Linda Hoeptner Poling Named Ohio Art Educator of the Year and Distinguished Fellow
Nominator and Senior Lecturer of Art Education at Kent State University, Juliann Dorff writes, “Dr. Hoeptner Poling is a steadfast, enthusiastic supporter of the Ohio Art Education Association, a leader on the national stage through her work with the National Art Education Association and the Kennedy Center’s VSA, the International Organization for the Arts and Individuals with Disabilities, the mentor of a generation of art educators currently successfully teaching the visual arts to children in PreK-12 classrooms across the country and the world.”
Her research threads have included the intersections of gendered identity, narrative inquiry as knowledge construction, and equitable pedagogy at all levels of education. Dr. Hoeptner Poling’s lines of inquiry have focused on the symbiotic relationship of motherhood and academia, as well as inclusive and equitable art curriculum for students with special needs through the Kennedy Center and the VSA Program. In addition, recent practice includes the study and teaching of art to the elderly, specifically those with dementia, aiming to reveal the nexus of art making and the elderly within the transformative power of art.
“I have found purpose in helping others find their voice and tell their stories through art, whether they are 3 years old or 102 years old (my youngest and most seasoned students). Art is vital to survival; to dive deep into visual ways of self-expression and creative thinking is one facet of what makes life worth living. Whether I am teaching a young child or an adult at the end of their life, I believe there is no better way to affirm and celebrate their voice and part in this world. As art educators, we have a heavy yet joyful responsibility to be the conduit that makes possible the most profound ways of being human, in making sense of oneself as well as our connections to each other. There is no higher calling. I take this calling most seriously,” said Hoeptner Poling.