Kristina Elizondo holds a BA in Art History from the University of North Texas, an MA in Art History from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and a PhD in Art Education, with an emphasis in Art Museum Studies, from the University of North Texas. Prior to becoming a community college educator, Kristina worked as a museum educator at the Dallas Museum of Art, the McNay Art Museum, and the Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas (UT) at Austin, where she held the position of Manager of University Programs. While working closely with students and faculty at UT, her research interest in art museums as a setting for emerging adult learning began to develop. Her dissertation, The Museum is the Object: An Action Research Study in How Critical Theory Curriculum Influences Student Understanding of an Art Museum, analyzed student observations of an encyclopedic art museum as part of their Art Appreciation classes. In a 2020 article “Art History, Art Museums, and Power: A Critical Art History Curriculum” published in Art History Pedagogy & Practice, she proposes a critical theory-based art history curriculum. Prior to joining the faculty at ACC in 2019, Kristina taught Art History and served as Chair of the Fine Arts department at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth.
Current Courses 2020-2021
ARTS 1303 Art History I
ARTS 1304 Art History II
Assistant Dean of Arts and Digital Media Division/Professor
Faculty Spotlight Questions
What do you most hope students will take away from your class?
I hope that, after taking one or both of my Art History classes, students will gain an appreciation for the diversity of cultures and civilizations that have produced seminal works in art and architecture from prehistoric times to today. In class, we examine art from across the world, and study the cultural values, such as views on religion, death, and politics, that inspired the creation of these works. It’s fascinating to see the history of the world, and the similarities and differences in cultures, through amazing and beautiful works of art.
What types of books do you read? What are you reading now and/or what is one of the most treasured books on your bookshelf?
I am a historian through-and-through, so I tend to gravitate towards non-fiction, historical fiction, and older works of fiction, which may be 18th-and-19th-century British literature. I recently read and thoroughly enjoyed Madeline Miller’s Circe (2018) and Song of Achilles (2012), which focus on characters from the Odyssey and the Iliad. Right now, I am reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of Leonardo da Vinci (2017), and up next is 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed (2014) by Eric H. Cline, which no doubt will be an uplifting read. The most treasured books on my bookshelf are my two different sets of annotated editions of Jane Austen’s entire published oeuvre, which I am in a constant state of reading and loving.
Name a place that you’ve traveled to, but feel like you need to go back to because you didn’t have enough time there.
Cuernavaca, Mexico. The city is fascinating to me because it reflects the complex histories of indigenous, colonial, and modern Mexico; it has wonderful works of art and the natural landscape is beautiful.
What is your favorite technique or topic to teach? Is there one lecture or selection that is the most fun for you to teach?
If you’ve ever taken my class, you know that I’m the sort of professor that announces “I love this chapter–this is my favorite chapter!” at the beginning of each chapter. It’s true, though, my favorite topic is the one that I am currently teaching. My area of art historical expertise is the art of Mexico–pre-Columbian through the 20th century–so I do particularly enjoy teaching the art of ancient Mesoamerica, which includes Maya and Aztec art.
What do you like to do for fun?
I thoroughly enjoy going to art museums, baking and cooking, hanging out with my dogs, hyper-organizing things, watching British television and old movies, and getting outside to hike and kayak.
If there was one artwork that you could bring home and display during this period of quarantine, what would it be?
If I could choose any work of art to have in my home right now, I think I’d take a giant Olmec head to place in the garden. I would love to see it surrounded by greenery and wildlife. Obviously, acquiring an ancient work of art like this would involve all sorts of ethical dilemmas, so it’s probably best that I settle for having a copy of a giant Olmec head for the garde