2022 Keynote Speakers

Jaylen Law

Thursday 9 AM-3:30 PM Preconference Presenter
Friday 10 AM Super Session Keynote Speaker

 Law has been an artist since the age of four. He’s always been interested in different forms of creation, including painting, drawing, and sculpting. In his sophomore year of college, he decided to create his own business around his artistic talent. Since, his path has expanded into many different directions, in particular with creating murals. His first mural was a City of Buffalo initiative to honor essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic — the piece was a 5’X10’ aluminum panel honoring doctors and nurses. Then, the Niagara Falls Heritage Center approached him about creating a portrait for their Niagara Falls Murals initiative, leading him to create his Calvin “Pop” Porter mural. 

Common themes in Jalen’s work include utilizing technology and digital arts, including audio and video stimulation, to allow all types of people to engage with his pieces.

Currently, he is working on a research-based art program called the Emotional Intelligence Program to equip students with social and emotional tools that will assist them inside and outside of the classroom.

Jalen is also the featured speaker and facilitator of the 2022 Thursday Pre-Conference session. CLICK HERE for Pre-Conference information.

Law Porter Mural II

Jalen Law Porter Mural Installation II

Jalen Law Mural Installation

Images courtesy of Jalen Law, https://thejalenlawcollection.com


Karen Keifer-Boyd


Friday 1 PM Super Session Keynote Speaker

Karen Keifer-Boyd,Ph.D., Professor of Art Education and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at The Pennsylvania State University, co-authored several books: Teaching and Assessing Social Justice Art Education: Power, Politics, Possibilities (Routledge, 2022); Lobby Activism: Feminism(s)+Art Education (NAEA, 2021); Including Difference(NAEA, 2013); InCITE, InSIGHT, InSITE (NAEA, 2008); Engaging Visual Culture (Davis, 2007); and co-edited Real-World Readings in Art Education: Things Your Professors Never Told You (Falmer, 2000); and has more than 80 journal publications. Her research focuses on transdisciplinary creativity, inclusion, feminist art pedagogy, transcultural dialogue, action research, and eco-social justice art, and has been translated and published in Austria, Brazil, China, Columbia, Finland, Oman, and S. Korea. She is a recipient of a National Art Education Foundation grant (2017-2018) for social justice art education and a National Science Foundation grant (2010-2012) regarding gender barriers in technology. 

Keifer-Boyd is past-president of the NAEA Women’s Caucus, past-coordinator of the NAEA Caucus of Social Theory in Art Education, 2020 Eisner Lifetime Achievement Awardee, 2018 NAEA/VSA Gerber Special Needs Lifetime Achievement Awardee, 2015 NAEA Art Education & Technology Outstanding Research Awardee, 2014 NAEA Women’s Caucus June King McFee Awardee, NAEA Distinguished Fellow Class of 2013, and the 2013 Ziegfeld Awardee. She was the 2012 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Gender Studies at Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Austria, and a 2006 Fulbright Scholar in Finland. In 2005, she co-founded the Visual Culture & Genderjournal, the first multimedia online journal in the field of art education and has served as editor since 2005. She has also served as editor of the Journal of Social Theory in Art Education and guest editor for Research in Arts & Education’s special issue on arts education and disability justice, and for Visual Arts Research. 

She serves on the Have Art: Will Travel! For Gender Justice (HAWT) Advisory Council and served on a Research and Evaluation writing team of the Education Division at the Kennedy Center. In serving on the Steering Committee for the Art Education Research Institute (AERI), she developed AERI featured panels such as “Disability Justice: Ethics, Access, and Equity Arts Education Research.” In her chapter Creativity, Disability, Diversity and Inclusion in the Handbook of Arts Education and Special Education (Routledge, 2018), she draws on Critical Disabilities Studies theory and practices that change attitudes and environments to create an inclusive world of difference and challenge societal parameters of the normative that has been formed from racism, imperialism, colonialism, and other acts of hierarchical power. Current projects include developing online teaching resources: Wo/Manhouse 2022, Augmented Encounters, and Indigeneity & Disability Justice Art Exhibition.

