Art and Education


Critical Conversations- Art and Education – 3/8/16

Thanks so much to everyone who came out to Critical Conversations- in particular,  to De Nichols, Basil Kincaid, John Grapperhaus, Jess Dewes, Kristin Flieschmann Brewer, and Pacia Anderson for engaging in such profound conversation with one another and the audience. Thanks also to Carr Lane VPA Middle School, SLPS, and All the Art.

What drives art education? What challenges do we face from local, state, and federal governments? How does the local and broader artworld interact with youth through education via schools, institutions, and community organizations?  What are our goals as artists, educators, and citizens? Have your own questions? Join the conversation @CriticalMassSTL).This event will take place in conjunction with the release of All the Art‘s Spring issue on the same topic. This conversation will center around issues in Art education K-12 (we will likely have a separate conversation on Art and Academia)


De Andrea Nichols

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De Andrea Nichols is a social impact designer, museum educator, and social entrepreneur based in St. Louis, MO.

Through a multi-disciplinary design practice, De helps changemakers nationwide actualize creative solutions to issues that matter most to them and their communities. In addition to serving as a community engagement specialist with the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, she is a Co-Founder and Creative Director of Civic Creatives, a social design organization that equips organizations and leaders to resolve critical social challenges using design thinking. As well, De serves as the President of the Board of Directors for Creative Reaction Lab and is a founding member of the Artivists STL artist collective. As an individual, De engages creatives, do-gooders, and start-ups through public speaking and creative consulting, helping them unlock their creative capacity for social change.

De Nichols is an alum of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, where she specialized in communications design, social entrepreneurship, and socio-economic development. She is a John B. Ervin Scholar, Brown Scholar, and Enterprise-Rent-a-Car Scholar. Her works have been supported by the Smithsonian National Museum for African-American History and Culture, Clinton Global Initiative, Women’s Caucus for Art, Gephardt Institute for Public Service, Ideas that Matters, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, StartingBloc Fellowship for Social Innovation, Points of Light, Youth Service America, and AshokaU Changemakers.

Twitter: @de_nichols ;Instagram: @de_nichols; Facebook: /deandrean


Pacia Anderson


Pacia Anderson is a St. Louis-based poet, writer, visual, and teaching artist that uses the art of the narrative to both make sense of the world around her, as well as to tell a good story. Her work is a charismatic blend of rhyme, layered imagery, and fantasy, all of which are used to explore complex subject matter and co-create visceral, emotive experiences for readers and listeners alike. She is a 2014 graduate of the Community Arts Training Institute, a founding member of the art-based youth initiative, Cherokee Street Reach, and serves as bookings and curation assistant to St. Louis Poet Laureate Dr. Michael Castro. Pacia currently teaches poetry classes at Most Holy Trinity in North St. Louis, and mural art at Roosevelt High in South City. She is a member of the Yeyo Arts Collective and is currently working to produce her first spoken-word album, tentatively titled Wormhole.

Kristin Fleischmann Brewer


Kristin Fleischmann Brewer is the Director of Public Projects at Pulitzer Arts Foundation, where she has worked since 2011. Over the past 4 years Brewer has mounted ambitious projects including artist commissions and residencies with architects, social practice artists, game developers, poets, and composers. Projects include Press Play, a project focused on sound and architecture that included commissions by Pulitzer-prize winning composer David Lang, pillows designed for the galleries by dosa, inc., and a residency with sound and social practice artist, Chris Kallmyer; Marfa Dialogues / St. Louis, a 5-day program with 25 local and national partners that focused on arts role in climate change solutions; PXSTL, a 6-month architecture and community grant initiative that activated an empty lot in a St. Louis neighborhood and gave $60,000 to local and national cultural workers to do projects; and Reset, a 9-day program focused on hospitality and a celebration of arts including drag performance, nail painting with Vanity Projects, and hip hop.

Brewer is also a practicing artist, and co-founder of Enamel Art Space in St. Louis, MO.  She received her Master of Fine Arts from Washington University in St. Louis in May 2011 where she was the recipient of the Mr. and Mrs. Spencer T. Olin Fellowship for Women, and received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in painting from the University of Denver in 2007. Brewer has been awarded artist residencies and fellowships including the Cité International Des Arts, Paris, France (summer 2017); Creative Community Fellowship with National Art Strategies, Norfolk, CT (summer 2015); and two residencies with The Luminary, St. Louis, MO, a studio residency (spring 2012) and the FLOAT Residency with Italian Collective Radical Intention in (summer 2014).


Jess Dewes



Ms. Jess Dewes teaches studio art and photography at Grand Center Arts Academy, a charter school for the visual and performing arts in Grand Center that serves middle and high school aged students.  She was involved very closely with the founder of the school at its inception in 2009-2010, working on everything from mission and vision writing to giving tours to prospective families before construction even began.  She has also worked as professional photographer and studio owner.

As a photographer, she has worked both commercially and editorially for a variety of clients, publications, and purposes. She has also exhibited her personal work in various galleries and venues throughout the Midwest. She considers portraiture to be her specialty, although she embraces all art forms as essential to the true understanding of art and art-making. As a teacher, Ms. Dewes has worked with students from pre-K to college teaching photography, ceramics, sculpture, and studio art courses. From 2004-2009, Ms. Dewes taught art for the School District of University City in both Elementary and Secondary classrooms. Prior to that, she worked in Summer programs teaching art for the School District of Clayton and Camp Laurel in rural Maine. She earned a BFA in Photography from the Kansas City Art Institute and a Master’s in Teaching (MAT) from Webster University.

John Grapperhaus

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John Grapperhaus is the Visual Art and Springboard Coordinator for St. Louis Public Schools, and has taught Visual Art at Beaumont High School, Carr Lane Visual and Performing Arts Middle School, and Sumner High School.  John is responsible for managing the district visual art budgets, contests, curriculum, and professional development as well as coordinating Springboard Teaching Artists’ Residencies in SLPS schools.  He volunteers and serves on the board of trustees for Annonyarts, a movement and performing arts organization in Midtown St. Louis, as well as serving as the Visual Art Director of the Gateway House of Prayer.  John is an active artist and musician and has a BFA from Washington University, an MFA in Arts Management and Leadership from Webster University.

Basil Kincaid


Basil Kincaid is an artist and educator who confronts issues of identity, institutional racism, historiography, culture, and social justice in his work, among various other topics. He has shown at Harvard, The Grammy Museum, Smack Mellon, and the Box Gallery. He has completed several residencies including at Arts Connect International, and St. Louis’ own Blankspace.

As Basil himself puts it, “I have spent my life cultivating artistic abilities to evince the beauty in all iterations of humanity in the hopes that my art will spread understanding, encourage curiosity, and inspire the willingness to include. I am driven to use community conscious art initiatives as stepping stones towards the unification of the American cultural landscape, eventually reaching a global scale.” (