Biography: Dr. Tillander is an artist/art educator specializing in engaging art education, technology, and culture as integrated processes and approaches to expand art educational technology practice. She joined the University of Florida (UF), College of the Arts (COTA) School of Art and Art History (SA&AH) in 2006 and developed and initiated the online MA in Art Education at the University of Florida in 2010. She has published articles and chapters in Art Education Journal, Visual Art Research,Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, and contributed chapters in Digital Visual Culture: Interactions and Intersections in the 21st Century (Sweeny, 2011), Exploring Digital Technologies for Art-Based Special Education: Models and Methods for the Inclusive K-12 Classroom (Garner, 2019), and forthcoming in The Art of Decolonizing: Methods and Strategies from Art, Craft, and Visual Culture (Alexander & Sharma). In 2019 she was a University of Florida Anderson Scholar Faculty Honoree. From 1985 to 1991, Michelle assisted with the implementation of Virginia’s first Governor\’s School for the Arts, a regional program for artistically talented high school students where she served as Chair of the Visual Arts Department from 1998 to 2002.
Research Interests: Michelle Tillander's research explores digital media technologies and contemporary learning. Teaching and learning have changed as sensory-rich media transforms the infrastructure of connectivity, networking, and dynamic information and alters our consumption and production of knowledge. Her research in the area of digital media-including the exploration of digital medias' potential impacts and limitations to pedagogy-acknowledges the emerging vernacular of today's youth who are ubiquitously engaged with digital media through the writing, thinking, and visual processes of the digital age.
Tillander's initial scholarship in digital media began in 2002, with a research project entitled A Cultural Interface Approach to New Media Art Education that examined digital media artworks (art and technology), culture (values, beliefs, and assumptions), and everyday experiences (lives of students and teachers). Her current trajectory of inquiry, New Media Art Conversations, focuses on selected digital artists and practitioners. This ongoing research, funded by the University of Florida College of Fine Arts Scholarship Enhancement Grant, investigates digital media artists' conversations and artworks as a way to engage a dialogue about digital media within K-12 art education.
Tillander, M. (in press/2022). If Decolonizing is the Answer: What are The Questions? In M. Sharma & A. Alexander (Eds.) The Art of Decolonizing: Methods and Strategies from Art, Craft, and Visual Culture Education.
Tillander, M. (in press/2022). Ecological care, compassion, and empathy: Art, environment and social justice making, unmaking or no making. 2022 Special Issue on Animals, Plants, Bryophytes, Lichen and Fungi in Contemporary Art and Research.
Tillander, M. (in press/2022/3). Running the numbers: Rich and dense everydayness stories with data (working title). In Jason DeHart (Ed.) Arts-based/alternative Approaches to Data Analysis in Education. Routledge.
Elevate A. R. T. S. (Arts Relationships Technology Steam) (2014-2018 project provides innovative, collaborative and sustained professional development for twenty-five music and art teachers in ten high poverty schools, in order to reduce the high arts teacher turnover rate and to improve student achievement.
2019 Daniel and Jean Koivu Visiting Artists Grant, Aram Han Sifuentes ($4000.00)
2019 Anderson Scholar Faculty Honoree
2017 University Florida Term Professorship Award
2015 Key Personnel, U.S. D.O.E. Professional Development Grant (PDAE), Pinellas Public Schools 2014-2018 (E.L.E.V.A.T.E. A.R.T.S.) ($945,249.00).
2013 Collaborative practice and ubiquitous learning: Online agency in the art education. Scholarship Enhancement Fund (SEF), College of Fine Arts, University of Florida. ($6,389)
2012 Market Equity Compensation Funds for Research, Provost, University of Florida. ($500)
2012 Artists Residency, Jentel Foundation, Banner, WY. 4-week residency (award studio, lodging, meals: value $4,400)
2010 Artists Residency, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Residency Award, Amherst, Virginia. 3-week residency (awarded studio, lodging, meals: value $2800)
2012 Multimodal Conversations: Digital Interfaces as Synergy for Creative Narrative Strategies. Scholarship Enhancement Fund (SEF), College of Fine Arts, University of Florida. ($700)
2009 Body as Medium Workshop. Sponsored by the University of Florida and New World School of the Arts (NWSA), Miami, FL. ($1500)
2008 New Media Conversation, Scholarship Enhancement Fund (SEF), College of Fine Art, University of Florida. ($2,500)