Dr. Kay Silva was recognized at the December 14, 2017 Board of Education meeting for being named Illinois Art Education Association Secondary Educator of the Year. Dr. Silva is an art educator, designer and arts advocate who originally hails from Detroit, Michigan. Silva’s art career began with a BFA in Costume Design and several years as a professional, NYC-based designer working on theatre and film productions across the continental US as well as in London, England. After returning to the Midwest, her creative path led her to positions as a graphic designer and freelance muralist in Chicago.
Dr. Silva has been a full-time art educator for the past 20 years, teaching for the first half of her career in the Chicago Public Schools. She currently teaches at Grayslake Central High School where she has worked since 2008. Silva recently earned obtained her Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership. She is an active member of the Democracy School Network and is a passionate proponent of social justice. Dr. Silva’s dissertation research investigated ways to increase students’ civic engagement through artmaking. She and her students constantly work to improve the climate and culture of their environment through the creation of large scale murals within their school and surrounding local community.
Silva’s pedagogy is guided by the TAB (Teaching for Artistic Behavior) and SHoM(Studio Habits of Mind) approaches to art education. These learner-led frameworks have helped her create democratic, student-directed, choice-based art curricula. Silva is currently working with other local art educators to build a Chicagoland, TAB-Choice, secondary level professional learning community. Dr. Kay Silva currently serves the Illinois Art Education Association as Secretary of the Northeast Council and as a member of the Advocacy and Standards committees. Dr. Kay Silva comments, “I was incredibly thrilled and honored to receive this award! It feels like the greatest collective “thank you” for a life of service to Chicagoland’s youth. I put my mind, heart and soul into every day as an art educator and this award acknowledges that passion. My career in the arts has been happily lived behind the scenes, helping to put the artist and their work out on stage for the world to appreciate, so this award is a delightful turnabout for me.”