Dr. Linda Hoeptner Poling Receives Linda Stein Upstander Award
Dr. Linda Hoeptner Poling, an associate professor of art education, was honored with the 2022 Linda Stein Upstander Award. Administered by the Penn State University Libraries, this accolade includes a $1,500 stipend designated for archival research at Penn State’s Linda Stein Art Education Collection, and Smith College’s digital collection The Linda Stein Papers.
The Linda Stein Upstander Award honors individuals who demonstrate a commitment to upstander behavior in their artistic and scholarly pursuits while utilizing materials from the Linda Stein Art Education Collection. Dr. Hoeptner Poling was recognized for her exceptional development of K-12 curriculum materials centered on decades of work by Linda Stein, including her series “Holocaust Heroes: Fierce Females.”
In addition to the clear connections to the National Visual Arts Standards, Universal Design for Learning principles are implemented into each lesson including multiple means of representation, expression and engagement alongside suggestions to accommodate a variety of learning abilities. Specific strategies are included to meet the cognitive, cultural, social and emotional needs of all students including those with disabilities, of all gender identities and of all sexual orientations.
Dr. Hoeptner Poling boasts an impressive 32-year career in the field of art education, with a specific dedication to social justice art education. She firmly believes that art possesses a unique, transformative ability:
“The art educator is particularly positioned to teach children of all ages upstander behavior most powerfully. Art's transformative nature moves the viewer to think and feel in ways they might not have considered before or magnifies upstander convictions children already have. Art has the power to change lives for the better. With an upstander curriculum, the ripples of influence continue. Learning to be an upstander inspires others to be upstanders.”
Dr. Hoeptner Poling's introduction to Linda Stein's work "Body-Swapping Armor" occurred at a national conference in 2016. Since then, she has facilitated an exhibition at Kent State University's School of Art Collection and Galleries in collaboration with Prof. Molly Merryman titled "Holocaust Heroes: Fierce Females Tapestries and Sculpture by Linda Stein."
In the current semester, Dr. Hoeptner Poling is instructing a special topics course titled "Feminist Art Encounters and Activism," which centers around Linda Stein's artistic contributions. This course features guest lectures by 10 industry experts including Linda Stein herself, who are all committed to various forms of upstander education. Students enrolled in this course will gain exposure to diverse perspectives on upstanding behavior in education and art, equipping them to design their own upstander projects tailored to their respective disciplines.
Holocaust Heroes: Fierce Females Tapestries and Sculpture by Linda Stein
The exhibit will be on view from August 22 to September 29 in the CVA Gallery, located in the Center for the Visual Arts, 325 Terrace Drive, Kent, Ohio. This show features 11 Heroic Tapestries, 20 Spoon-to-Shell box sculptures and one Protector sculpture. The tapestries depict women who risked or lost their lives during the Holocaust, including Anne Frank, alongside lesser-known women such as Noor lnayat Khan (a Muslim who sent radio signals to allies in Nazi-occupied France and was executed at Dachau). It also includes two videos, one featuring Gloria Steinem, Abigail Disney, Elizabeth Sackler, and the other features an interview by Linda Stein of Raymond Learsy, the son of Siti Israel, featured in a heroic tapestry.