Art Education art department


Thomas, Beth

B.A., Art Ed, Univ. of Cincinnati
M.A., Education, The Ohio State Univ.
Ph.D., Art Ed, The Ohio State Univ.

Assistant Professor

Department: Art Department
Office: SAB 108A
Phone: (845) 257-2641

Interim Director

Department: Art Education
Office: SAB 108A
Phone: (845) 257-2641

Career History

Dr. Beth A. Thomas is Acting Director of Art Education and an Assistant Professor in the Art Education program. Prior coming to SUNY New Paltz she taught at the Maryland Instutute College of Art (MICA) where she also served as the Interim Graduate Director of the Master of Arts in Teaching program. Dr. Thomas’s doctoral research utilized psychoanalytic theory and cognitive linguistic approaches to analyzing writing about works of art, and was completed at The Ohio State University. Dr. Thomas taught art in K-12 public schools for 16 years and has art teaching experience in community art and juvenile justice settings.

Research/Creative Activity

Dr. Thomas has presented nationally and internationally on her research interests which include the relationship between language and art learning, psychoanalytic theory and cognitive linguistics as they relate to education theory and practice, and art teachers’ research practices.


Thomas, B. (2014). Commentary: Regulation and recognition in education discourses. Studies in Art Education 55(2), 177-181.

Thomas, B. (2012). Psychologizing and the anti-psychologist: Dewey, Lacan, and questions for art education. Studies in Art Education, 53(4), 330-346.

Thomas, B. (2010). The Thames is a Teacher: Lacanian metaphor and meaning in writing about art. Visual Arts Research, 36(2), 103-122.

Thomas. B. (2009). Surpassing knowing: Metaphor and category reconceptualization
in the artwork of Mark Dion. In L. Della Pietra (Ed.) Perspectives on Creativity, pp. 48-64. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars.