Key Note Speakers: Luis Camnitzer and Claudia Alvarez

Luis Camnitzer is a Uruguayan artist residing in the U.S. since 1964. He graduated in sculpture from the Escuela Bellas Artes of the University of Uruguay, and studied architecture in the School of Architecture at the same university. An emeritus professor of the State University of New York, he is a former Viewing Program Curator for the Drawing center in New York, He is the recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships (1961 and 1982), the Frank Jewett Mather Award, College Art Association (2011), the Printmaker Emeritus Award of the Southern Graphics Council International (2011) and the Skowhegan Medal (2012). His work has been exhibited in several international exhibitions, among them the Venice Biennial (1988 where he represented Uruguay with a one- person show), the Whitney Biennial (2000), Documenta XI (2002), and a retrospective exhibition in the Reina Sofía Museum, Madrid, in 2018-2019.. His work is in over forty museum collections, among them the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Tate Modern, London; and the Museo de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba. The Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid is organizing a retrospective exhibition starting October 2018. Among his books are “New Art of Cuba”, “Conceptualism in Latin American Art: Didactics of Liberation” and “On Art, Artists, Latin America and Other Utopias”, all published by University of Texas Press. His work is represented by Alexander Gray Associates in New York, and Galería Parra & Romero in Madrid.


Claudia Alvarez Claudia Alvarez was born in Nuevo Leon, Mexico in 1969 and immigrated to California with her family at the age of three. She attended University of California, Davis (BA 1999) and California College of Arts, San Francisco (MFA 2003). Alvarez worked at the University of California Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, California from 1987-2000. Deeply affected by the terminally ill children and elderly patients she encountered as a non-emergency ambulance driver, her painted and sculpted figures continue to reflect their strength and vulnerability. Her work addresses the way social, political, and psychological structures impact our behavior and personal interactions. By imbuing sculptures of children with adult characteristics and mannerisms, Alvarez tackles issues relating to violence, empowerment, endurance and what they reveal about human nature. Alvarez has explored subjects such as hate, fear, tolerance, human vulnerability and brutality. Her drawings and paintings depict fragmented narratives as reflection of human conduct, ethics, belief system, culture, race, assimilation, and displacement. As a Mexican American, Alvarez explores identity through concepts of memory portraiture. She is influenced by years of working with non-profit organizations teaching art in various communities. Alvarez is currently Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute and Lecturer at New York University. She lives and works in New York City. www.claudiaalvarez.org

PANEL 1: Art as Social Practice

MODERATOR:  Judith Schwartz

Fico Guzman, Koen Schaap, Andrea Avendano, Keonna Hendrick 

Fico Guzman, SPAIN, A social justice artist who has shows internationally and is very involved in the Western Sahara.  From his website:  “I am a native of Seville, and I work as an artist, researcher and teacher. As a visual artist my work is poetic, intuitive and committed to life. I work on collective projects in combination with a personal exploration of my imaginal world. I conceive my work as part of a continuous process of inner liberation through the practice of the arts, in an effort to tear down walls to recover common spaces of exchange, conversation, life.”  https://www.behance.net/ficoman

Koen Schaap, NETHERLANDS, is a teacher of human rights and the social studies, integrating the arts.  He has now become Director of IVKO, a Montessori secondary school for the arts in Amsterdam.  He also supervises student teachers in schools using the arts as part of their curriculum through the University of Amsterdam.  http://www.ivko.nl/home

Andrea Avendaño, CHILE, works in the education area with populations in risk, in the United States and Chile. In charge of creating study plans and works where art is used as a tool of social insertion. As an researcher, she leads projects where contemporary art is the changing and political point of school communities, in urban and rural schools.  One of her projects is the Museum of Nothing that links contemporary art and educational art. It has taken base in other ways of seeing and making. It takes some tools from agraph cultures, where ideas are not writen, in this way, images structure the project.  http://www.proyectoace.org/en_andrea_avendano

Keonna Hendrick, USA, School Programs Manager, is a cultural strategist, educator and author nurturing equity through art and museum education. Her teaching, writing and strategic planning reflect her commitment to providing all audiences with educational experiences that promote critical thinking, expand cultural perceptions, and support self-actualization. In 2014 Ms. Hendrick co-founded SHIFT, a collective of cultural workers engaging in critical reflection and accountability for shifting their practice as educators, administrators and artists toward an anti-oppressive feminist paradigm. The collective draws on the expertise of its members to lead professional development on topics where they can share their skills, and in areas where they want to draw from others’ experiences in order to grow in their leadership within their institutions and in the field. Keonna currently serves as School Programs Manager at the Brooklyn Museum, where she leads a department of skilled and empathetic educators in facilitating experiences that invite learners to expand their understanding of themselves and the world. She holds a B.A. in History and Studio Art from Wake Forest University and a M.A. in Arts Policy and Administration from The Ohio State University. https://www.keonnahendrick.com/

