Tilly Woodward Named Outstanding Museum Educator by Art Educators of Iowa

Wednesday, Sep. 4, 2013 12:00 am

Tilly Woodward believes in making art accessible. The Grinnell resident—a painter and curator at Grinnell College's Faulconer Gallery—has even turned her vehicle into a piece of art, decorating her 1989 Ford Ranger with glue and sparkly glitter.
In October, Woodward—the curator of academic and community outreach at the Faulconer Gallery—will receive the 2013 Outstanding Museum Educator Award from the Art Educators of Iowa. Honoring achievement and service in the field of art education, the award will be presented at the AEI's state education conference on October 12 in Cedar Rapids.
Remarks from Nominators Woodward was nominated for the award by Debby Yellick-Manly, an art teacher at Grinnell High School; Jolynne Roorda, founding director of Arts + Literature Laboratory in New Haven, Conn.; and Jill Davis Schrift, lecturer in art at Grinnell College.
"As a visible presence in the community, Tilly has revitalized passions and enhanced perceptions about art," said Yellick-Manly. "She often arrives in her sparkle truck—a glitter-adorned antique—which reflects a wondrous aura of colors that give one pause. Children and adults alike delight in helping to re-glitter it! Much like her sparkle truck, Tilly brings light and joy to art making, to the adventures of discovering, creating, and being oneself."
Roorda said, "Mine is just one of many whose lives have been changed by Tilly Woodward. Her teaching and philosophy led me to co-found a nonprofit arts organization with a goal of bringing together a community of visual, literary and performing artists, and also to work with a nonprofit community art school."
Schrift praised Woodward's talent for involving the community in art. "Tilly provides materials for creating art and presents opportunities to respond to specific issues related to Faulconer Gallery art exhibits to a wide range of people in the town and the college community," comments Schrift. "She inspires them to make a print or construct a sculpture. She works with young people and teens in after-school programs at the Grinnell Area Art Center and at the Faulconer Gallery. Many of her projects are cooperative in nature, meaning a group of children collaborate to build one ceramic sculptural form. I have the pleasure of seeing these forms at various stages because she bisque fires and later glaze fires these creations in the kilns I use in the college's ceramic studio."
Remarks by Tilly Woodward"For me," Woodward said, "the challenge and the joy of teaching art is to help each individual find their own creative response or voice through looking at, reflecting and communicating about art, and especially through making art. Art is a great way of expressing knowledge, and connecting with self and others—a complex and beautiful form of communication that is multi-faceted, combining concepts and processes. Much of the work I do is community based, using art as a way of bringing people together to address issues and meet needs through partnerships."
Woodward's impact has been broad, and her work has put her in touch with many different types of people. "Over the years," she said, "I've worked with an extremely wide range of students: pre-kindergarten through senior citizens, people who were highly educated, illiterate; adjudicated teens; rural and inner-city youth; students ages 4-17 rescued from child slavery in Ghana; the very privileged, the middle class, the very poor; students who spoke no English; people who didn't speak; the nuerodiverse; people with HIV and AIDS, people who have suffered social injustice, neglect, abuse, assault; and people from a spectrum of racial, cultural and religious backgrounds."
About Tilly Woodward Tilly Woodward has served as Faulconer Gallery's curator of academic and community outreach since 2007. In that role, she works to infuse art into the life of the community on and off campus through events and programs built to serve the educational goals of the Faulconer Gallery and partner needs. Woodward has a long history of initiating arts outreach projects designed to help communities address specific social issues, foster creativity, and build tolerance and compassion. She also is well known for her meticulously detailed paintings, which have been extensively exhibited and collected.
In 2012, Woodward received a staff fellowship to work for three weeks with 2011 Grinnell Prize winner James Kofi Annan and his organization, Challenging Heights, in Ghana.
A graduate of Phillips Academy, Andover, Woodward holds a B.F.A. degree from the Kansas City Art Institute and an M.F.A. from the University of Kansas.
About Grinnell College Since its founding in 1846, Grinnell has become one of the nation's premier liberal arts colleges, enrolling 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries. Grinnell's rigorous academic program emphasizes excellence in education for students in the liberal arts; the college offers the B.A. degree in a range of departments across the humanities, arts and sciences. Grinnell has a strong tradition of social responsibility and action, and self-governance and personal responsibility are key components of campus life. More information about Grinnell College is available at www.grinnell.edu.
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