B. Stephen Carpenter II, professor of art education and African American studies, has been appointed interim director of the Penn State School of Visual Arts (SoVA) for a two-year term, effective August 1, 2018, following the retirement of Graeme Sullivan, who has been director since 2010.
Carpenter, also co-director of the Summer Institute on Contemporary Art (SICA) and chief executive artist for Reservoir Studio at Penn State, joined the Penn State faculty in 2011. A founding faculty member of the summer residency M.A.T./M.A. in Art and Design Education at Vermont College of Fine Arts, he spent his 2017–18 sabbatical as the Ida Ely Rubin Artist-in-Residence at the MIT Center for Art, Science and Technology and artist and learner-in-residence at Easterly Parkway Elementary School in State College.
“I appreciate Graeme Sullivan’s leadership over the past eight years. SoVA is in a good place because of his hard work and vision. After his departure, we will continue to refine and reimagine who we are and what we can become,” said Carpenter. “As interim director, I intend to be a responsible steward of SoVA. That means, I must listen carefully, facilitate collaboration and transparency, and advocate on behalf of our students, staff, and faculty. SoVA’s strengths are balanced with challenges and opportunities. Key to our future success must be our collaborative and sound responses to inevitable challenges and new initiatives without losing sight of our own priorities as artists and educators.”
Carpenter is interested in curriculum theory, professional development through art for preK–12 educators, public pedagogy and participatory art practices, critical art education studies, and the global water crisis as curriculum. His mixed-media assemblages, installations, and performance artworks confront and disrupt social, historical, cultural, and political constructs. Carpenter has authored and co-authored book chapters and journal articles on art education, visual culture, and curriculum theory. He is co-author of Interdisciplinary Approaches to Teaching Art in High School (2006), co-editor of Curriculum for a Progressive, Provocative, Poetic, and Public Pedagogy (2006), and co-editor of two forthcoming books, Professional Development in Art Museums: Strategies of Engagement Through Contemporary Art (co-edited with Dana Carlisle Kletchka) and The Palgrave Handbook of Race and the Arts in Education (co-edited with Amelia (Amy) Kraehe and Rubén Gaztambide Fernandez).
Carpenter is senior editor of Studies in Art Education (2017–19) and serves on the editorial review board of Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education and Society, and the international editorial board of Curriculum Inquiry. He is a past co-editor of the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy (2010–13) and a past editor of Art Education (2004–06). He is a National Art Education Association (NAEA) Distinguished Fellow and a recipient of the Eugene Grigsby Jr. Award (NAEA). Carpenter holds a B.F.A. degree in visual art from Slippery Rock University (1987) and M.Ed (1989) and Ph.D. (1996) degrees in art education from Penn State.