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Kelly McConnell headshot

Kelly McConnell

Director of Art Education Outreach, Chair of Art Education, Associate Professor

Dept. : MAT

“I believe an effective teacher embraces learning as a way of life, possesses a genuine love of children, and shares enthusiasm for their discoveries. A teacher should be dedicated, flexible, organized, have a sense of humor, and an ability to provide a classroom environment that encourages high expectations and reasonable behavioral limits. By connecting other areas of study, current events, and personal interests the teacher makes art an integral part of the learning experience.”

Kelly McConnell is a dynamic artist‐educator with over 20 years of teaching experience in graduate school, college, early childhood, K‐8, and professional development for educators. Her work involves collaborative, authentic, project‐based work in schools, museums, and community and alternative settings with learners of all ages and walks of life. As a teacher, Kelly McConnell is attuned to context and believes that all learning is cumulative, and that the learning experience is part of the construction of knowledge. In her practice, McConnell draws from frameworks such as Reggio Emilia inspired learning, the Studio Habits of Mind, and the equity‐based pedagogy of Paulo Freire. Training the next generation of art teachers has been Kelly McConnell’s focus in recent years. Critical thinking and creativity allows for openness and the spirit that anything is possible.


  • Participated in the 2015 annual National Art Education Association meeting in New Orleans with hands‐on workshops by MECA MAT faculty and students
  • Bill Traylor Family Day presentation, American Folk Museum
  • Bring Your Whole Self to Teaching Workshop for art educators, Feed Your Soul program at MECA


Kelly is also a painter who has exhibited work at Mayo Street Arts and Three Fish Gallery.

Click here to see Kelly’s work

Headshot photography by Séan Alonzo Harris