Northampton Community College (NCC) Art Professor, Carol Heft, has been awarded a Fulbright Specialist grant to run a series of workshops at Palacky University in Olomouc, Czech Republic this November 2023.
Through the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and World Learning, Heft will help train populations in art and art education as a Fulbright Specialist for three years until 2026.
The purpose of this program is to provide students, community program workers, and educators with an opportunity to share ideas and explore ways to adapt basic art education principles to a range of individuals and groups. Through the program, Heft will help train and assist young professionals of all ages, abilities and within diverse cultural populations in a studio atmosphere.
The hands-on workshops will use materials commonly available to art educators in public schools and universities, community centers, and congregate living facilities to help participants understand how to adapt these materials and ideas to subjects across the curriculum. Examples may include a workshop on portraits and/or self-portraits using drawing, painting, and photography to deconstruct and construct images that reflect the student’s self-image, mood and internal narrative.
“The participants will be shown examples and be given technical information about various ways to create images. The students will learn about their individual work style, correlations between how they approach other academic or vocational tasks and making art, and how to assess and motivate each other during critiques.”
Heft has extensive experience working as a teaching artist and professor, with time spent working with students from Europe, Africa, South America and Asia. She has a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling and an understanding of clinical issues that play a role in art education. As a result, Heft has utilized her art education background as a facet of her counseling for individuals with developmental disabilities as well as substance abuse and psychiatric disorders.
The Fulbright Specialist Program is a unique opportunity for U.S. academics and established professionals to engage in two- to six-week, project-based exchanges at host institutions across the globe. After this initial project, Heft can seek out other opportunities for continued work within her three-year tenure.