Her lifetime work is based on her deep belief that visual art is integral to forming subjectivity, community, agency, and enacting social change. Visual art is also a powerful way to interpret histories, concepts, and experiences. Socially engaged participatory art can develop human potentials for dialogue, empathy, personal and collective healing, and can create solutions to nuanced and complex eco-social justice issues, documenting, and exploring beliefs, theories, and histories. Eco-social justice art builds democracy while visual art empowers human potential through teaching, leadership, and continuous learning. Transdisciplinary creativity as a social process in visual art can develop response-abilities, translate-abilities, and sense-abilities—and other competencies and capabilities necessary for democracy to thrive.

Lobby Activism

Kiefer-Boyd Book Cover

Including Difference


Nneka Jones

Saturday 1 PM Super Session Keynote Speaker

Trinidad is a melting pot of rich cultures, festivals, ethnicities and diverse groups, all of which have influenced Nneka Jones' identity and artwork. The Caribbean soil is where the seeds of her artistic roots were first sowed. As the youngest of four children she immersed herself in exploring her natural talents. Jones was fascinated with drawing, painting and sculpting portraits of women and notable Caribbean figures. In 2016, after placing first in the Caribbean for Art and Design Examinations, Jones saw an opportunity to further her art education in the United States and made the difficult decision to leave family and friends behind to pursue her art career.

The twenty-five-year old artist graduated with a BFA and minor in Marketing from the University of Tampa in May 2020 with an array of artistic talents and diverse portfolio.

She has since blossomed into a multidisciplinary artist working in mixed media, embroidery and textiles, paint, etc. to produce thought-provoking, activist artwork that advocates for the protection of women and girls through contemporary portraiture. Whether stitching on a small intimate scale or creating work that spans over 100 ft of wall space, Jones has continued to pave the way and redefine what it means to be an artist with a passion for multiple media.

One of her most notable achievements was a commission from TIME magazine to produce the cover artwork for the August 31st/ September 7th issue 2020. Her work has since been acquired by the City of Tampa, Tampa Museum of Art, FL, Florida Craft Art Gallery, FL, The Ferman Center for the Arts, FL and many other private and public collectors. She views her artwork as a vehicle to drive honest conversation in a society that often goes silent to social issues and taboo topics.

Although Jones is notorious for her realistic embroidered portraits with lasting impressions, her ultimate goal goes beyond the surface of any canvas; it is to inspire young artists to break barriers and stereotypes in the art industry, proving the power of art and the artist.


Jones New Era

Nneka Jones Time Magazine


Jones Yellow Light

Images courtesy of Nneka Jones, https://www.artyouhungry.com/


Alexis Oltmer

Sunday 9 AM Super Session Keynote Speaker

Alexis Oltmer currently lives and works in State College, PA. She received her BA in Photography from The University at Buffalo and is a current MFA candidate at Penn State University.

Her practice consists of documenting, collecting, and processing objects and natural spaces she explores on the outskirts of the built environment. She uses photography for documentation and sculpture for recontextualization. The spaces she studies and the objects she produces are heuristics to query and denaturalize standard discourses around material consumption and the construct of the natural environment.

Oltmer’s work is influenced by her experiences growing up in a factory town where she was regularly exposed to the complex relationship between production and consumption and the benefits and costs of each.

Her latest exhibit, For Future Generations: A plastic pollution study of Lake Erie, opened in 2020 at the CEPA Gallery in Buffalo, NY, highlighting the occurrence of plastic pollution found on Emerald Beach on the shore of Lake Erie. The project spanned three years and included the creation of #Plasticfreebuffalo, a community beach cleanup in partnership with The Buffalo Niagara waterkeepers, The Alliance for the Great Lakes, and NOAA. 

In 2021, Oltmer's work was selected by UNEP and Climate Museum to be flown at Rockefeller Center amongst 193 flags created by international artists to highlight sustainability and advocacy for the health of our planet.




Images courtesy of AlexisOltmer, https://www.alexisoltmer.com