Kennesaw State Professor of art education Dr. Diana Gregory is an award-winning artist, researcher and educator who helps stimulates her students’ critical thinking.
As a Graduate Program Coordinator and Associate Professor of art education in the School of Art and Design since 2006, Gregory helps current students prepare to become teachers of art themselves.
The Art in Society class taught by Gregory is commonly taken by students and taught as part of the curriculum for a degree in art education. Media of various sources are analyzed within the context of their historical and intellectual perspectives and then examined further.
Research conducted by Gregory is focused on creativity in a postmodern context, creativity in leadership and working with at-risk youth. While encouraging students to take risks in their creative style by thinking out of the box, Gregory said she wants them to stay open to new challenging ideas.
Gregory said she identifies herself as an “artographer,” which is a career in which equal importance is given to art research and teaching based on qualitative methods.
“People assume that only scientists conduct research. However, we as artists also perform visual research but in different ways,” Gregory said. “In my art appreciation class, even students with business majors begin to realize that the definition of art is broad.”
In her course work, Gregory said she inculcates an appreciation and criticism of art history, aesthetics and a sense of place and community. Students are trained to be open to new experiences.
“When people view a piece of furniture, they may or may not like the design. Once they determine what caused a positive or negative reaction, this is when they start their own personal journey of self-realization.” Gregory said.
The collision of technology in every aspect of art today makes it a challenge, yet empowers artists all over the world. For instance, as Gregory points out, novices can simply publish their work on their own websites.
Gregory plays a vital role in changing the lives of her students. She supports a focus on lifelong learning where students are passionate about promoting art in their everyday lives.
Throughout history, people have communicated their ideas through art such as paintings. Pictures have an impact and can instantly provoke emotion. Gregory said she firmly believes there is art in everything we see.
Gregory was awarded the 2009 National Art Education Association Southeastern Higher Education Teacher of the Year Award, 2012 KSU’s College of the Arts Distinguished Service Award and the 2013 Georgia Art Education Association Teacher of the Year Award.
Her art piece titled “Bits and Pieces” was a part of the NAEA Member Exhibition in Alexandria, Virginia, and her nationally recognized “Babes in Crone Land” addressed issues of women aging in our culture.
Gregory’s students come away with a deeper understanding of art, remembering that art was our first language of communication.