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B i o g r a p h y

Professor of Art Education
School of Visual Arts
Penn State University

Background: Garoian received his B.A. and M.A. in Art from the California State University at Fresno and his Ph.D. in Education from Stanford University. He taught studio art and art history in secondary schools for seventeen years before coming to Penn State in 1986 as the first Education Director of the Palmer Museum of Art. A performance artist since 1970, he has developed and implemented critical thinking processes in visual art studio and art history courses based on the radical strategies of performance art. He used similar methods to develop interdisciplinary and intercultural programming and outreach at the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State. He has been on the Art Education Faculty at Penn State since 1991 and served as Director of Penn State's School of Visual Arts from 1999 to 2010.

Awards: Garoian has received a number of grants for his work as a performance artist, a museum educator, and as an art educator. His performances have earned him a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Inter-Disciplinary Arts Fellowship Award in 1993 (Naked Controversy) and 1997 (Walking on Water). In 1994, he received a Fulbright Scholars Award to the Republic of Armenia where he taught and conducted research in aesthetic education at Yerevan State University. Garoian received a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts start-up grant in 1995 and a major grant from the Getty Education Institute for the Arts in 1996 to fund the Performance Art, Culture, Pedagogy Symposium at Penn State University. He received a 1998 Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art for “Remote Control”: as part of the Default Propaganda collaboration. In 2000, he and his co-organizer received major funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts to fund the Performative Sites: Intersecting Art, Technology, and the Body Symposium.

Publications: Garoian’s scholarly articles can be found in Leonardo, The Art Journal, The Journal of Aesthetic Education, the journal of Visual Arts Research, the Journal of Social Theory in Art Education, the Journal of Multicultural and Cross-cultural Research in Art Education, Studies in Art Education, Teacher Education Quarterly, and School Arts Magazine. His books Performing Pedagogy: Toward an Art of Politics (1999) and Spectacle Pedagogy: Art, Politics, and Visual Culture (2008, coauthored with Yvonne M. Gaudelius) are publications of the State University of New York (SUNY) Press.

Performances and workshops: Garoian has performed, lectured and presented workshops in such places as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., The Sheldon Art Gallery at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, University of California at Irvine, the HERE performance space and the Ohio Theater in New York City, the Cleveland Performance Art Festival, the Werkleitz Biennale in Germany, the University of Bristol in England, and the Robert McDougall Art Gallery and the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. Most recently he was a featured performer at the William Saroyan Festival in Fresno, CA, the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh, PA, and the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, Canada.

Symposia: Garoian was the principal organizer of the Performance Art, Culture, Pedagogy Symposium in November 1996. The first of its kind, the symposium program included forty two renown performance artists, critics, historians, arts presenters and educators who examined the historical, theoretical, and experiential significance of performance art in order to distinguish its pedagogy as an emerging form of arts education. In October 2000, he co-organized Performative Sites: Intersecting Art, Technology, and the Body, an international symposium that examined the theoretical, experiential, and pedagogical implications of performance artists’ works that use mechanical and electronic technologies to critique the body and its identity.

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