PANEL 2: Personal Transformation Through Art

MODERATOR: Devin Thornburg,

Oscar Ceballos, Lahcen Amjoud, Eduardo Torres Nicolas, Spyros Kasimatis

Devin Thornburg, USA, is a Professor of Education at Adelphi University, teaching courses in psychology, culture and the arts, language and learning, always within the frameworks of social justice and human rights.  He has been involved in educational reform for three decades, writing about teacher-student relationships and roles in diverse settings.  He served as part of the leadership team of a non-profit addressing the challenges of educational equity and access and has been deeply involved in collaborations with community-based organizations in the U.S. and other countries all of his professional life.  For the past several years, his work has focused on the experience of immigrant students in educational settings as well as those who educate them–particularly through the lens of the arts.  His latest work is on trust in learning, having conducted research in 10 countries on 3 continents.  With degrees from Tulane, Harvard, and NYU, Dr. Thornburg is the father of two daughters who have taught him how much there is to learn in this world.

Oscar Ceballos, SPAIN, is a native of Seville and has been working for CIEE for over 15 years. He obtained a B.A. from the School of Fine Arts at the University of Seville and an M.A. from the University of Seville in Philosophy and Aesthetics. Óscar has pursued post-graduate studies in design and editorial projects from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra of Barcelona. He is currently pursuing doctoral studies in communications and aesthetics. https://www.ciee.org/about/we-are-ciee/directory/oscar-ceballos

Lahcen Amjoud

Eduardo Torres Nicolas, CHILE, has been the director of art therapy programs in Santiago, Chile, and brings his artistic talent to his work as an art therapist, architect and psychodramatist.  His painting presents the diversity of Chilean life with Mixing images of adults, children, fantasies, toys, animals, flowers, places and others is not a random event. In the beginning, they symbolized feelings and emotions of a confused internal world with very painful contents www.eduardotorres.cl

Spyros Kasimatis, GREECE, is a teacher of classical literature and music in the schools in Athens, Greece, but has moved into the role of full-time professional developer and coach for teachers to support the use of a wide range of modes of learning (including the arts) to support social and emotional learning of both students and teachers. https://www.ted.com/profiles/237612L

PANEL 3: Leadership in Public Education

MODERATOR:  Dr. Judith M. Burton

Graciela Ostrowski, Mustapha Aabi, Kathleen Modrowski, Barbara Ellmann

Dr. Judith Burton, USA/CHINA, is Professor and Director of Art & Art Education at Columbia University Teachers College. Before that she was Chair of Art Education at Boston University and taught at the Massachusetts College of Art. Burton received her Ed. D. from Harvard University in 1980. Her research focuses on the artistic-aesthetic development of children, adolescents and young adults and the implications this has for teaching and learning and the culture in general. In 1995 she co-founded the Center for Research in Arts Education at Teachers College, and in 1996 founded the Heritage School – a comprehensive high school featuring the arts – located in Harlem, NYC. Her book Conversations in Art: The Dialectics of Teaching and Learning co-edited with Dr. Mary Hafeli was published in 2012. She is author of numerous articles and chapters and currently has two books in process of publication: She received the Manuel Barkan Award for excellence in research writing, the Lowenfeld Award for lifetime achievement in art education from NAEA and the Ziegfeld Award for services to international art education from INSEA. Dr, Burton is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts in Great Britain, a Distinguished Fellow of the NAEA, and serves as Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts Beijing, and the South China Normal University, Guangzhou. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Beaconhouse University, Lahore, Pakistan. She is a trustee of the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD, USA and a former trustee of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine, USA. She is the NAEA Eisner Lifetime Achievement honoree for 2015, in recognition of her services to the profession both nationally and globally. Her chapter Crossings and Displacements: The Artist and the Teacher, Reweaving the Future is included in the AERA Handbook on Research and Teaching 2016.

Graciela Ostrowski, ARGENTINA, has been a teacher and school principal (now a superintendent) in urban, low-income areas of Buenos Aires.  She believes that the arts are a central part of the curriculum that students can use to more holistically understand the world.  She has led curriculum development and design projects that involve the arts over the years for both students and teachers’ professional development.

Mustapha Aabi, MOROCCO, Abigate School Director

Kathleen Modrowski, INDIA, is a long-time human rights and global educator, emphasizing the humanities and the arts in her own work.  Formerly Dean of Global College of LIU, she is now Dean at Jindal Global University in Delhi, India.  http://www.jgu.edu.in/users/kathleen-modrowskiH

Barbara Ellmann, USA, was born in Michigan and lives and works in New York. Her paintings have been exhibited in galleries and museums around the country and beyond including the Haslla Art World Museum, Bellevue Art Museum, the Montclair Art Museum and the Parrish Art Museum. Ellmann has been a teaching artist at Lincoln Center Education (formerly Institute) since 1980. A consultant for universities, orchestras, theaters, private schools, and arts programs, she conducts professional development for teaching artists and faculty members. Currently, she is also a museum educator at the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum; she teaches encaustic workshops for R&F Handmade Paints in her Long Island City Studio. https://barbaraellmann.com