Meet Dr. Heidi Powel-Mullins

Jan 1, 2013, 00:00 AM by Julia Essex

Heidi Powell Mullins, MEd, EdDThe UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome Heidi Powell-Mullins, MEd, EdD as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Powell-Mullins will be in residence from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013.

Dr. Powell-Mullins earned a Doctorate of Education in art education from the University of Houston.

Dr. Powell-Mullins has served as an Assistant Professor of Art Education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Eastern Washington University. In 2011 she served as a delegate to Cuba with the National Art Education Association focusing on global arts education initiatives; she was an invited scholar to the Atelier-Schaumbad in Austria ( ); and in 2010 she served as an National Endowment for the Humanities fellow in Alaska (UAS) and British Columbia (UBC). In 2009 Dr. Powell-Mullins served as a Fulbright Scholar at the Iceland Academy for the Arts-Listahaskoli Islands lecturing and pursuing creative research in interdisciplinary approaches to arts education. 

Dr. Powell-Mullins exhibits nationally and internationally and has exhibited work at the Atelier Schaumbad and remix: galerie in Graz, Austria, The Lost Horse Gallery in Reykjavik, Iceland, Salon Izidor Krsnjavi, in Zagreb, Croatia, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation in Morrilton, Arkansas, the Arkansas Studies Institute, Little Rock, Arkansas, as well as the Seattle Trade Center in Seattle, Washington, Eastern Oregon University, and Florida International University to name a few. Her sculptural work “Voices of Our Ancestors,” is on permanent loan to the Depot Museum in Morrilton, Arkansas, and tells the story of her great, great grandmother Diodema born on the Trail of Tears. As a scholar and artist of Native American (Eastern Oklahoma Delaware-Lenni Lenape) and Norwegian descent, her scholarly work includes national and regional publications in arts education, speaks at conferences, workshops, and public forums both internationally and nationally about art making, visual storytelling, cultural identity, and her current academic scholarship here at the Institute focuses on Narrative Inquiry and Experienced-Based research methods addressing pedagogy in the medical humanities and medical education integrating the arts, which encompasses art making as curriculum, museum/medical education, art historical contexts, the anthropology of art (art cultures), and research in art practice, exploring the theoretical and practical ideas of how the arts disrupt preconceived notions in learning environments. These methodologies are by nature interdisciplinary and re-exam claims of plurality, viability, and cannon as a form of cultural positioning in the arts and arts pedagogy and practice especially when related to the medical humanities.

Dr. Powell-Mullins' creative work focuses on indigenous and isolated histories and ideas and their relationship to contemporary society as landscape.  Her art making involves a variety of mixed methods (encaustic, printmaking, ceramics, and sculpture), exploring indigenous Native American and transcultural conceptions of place and space and the feminine. These conceptions reference the intersecting points of life between and in diverse cultures, involving both the past and the present. She believes her creative scholarship becomes a present day artifact of integrated diversity, a cultural innovation of artistic expression. Foundational to her creative work is the notion of “story” which re-emphasizes the conflictual and the consensual in society, constructing and de-constructing daily identity where the personal, collective, and cultural converge. She says, “for me, art making is a way of adding original dialogue and new ideas, to artistic narratives of knowledge that demonstrate how individual truth, imagination, and experience work together.”

While in residence in the Institute, Dr. Mullins will research the confluence of arts practice in the medical humanities and medical education.