Faculty Grant Takes Art Ed Professor to West Africa

Dr. Teresa Unseld heads 4-week summer visual arts program in Ghanaian orphanage

After hours and on weekends, the children meet outside of the faculty's room for a free drawing opportunity.

August 14, 2012

Dr. Teresa Unseld, associate professor of Art and Design Education at the University of the Arts, recently returned from Ghana, West Africa, where she spent four weeks on a project funded by a Faculty Development grant. The project included developing and implementing a summer visual arts program for children who attend classes and reside in a local orphanage in Arbor called In My Father's House.

Dr. Unseld (center) with two of the children who live in the village.

The project focused on forging an international partnership between UArts and local schools, rehabilitation institutions and universities that can provide creative and artistic experiences for Ghanaian children and young adults and can lead to future pre-service teaching experiences with University of the Arts art education pre-certification faculty and students.

In-service for teachers.

"The greatest challenge I faced each day while teaching the children was to provide creative, meaningful art activities in spite of limited resources and supplies," Dr. Unseld said. "For the teachers, I found the greatest need was to provide in-service activities that gave them opportunities to create art and express themselves visually – something most did not experience in their academic training."

A final "quilt" project displayed each student's work on seven poster boards that were displayed in the library.

One of the seven poster board quilts.

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