Profile for Lisa Lenarz

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Lisa Lenarz

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Associate Professor
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

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Specialty area(s)

Art Education

  • Career-competencies in Art & Art Education
  • Interdisciplinary Studio Practices (including technology)
  • Instructional Scaffolding & Supports for fostering Digital and Visual literacy
  • Global Competencies in Art Education
  • Online Course Design
  • Community Engaged Learning
  • Competency-based Measures of Assessment in Art and Art Education

Brief biography

I'm currently Associate Professor in the Department of Art here at UW-La Crosse. Within the department, I serve as Art Education Faculty; teaching primarily methods and field courses, advising students in the major, and supervising pre-service art teachers during all three of their clinical field experiences. I've been teaching art and art education courses in higher education since 2012 and have an additional 10 years of experiencing teaching all levels of K-12 art in public schools (at the Elementary, Middle, and High School levels), including: (1) charters, such as Montessori, and the School of Technology & Arts; (2) digital art/media, and (3) teaching adaptive art for differently abled learners at the high school level. 

My research centers primarily on pedagogies and practices in art education to best prepare pre-service teachers with the knowledge, skills, and competencies for future career pathways as well as being active community arts leaders and collaborators. Some examples of these research topics are: visual literacy, technology in art education, career and global competencies in art education, and competency-based measures of assessment. In 2023, I taught a faculty-led study abroad course in Japan (primarily in Tokyo) for pre-service teachers. It was part of a two-course program offering. 

In addition to being an art educator, I'm an interdisciplinary artist, who works primarily in drawing, printmaking, sculptural installation, and digital media. Notable exhibitions include the Brooklyn Museum, as part of Ulrike Müller’s published, “Herstory Inventory: 100 Feminist Drawings by 100 Artists,” and at Galerie 5020 in Salzburg, Austria. Some of my work can be viewed online at: 

I earned an M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Visual Art in 2010 at the Vermont College of Fine Art, in Montpelier, VT. Studio emphases included: printmaking, video/audio/digital, and sculptural installation. 



Current courses at UWL

ON CAMPUS courses
ART 102 - Art Appreciation (online/asynchronously - occasionally Winter/Summer)
ART302 - Visual Language in the Global Classroom (occasionally Summer Japan)
ART 361 - Field I in Art Education 
ART 461 - Field II in Art Education 
ART401 - Art Education Methods I: Foundational Practices (spring only) 
ART403 - Art Education Methods II: Contemporary Practices (fall only) 
ART 413 - Independent Study: Advanced Studio Practices in Art Education
ART 415 - Art Seminar (occasionally Summer Japan)
EDS 492 - K-12 Student Teaching Seminar for AWLME (Art, World Language, and Music Education)

SUPERVISION in the Field
ART 361 - Field I in Art Education 
ART 461 - Field II in Art Education 
EDS 497 - K-12 Art Education, Student Teachers 


M.F.A. in Visual/Studio Art, Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, VT | 2010

B.S. in Art Education, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, La Crosse, WI | 2007

Minneapolis College of Art & Design (MCAD), Fine Arts, Minneapolis, MN | 1993/1994


Teaching history

UW-La Crosse
Associate Professor (2022-current)
Assistant Professor (2018-2022)
Associate Lecturer (2017-2018 & 2012-2014)

Viterbo University
Adjunct Faculty (2014-2017)

School District of La Crosse
Art Teacher K-12 (2008-2018)

Professional history

Pump House Regional Arts Center
Gallery Committee (2010-2013 & 2018-2021)
Board Member, Youth Art Coordinator, & Instructor (2008-2013)

Wisconsin Arts Board
Grant Proposal Review Panelist (2019)

WAEA (Wisconsin Art Education Association)
Co-Interim President Elect (2013-2014), Web Designer (2012-2014), Advocacy Representative (2011-2012), & Elementary Education Representative (2010-2011)

Research and publishing

Published Articles

Lenarz, Lisa M. (2018/2019). Engaging Marginalized Students Through the Visual Arts. ASCD Journal (Associate for Supervision and Curriculum Development), December/January (Issue).

Editor/Mentor of Published Student Research

Bernhagen, M., Smith, S., & Sonnek, A. (2020). Testing Creative Lines of Inquiry in the Art Classroom (1014494990 780430603 L. Lenarz, Ed.). Journal of Undergraduate Research, XXIII.




Ariel Beaujot, History; Nese Nasif, Marketing; and Kathleen Hawkes, Lisa Lenarz, Marc Manke and Sierra Rooney, all Visual & Performing Arts; received the award for Preservation Alliance of La Crosse Heritage Award at Preservation Alliance of La Crosse Banquet on Wednesday, Sept. 6 in La Crosse, WI, USA. Preservation Alliance of La Crosse has granted us the 2023 Heritage Award for contribution to Historic Preservation via the Hear, Here Project.

Submitted on: Aug. 28



Lisa Lenarz, Art, received the award for 2021 Higher Education Art Educator Award from Wisconsin Art Education Association. Lisa was nominated by WAEA Past President, Tiffany Beltz. The award will be presented at the WAEA's Fall conference, Thursday, October 21st. (WI Location TBD).

Submitted on: May 4, 2021



Kathleen Hawkes and Lisa Lenarz, both Art; Jonathan Borja, Music; and Joseph Anderson, Mary Leonard and Gregory Parmeter, all Theatre Arts; presented "various workshops in art, music and theatre" at Arts Day 2019 on Monday, Nov. 4 in La Crosse, WI. Faculty from the School of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) presented workshops on stage makeup, photography, graffiti art, musical theatre and stage combat to area high school students who attended the all day Arts Day event at UWL.

Submitted on: Nov. 4, 2019



Lisa Lenarz, Art; Jennifer Kosiak and Jenni McCool, both Mathematics, Statistics; and Lindsey Butts, Ashley Cree and Mai Chao Duddeck, all SOE office of the dean; received the award for the Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Research Grant at the 15th Annual banquet dinner of the Heritage Chocolate Society on Jan. 19 in Orlando, FL.

Submitted on: Jan. 30, 2019



Lisa Lenarz, Art, authored the article "Portraits of Courage" in "Educational Leadership" published on Dec. 9, 2018 by ASCD.

Submitted on: Dec. 10, 2018