In July 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives designated the second week of September as National Arts in Education Week. This annual celebration showcases and promotes the positive impact of arts education across the nation and its power to transform student learning.
At the New-York Historical Society, arts education is a pillar of our educational mission. The institution offers a variety of educational arts-based programs to both teachers and students across New York City and the greater metropolitan area. Specifically, our Art of History program promotes student learning of local and national history through the use of visual art. This unique interdisciplinary approach allows students use their imagination and creativity to bring history to life through art-making.
A fantastic team of art educators, all of whom are artists and educators by trade, works to deliver the Art of History programs across the city. To celebrate their commitment to our institution and the field of art education, we’re taking some time to introduce them today!
Grace Baley has been creating mosaic art for the past 19 years. As a life long New Yorker, she credits the murals and mosaics found in the subway as a source of inspiration. The majority of her work is fabricated using glass, paper, ceramic, and cement. Grace often collaborates with designers and architects to create site-specific work. She also sells her smaller pieces in gift stores around the NYC area.
Jenn Cacciola originally hails from Port Chester, NY. Her artworks take form in tapestry, sculpture, painting, and installation. Isolation, aging, vulnerability, and the ways in which all of these factors affect our ability to know one another serve some important themes in her work. Before arriving at New-York Historical, Jenn previously taught visual art in Brooklyn PreK-8 private schools, worked as a Teaching Artist for NARS Foundation, and has directed the Fine Arts Summer camp at the YMCA.
Alison Cox is an artist, historian, and student of life. Her artwork explores the feminine mystique of women of color and all the complexities therein. Allison was born in the Bronx and studied Fashion Merchandising at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Howard University. After a 10-year career in the corporate world, she returned to her passion for the arts and is now pursuing an MA at New York University focusing on Africana Studies and Museum Studies. Allison has also used her love of the history of her people to curate the show Traditions: Connections to the African Diaspora at the Tomorrow’s Artists and Dancers Gallery in Harlem, New York.
Emily Long, a New York City native, is a mixed media artist. Her artwork tells stories through figures that she creates using multiple mediums. Her most recent body of work explores the medium of collage. Emily is interested in exploring the relationship between one’s self and their surroundings. By slicing, melding, and merging images and mediums together, her process becomes sculptural, liberating her existing images from their conceptual and commercial confines.
Olivia Paige is an art educator, accessibility advocate, and foster dog mama originally from Birmingham, Alabama. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Education in Museum Education at Bank Street College of Education, focusing on how to enrich the museum experience for those with differing abilities. Olivia is thrilled to be teaching the Art of History program as it allows her to share her passion for art history with a diverse audience while exploring a variety of art-making media.
Deborah Schreier is a visual artist and teacher in New York City. Currently she works with porcelain to make sculptural objects that may or may not hold water. Fascinated by making repeating shapes and patterns, Deborah breaks the clay down into pieces and puts them back together in ways that invite the viewer to look and touch the pieces. Being in the studio doing highly repetitive tasks is her favorite way to spend the day.
David Zukas has been an artist and educator for the past 18 years in New York, across the United States, and abroad. His work creates visual commentary in response to political and societal tendencies and is held in numerous public and private collections. His paintings are presented on doors, inspired by a visceral experience he had while contemplating the concept of the “Door of No Return,” the representational door that enslaved people passed through before being sent to the new world. He began dumpster diving 10 years ago in and around the five boroughs for discarded doors and turned trash into treasure. His current series of paintings contemplate and honor avant-garde artists who have opened proverbial doors in their respective genre. Zukas says, “Traditionally one thinks of a door as a restraint or a barrier. I have been thinking of them as a gateway, portal, vestibule, or a threshold we must physically and emotionally pass through in order to better comprehend ourselves.”
– Daniel De Santis, Manager of Visual Arts Programs