Arts & Culture

UK Art Educator Named World Councilor of International Society

photo of Allan Richards in front of bookcase
Allan Richards

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 1, 2019) Allan Richards, associate professor of art education at University of Kentucky School of Art and Visual Studies, has been elected world councilor for the North American region of the International Society for Education through Art (InSEA).

InSEA is an international arts organization and it is an official partner of the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Its purpose is to encourage and advance creative education through art, design, and crafts in all countries and promote international understanding.

Membership includes professional and organizational members in 74 countries from the following fields of interest: art education; research in art education; cultural education; peace education; environmental education; interdisciplinary; cultural diversity; advocacy; cultural mediation; teacher training; museum education; and curriculum development.

As world councilor, Richards’ responsibility is to broaden the dialog among colleagues about the practice of art education to prepare students for their changing futures.  

“With technology, immigration, migration and the relocation of refugees changing our communities, and cultural diversity being one of the principal motivations along with the global economy for this change, it is imperative that we ensure that all learners have visual art experiences,” Richards said.

Richards explains that Mohsin Hamid (2017), a Pakistani writer, in his book “Exit West” argues that this existential threat is because of the lack of insight and creativity to imagine the future. Richards believes as author and creativity expert Ken Robinson does that through the ideas, beliefs and values of global art education, we can recreate a world in which all our human rights and democratic principles are preserved.

“I am committed to broadening the dialog among my colleagues about the practice of art education to prepare students for their future,” Richards said. “The position of councilor for the North American region will provide me the appropriate platform.”

Richards earned his master’s degree at the Instituto Allende Incorporado a La Universidad de Guanajuato. He has been a member of UK faculty since 1994 and has held many positions during his time at the university. Richards has presented scholarships, given lectures and authored one book and many articles during his career, including “Global Consciousness through the Arts: A Passport for Students and Teachers” and “The Teacher Leader Master’s Program in Art Education” with Gary Schroeder.

The School of Art and Visual Studies, at the UK College of Fine Arts, is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of art studioart history and visual studies, art education, and digital media and design.