School of Art Launches Arkansas' First Art Education Graduate Program

The U of A School of Art in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences will offer a new Master of Arts in art education degree beginning in fall 2022. This new program will be the first graduate-level art education program offered in the state of Arkansas.

“The School of Art is proud to present the Master of Arts in art education degree to the state, region and beyond,” said Gerry Snyder, executive director of the School of Art. “We are particularly honored to establish a new graduate program that provides Arkansas art educators access to graduate study in art education within their home state. The dedicated art education faculty have designed the program to further propel the field of art education and expand the depth of how it is practiced.” 

The Master of Arts degree program is a two-year residency and seeks to attract artist educators, teaching artists and museum educators working in schools, museums and the community. 

Thanks to a generous gift from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation in 2017, all graduate students accepted into the program will receive funding support during the two years of study. 

This research-oriented program will emphasize theoretical studies and research inquiries in art education. It will provide an in-depth study into the diverse practice of art education and provoke critical thinking in how art education is taught.

Because of its commitment to theories and practices of art learning and teaching across a range of educational sites, the program will provide educational opportunities for both experienced art educators and those who are interested in the study and practice of art education but may not yet have established an extensive and lengthy teaching record.

“Inclusivity is at the forefront of this Master of Arts in art education program,” said Marty Maxwell Lane, director of the School of Art. “Welcoming students with diverse experiences from various teaching environments embodies the innovative curriculum and how art education occurs in and across different settings and cultures.”  

Maxwell Lane said students in the M.A. program will also experience personal development as art educators and researchers, and as critical, reflexive and imaginative thinkers. In addition, the degree will advance students’ knowledge and professional application in an increasingly diverse, inclusive and interdisciplinary world. 

The program is designed to prepare students as culturally responsive art educators who are dedicated to developing interdisciplinary and collaborative teaching and research approaches and practices that address issues in the field of art education.

“Art educators from across the state have long anticipated a graduate program in art education,” said Angela LaPorte, art education program director. “Funding to support assistantships, professional experiences and research will offer an unprecedented opportunity to advance the practice of inclusivity and culturally responsive art education that will positively impact our state and beyond.”

LaPorte said the art education faculty have collaboratively built this graduate program and will continue to contribute their knowledge and expertise to the students accepted into the program.

Dónal O’Donoghue, endowed professor of art education, will lead the program as the director of art education graduate studies. He brings 20 years of experience directing and contributing to graduate programs at the university level. 

O’Donoghue has extensive knowledge in the supervision of graduate students and has served as an examiner of many doctoral dissertations from several countries across three continents.

“This unique, fully-funded, accredited program by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design is designed for students seeking to expand and deepen their knowledge of art education theory and practice,” O’Donoghue said. “It will offer students exceptional learning experiences including opportunities to learn from visiting scholars and artists, engage in research and participate in travel to study how art education takes form in schools, museums and communities, as well as in other sites of art learning.”

O’Donoghue said the program faculty and staff are thrilled to begin accepting applications for the 2022-23 academic year. 

Individuals interested in applying are encouraged to submit their applications by the Jan. 15, 2022, priority deadline. For more information about the U of A Graduate School and Master of Arts in art education application process, please visit

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the top 3% of U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research News


Andra Parrish Liwag, director of communications
Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences

Kayla Beth Crenshaw, director of communications
School of Art


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