Speirs - Body Adornment & Modification

This unit explores western and global understandings of body adornment and modification as forms of creative expression and transformation through responding to art activities and studio instruction. 

Landon Peacock - Talking Back with Prints

This unit is designed to help students become less susceptible to harmful messages that are pervasive within the media sources and visual culture they regularly interact with.  

Jessica Skuraton - Human Nature

Through this unit, students will develop a greater awareness of the ways that humans affect their natural surroundings.  

Rose Cushwa - Twin Valley Impressionism

The goal of this unit is to allow students to cultivate an appreciation for their own world as artistic inspiration. By creating paintings of the places and people around them they will develop technical skill, and be able to view their classroom art community in context of previous art movements. 

Bethany Sherman - Exploring Color through Synthetic Media

This unit is intended to expose students to culturally diverse artists who utilize color in their works to convey meaning and teach students the skills necessary to create their own acrylic painting inspired by an artist who is culturally significant to them. 

Closing Performance
Performance by SuiteFranchon
 (pronounced: Sweet-Fran-shon)

The Soul Artpreneur Poet performer / Author / Radio & Television personality Composer / Songwriter / Producer / Director / Artist Development Coach

A sought after event producer, performance poet, motivational speaker and on air radio television personality, SuiteFranchon is known for creating interactive engaging experiences for artists, art lovers, urban professionals and diverse communities. At her core she’s a storyteller, a true renaissance woman and lover of the arts. Emerging from Wilmington, Delaware, SuiteFranchon creates opportunities and businesses using live performing arts. Her pursuit of excellence is soul driven based on the universal concepts of peace,love, hope and positivity.

Franchon also produces customized poetry for individuals, events, and organizations. SuiteFranchon is the Author of “Living the Journey”, a poetry compilation that inspires and motivates the reader by telling stories of love and life. In addition to being an author and composer, she enjoys creating live and engaging performances for diverse audiences.

For a full list of her credentials and reviews, please visit or follow her on all social media @suitefranchon.

SuiteFranchon - will wrap up the conference with an engaging and inspiring presentation which will be an artistic combination of storytelling and poetry to deliver a message of love, hope, peace and other universal messages.  At the end of this unique addition, she will do a live poetic composition with input from the audience at the end of her performance.