Collura receives international teaching award
Penn State School of Visual Arts Professor of Art Bonnie Collura was awarded the 2021 International Sculpture Center (ISC) Outstanding Educator Award.
The ISC is a nonprofit arts organization that annually recognizes individual artist-educators who have excelled at teaching sculpture in higher education for 15 or more years. Collura was nominated by two different students and was one of two educators this year to receive the prestigious ISC award.
“I am incredibly grateful to the students that nominated me as well as to the committee,” Collura said. “I am very emotional and very thankful.”
The candidates are evaluated based on careers that combine personal studio practice and academic performance, two areas where Collura excels. Her work, which consists of multimedia sculptures, figurative textiles and outdoor works, has been exhibited in both national and international galleries, and she has also received six research grants while at Penn State.
“Coming to Penn State has allowed me to become a better teacher and it has provided a place in which I can really start to make my work much better,” Collura said.
Collura moved her studio from Brooklyn, New York, to Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, and has been teaching in the School of Visual Arts since July 2007. She said that teaching allows her to share value and space with the students, which often provides creative confidence in their artmaking.
Collura shared a deep appreciation for her students, colleagues and the ISC for believing that she deserved the award.
“I feel like I share this award with all my colleagues, who often help me to become a better teacher,” Collura said. “I work with some of the most amazing faculty, and I feel like sometimes they don’t really get full credit for all the things they do.”
As part of the recognition for the award, which has been presented annually for more than two decades, Collura will be featured in an upcoming edition of Sculpture Magazine.
Written by Mackenzie Daly