Charles R. Peterson, Emeritus Professor of Art, St. Norbert College
Charles R Peterson, Emeritus Professor of Art, St. Norbert College
BS, MS and MFA from UW-M. Art teacher at Mukwonago Union HS (1958) and at West Division HS in Milwaukee (1961) where he later served as an art supervisor. Joined the faculty at St. Norbert College (SNC) in 1969 (Art and Art Education). In 1984 founded the Young Artist Workshops (YAW) at SNC, a visual and performing arts program for children and young adults with developmental disabilities and served as director for sixteen years. His research in applications of assistive technology (AT) to increase accessibility of the arts for individuals with disabilities led to a new AT Teacher Certification Program at the college and a Master Degree Program in Adaptive Education, the nation’s first, which he directed. He was a frequent presenter at state, national and international professional conferences on education in the arts and applications of AT.
In 1993, Governor Tommy Thompson presented Chuck the Governor’s Award for the Arts in recognition of his work with the YAW and leadership in Wisconsin developing community arts programs for individuals with disabilities. Received career awards from WAEA and NAEA. He was the first recipient of the SNC Community Service Award in 1997, was presented the President’s Medal in 2001 and awarded Emeritus Professor of Art upon his retirement in 2005.
Some memories of Chuck.....
I first met Chuck in the fall of 1981 when I was a sophomore at St. Norbert College. I had just decided to major in Art Education and also pursue coursework in photography. Chuck became my teacher, my mentor, my boss (I worked as a Photography teachers assistant) and my colleague. I remember him taking me to my first WAEA conference in fall 1983 during my senior year. He also made a very expensive call to Ireland when I was crying and worrying about my student teaching placement there. I had my first post college job with Chuck as a teacher in the pre-cursor to the Young Artists Workshops in summer 1984. Chuck was always energetic, positive, inspiring and busy with multiple projects, travels and ideas. I greatly admired his work ethic and the goals he set for himself and the program at St. Norbert College.
Congratulations Chuck! I'm so happy to see you being recognized in the first Fellows Class 2017- Jeanne Balistreri-Bjork, SNC '84 and WAEA Board Member
This article summarizes the many contributions Charles (Chuck) Peterson has made to the Wisconsin Art Education Association and the study of Art Education in our state. His founding of the Young Artist Workshops eventually led to the Adaptive Arts major in the state of Wisconsin. The article is from from the WAEA newsletter-ArtTimes, Winter, 1994
Charles Peterson Receives Governor’s Award in Support of the Arts
Charles Peterson, professor of art at St. Norbert College, De Pere, WI received the Governors Award in Support of the Arts from the Wisconsin Foundation for the Arts. The Award as well as an original work by a Wisconsin artist was presented to Peterson on Sunday, November 14, 1993 by governor Tommy Thompson at a ceremony in the Executive Residence.
Peterson founded the Young Artist Workshops (YAW) in 1985, with a prototype of the program developed in summer of 1984. A foster and adoptive parent caring for children with special needs, an artist, and an educator, Peterson was frustrated by the limited opportunities available in the arts for children with exceptional needs. Integrating the arts into the education of children with special education needs, giving them confidence-building experiences in the arts and developing what might become a lifelong appreciation for the arts are YAW’s purposes.
YAW began as a three-week summer enrichment program in 1985 for 20 children with physical and/or communication disorders. It has grown to a year-round multifaceted program of undergraduate and graduate education and teacher certification in adaptive education. The summer program now draws about 135 young people ages 3 - 22 physically challenged, cognitively disabled and deaf/hearing impaired.
Chuck retired in May 2005 after 36 years of teaching at St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI.