Lunch on the Grass: Three Women Art Educators of Color

Joni Boyd Acuff, Vanessa López, Gloria J. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We are three art educators, Women of Color (WoC), in higher education. In this article, we use trioethnography, a dialogic methodology, to provide context for understanding our struggles as such. We describe our challenges navigating a field (art education) that has embraced feminist scholarship, yet has historically paid little attention to how the intersections of race and gender systemically marginalizes WoC. We utilize scholarship from feminists of color, and the artwork of Black, queer, female visual artist Mickalene Thomas to counter the negation of our voices and reveal the complexity of our lived experiences to our predominately White female field. We look to intersectional feminisms to shift the art education discourse so that WoC’s matrices of oppression are considered. Ultimately, we seek to complicate the traditional feminist discourse that occurs in the art education field. Using trioethnography as a methodology allowed our recorded and transcribed dialogs to become our site of inquiry and, ultimately, become narratives of resistance in relation to dominant narratives/discourse. We offer three thematic lenses for examining our dialog: “Keeping it Real,” “Invisible Burdens,” and “Kinship Ties.” Further, we juxtapose these narratives alongside our photographic reenactment of Thomas’s artwork as a backdrop and third space for examination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-51
Number of pages34
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2019


  • Black feminist thought
  • Chicana feminism
  • Women of Color
  • art education
  • arts
  • intersectionality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


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