Joni Boyd Acuff

Joni Boyd Acuff

Associate Professor / Graduate Studies Chair
Ph.D. in Art Education, The Ohio State University (2011)
MA in Community Based Art Education, University of Texas (2007)
BS in Art Education, Pennsylvania State University (2005)
BA in Photography, Pennsylvania State University (2005)

Dr. Joni Boyd Acuff is an Associate Professor of Arts Administration, Education and Policy at OSU. She serves as graduate studies chair in AAEP. Acuff teaches undergraduate and graduate students in the art education program. Acuff’s research agenda and scholarship attends to critical multicultural art education, critical race theory in art education, and culturally responsive teaching and curriculum development. Acuff has art and art education teaching experience in both traditional and non-traditional classrooms. She has worked extensively with diverse populations of learners, including students with special needs (cognitive and physical), student who identify as LGBTQ and students from varying racial backgrounds and socioeconomic levels.

Dr. Joni Boyd Acuff received a BA in Photography and a BS in Art Education (and licensure in teaching art in K-12) from The Pennsylvania State University in 2005. In 2007 she obtained a MA in Community Based Art Education from the University of Texas at Austin. Her thesis research evaluated education curriculum in museum programs from youth.  Acuff attended The Ohio State University from 2008-2011 and received a PhD in Art Education. The dissertation, titled A Multicultural and Social Reconstructionist Approach to Art Education: A Framework for Social Justice through Art Curriculum, investigated the influences of a social justice art curriculum in a community center for youth who identify as lgbtq (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer).

Acuff has published her research in varying scholarly, peer-reviewed journals such as Art Education, Studies in Art Education, and International Journal of Education through Art. She also has a co-edited book with Dr. Laura Evans (UNT), titled Multiculturalism in Art Museums Today, published by Rowman & Littlefield.  Acuff sits on the review board for professional journals such as International Journal of Education and the Arts, and Journal of Social Theory in Art Education. She is the Associate Editor for Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education. Acuff is active in the National Art Education Association (NAEA), as she serves as the Higher Education Regional Director for the Western Region. From 2014-2017, Acuff served as chair of Committee on Multiethnic Concerns (COMC), a special interest group of the NAEA. Acuff received the 2017 Mary J. Rouse award, given by the Women’s Caucus of NAEA, for her early career success in the art education field.

Areas of Expertise

Race and Art Education

Critical Multicultural Art Education

Critical Race Theory in Art Education

Culturally Relevant Pedagogy and Curriculum Development


  • 2014 2014 Book Cover Contest Winner.
  • 2011 Manuel Barkan Dissertation Award.
  • 2010 Up and Coming Scholar.

Book Chapters


  • 2015. "Culture interlopers and multiculturalism-phobics: Theoretical approaches to art teaching in a global world." In Cultural sensitivity in a global world: A handbook for teachers, edited by M. Manifold, S. Willis, & E. Zimmerman,
  • 2015. "Grey hoodies, baggy jeans, and brown skin: The violence against Black males via signs and signifiers." In The assault on communities of color: Exploring the realities of race-based violence, edited by Fasching-Varner, K. & Hartlep, N. D,


  • "A critical race theory analysis of online resources about creating Native American art." In Transforming our practices: Indigenous art, pedagogies and practices, edited by K. Staikidis & C. Ballengee-Morris,

Journal Articles


  • Acuff, J.B., 2016, "‘Being’ a Critical Multicultural Pedagogue in the Art Education Classroom." Critical Studies in Education 53, no. 2,
  • Kraehe, A.M.; Acuff, J.B.; Travis, S., 2016, "Equity, the arts, and urban education: A review." The Urban Review 48, no. 2,


  • Kraehe, A., Acuff, J. B., Slivka, K., Pfiefer-Wunder, A., 2015, "Conversations Extended: Art Education in Context." Art Education 68, no. 6, 6-8 - 6-8.
  • Acuff, J.B., 2015, "Failure to operationalize: Investing in critical multicultural art education." Journal of Social Theory in Art Education 35,


  • Acuff, J.B., 2014, "(mis)Information highways: A critique of online resources for multicultural art education." International Journal of Education through Art 10, no. 3,
  • Acuff, J.B., 2014, "(Re)Constructing cultural conceptions in art education: An action research." Visual Arts Research 40, no. 2,


  • Kraehe, A.M., Acuff, J.B., 2013, "Theoretical considerations for art education research with and about “underserved” populations." Studies in Art Education 54, no. 5, 294-309 - 294-309.
  • Acuff, J.B., 2013, ""How will you do this?”: Infusing multiculturalism throughout art teacher education programs." Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education 30,
  • Acuff, J.B., 2013, "Discursive underground: Re-transcribing the history of Art Education using Critical Multicultural Education." Visual Inquiry: Learning & Teaching Art 2, no. 3,


  • Acuff, J. B., Hirak, B., Nangah, M., 2012, "Dismantling a master narrative: Using culturally responsive pedagogy to teach the history of Art Education." Art Education 65, no. 5, 6-11 - 6-11.