Dr. Pamela Lawton

LawtonpicDr. Lawton previously directed the art education program at the former Corcoran College of Art & Design, coordinated the art education program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, taught art education courses at the Tyler School of Art/Temple University, and advised and mentored Master degree candidates at the Bank Street College of Education.

A native of Washington, DC and product of its public schools, she is a practicing artist whose artistic and scholarly research revolves around visual narrative and intergenerational arts learning in community settings. A fifth generation teacher, she has an active teaching license in K-12 art education in the District of Columbia and has taught art to grades 9-12 at Northwestern High School in Prince George’s County, MD.

In addition to presenting annually at the National Education Association (NAEA) conference, in 2007, Dr. Lawton presented at the Oxford University Roundtable on art and science and in 2002 at the International Society for Education through Art (InSEA). She has held artist residencies in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and Prince George’s County, MD; and developed study away programs in Nicaragua and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She has facilitated college-school partnerships for art education students at George Wythe High School in Richmond and with the Community Academy Public Charter School and Tyler Elementary School in Washington, DC. In 2014-15 she served as lead faculty for the multi-institutional, interdisciplinary, intergenerational Art Cart project, which documents the life work of aging artists in the Washington metropolitan area. Dr. Lawton served as the President-Elect and as the Higher Education representative on the Executive Board of Art Education DC (AEDC), and currently serves on the Extended Board for the Virginia Art Education Association (VAEA).

Research, Leadership, & Awards

In Dr. Lawton’s own words:

“‘Artstories’ is a term I initially coined to describe my personal art making processes; a combination of visual imagery and verbal text in the form of fine art prints, artist’s books and assemblages that preserve, explore and reinterpret family history, identity and intergenerational relationships.  The term was later expanded upon from the personal and individual to the general and collective. In this context artstories describes the process of combining oral, written, visual and performed narratives into art works representative of a multiplicity of generational voices on issues related to the coming of age within a multicultural society and those common rites of passage associated with being in and passing through the various stages of psycho-social development as defined by Erik Erikson. Thus artstory is a conceptual term that can be used to define one’s personal search for identity and meaning through art and story, or a group’s collaborative exploration for communal, intergenerational and multicultural understanding through sharing oral histories, writing collaborative identity pieces that examine life themes related to psycho-social development, and visually illustrating them as a group.  These artstories are then later exhibited, read/performed for others as a means of furthering multicultural/communal understanding through art/story sharing. My research is community art-based, intergenerational, transformative, and social justice focused.”

In addition to publishing research articles in Studies in Art Education, Art Education Journal, and The Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Roundtable, Visual Inquiry: Learning and Teaching Art, the Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education, and the Journal of Social Theory in Art Education, Dr. Lawton has contributed chapters to several art education anthologies. She currently serves on the editorial review board for the Visual Arts Research journal and is a past member of the Art Education Journal Editorial review board. Lawton is co-writing a text for her publication entitled, On Common Ground: Community-Based Art Education Across the Lifespan. A monograph on her doctoral research, Artstories: Narrative Construction in Intergenerational and Transformative Learning, was published in 2008.

Recent Publications

Lawton, P.H. (2014). The role of art education in cultivating community and leadership through creative collaboration. Visual Inquiry: Learning & Teaching Art, 3(3), 421-436.

Lawton, P.H. and LaPorte, A. (2013). Beyond traditional art education: Transformative lifelong learning in community-based settings with older adults. Studies in Art Education, 54(4), 310-320.

Lawton, P.H. (2012). Artist/Researcher/Teacher: A Holistic Approach to Art Teacher Preparation. In S. Simmons, and L. Campbell (Eds). The Heart of Art Education: Contemporary approaches to holistic human development and integration. Reston, VA: NAEA.

Dr. Lawton’s peers honored her with the 2017 NAEA Southeastern Region Higher Education Art Educator Award. In 2010 she was selected by the student body and faculty of the Corcoran College of Art & Design to receive the Betty Foster Outstanding Teacher Award for 2010 ($3000). From 2005-2008 she served as a Public Art Commissioner for the Charlotte, NC metropolitan area. Dr. Pamela Lawton’s art is in the collections of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; The Corcoran College of Art & Design (print portfolio collection);Teachers College Columbia University; Northwestern University; Morgan State University; Georgetown University; the Frederick Douglass Museum and Cultural Center; Eugene E. Myers Charitable Unitrust; and the Washington, D.C. Superior Court. For more detailed information visit http://pamelapress.wixsite.com/artstories


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