Lisa Abia-Smith is the Director of Education at the University of Oregon’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and Senior Instructor in the College of Design-PPPM, teaching courses in arts and healthcare, arts management, museum studies, and accessible arts curriculum development. Before her hire at the UO, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Art Education at SUNY Buffalo State College (BSC) from 1995 to 1997, where she taught courses in art and museum education. She was hired at BSC to create the nation’s first concentration program in Museum Education for Special Needs for the Master’s Degree of Art Education. She has also held positions as the Assistant Education Curator at the Jewish Museum in San Francisco, Natural Science Teacher at the Oakland Museum of California, and was an art educator at the Rose Resnick Lighthouse for the Blind in San Francisco. Lisa has served on the Oregon Task Force developing and updating Oregon’s Core Content Standards for the Arts and has served as a reviewer and contributor for the art teacher PRAXIS tests for Oregon. Lisa earned a master’s degree in Museum Studies from John F. Kennedy University, a bachelor’s degree in art from St. Mary’s College of California, and studied art history and painting at Leo Marchutz Art School in France.
She presents nationally and internationally at conferences on arts/healthcare/marginalized communities. She is author of “Preparing the Mind and Learning to See: Art Museums as Training Grounds for Medical Students”, published by Routledge Press. She has presented on her research in this area at the International Arts in Society Conference in Paris in June 2017. In September 2018, she will present at the Inclusive Museum Conference and Research Network at the University of Granada in Granada, Spain.