Aaron Knochel, assistant professor of art education in the Penn State School of Visual Arts, is the 2019 recipient of the National Art Education Association (NAEA) Eastern Region Higher Education Art Educator Award.
Knochel’s recent projects include a collaboration with Yasmine Abbas, Penn State assistant teaching professor of architecture and engineering design, for MADE 2019, a one-day symposium for Penn State faculty and students that focused on a transdisciplinary exploration of art and design practice through the senses, and the Spacemakers project in Philadelphia, which examines neighborhood identity, public pedagogy and social justice issues related to living in the city. In addition, he is co-developing an edited book project called Critical Digital Making, which integrates the three fields of critical theory, digital art making and art education. The volume draws from scholarship and practices of new media, community-based arts interventions and media arts education pedagogy.
Knochel said he is grateful to be part of a committed community of art educators, both at Penn State and nationally. "Art educators rely on one another for revitalizing their practice and energizing their pedagogy, so to be recognized on a national level by a dedicated community that I serve in the National Art Education Association is an honor," said Knochel, who won the 2018 Pennsylvania Art Education Association Outstanding Higher Education Art Educator Award. "It is also a testament to the rich arts community we have here at Penn State, where my research and creative scholarship has grown tremendously through the dynamic School of Visual Arts faculty that inspire me and the amazing art education students I have the privilege to work with everyday."