Colorado State Art Professor Honored by the Colorado Art Education Association

The Colorado Art Education Association named Peter Jacobs, professor in Colorado State University’s art department, as its Higher Education Art Educator of the Year.

The award recognizes the contributions and dedication of individuals who give countless hours to promote visual arts education in their schools, districts, cities and the state of Colorado.

Jacobs’ career as an art educator reaches from his earliest experiences teaching art in a New York state reform school in 1960 to traveling to Guilin, China, where he served as a visiting professor at Guangxi University.

Jacobs first came to Colorado State in 1976, where he served as the chair for the art department until 1986. Since then, he has taught the course, Native American Art and Material Culture, within the department. Jacobs has a joint appointment with the university’s Center for Applied Studies in American Ethnicity.  

Through Jacobs’ initiation of the Visiting Artist Program, major art exhibitions and visiting artists’ residencies were introduced to the Colorado State campus. Some of the featured artists included Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Red Grooms, Andy Warhol and James Rosenquist, along with exhibitions of works by Jasper Johns and Willem de Kooning.  

Jacobs continuously promotes the elevation of arts education in Colorado by actively contributing to CAEA and the Denver Art Museum. One of Jacobs’ career accomplishments is the foundation of the National Council for Art Administrators. Jacobs founded this organization in 1972 after recognizing the need for collaboration among higher education art administrators.

Additionally, Jacobs is an active member in the Northern Colorado community. He has organized dozens of programs in the Poudre School District schools where he has delivered numerous slide presentations to high school students about his own art as well as work of other artists. For 20 years, he regularly and willingly erected his 18-foot-high tipi at elementary schools where he collaborated with art teachers to present programs on Native American community.

Jacobs’ involvement with the local Native American community extends to the Northern Colorado Intertribal Pow Wow Association Committee, where he has served on the committee since it started 15 years ago. He also served as the first president of the board of directors of Night Walker Enterprises, a local non-profit organization serving the needs of Indian reservations in the Western United States.  

Jacobs will be honored at an awards luncheon at CAEA’s fall conference on Oct. 6 at the Pueblo Convention Center.