Dr. Nettrice Gaskins, STEAM Lab Director, Boston Arts Academy

Dr. Nettrice Gaskins was born in Baltimore, Maryland. She majored in Visual Art at duPont Manual High School in Louisville, KY. She earned a BFA in Computer Graphics with Honors from Pratt Institute in 1992 and a MFA in Art and Technology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1994. She worked for several years in K-12 and post-secondary education, community media and technology before enrolling at Georgia Tech where she received a doctorate in Digital Media in 2014. Her model for ‘techno-vernacular creativity’ is an area of practice that investigates the characteristics of this production and its application in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics). Currently, Dr. Gaskins is director of the STEAM Lab at Boston Arts Academy, the city’s only public high school for the visual and performing arts serving over 440 students that reflect the diversity of Boston’s neighborhoods.

When she is not advancing interdisciplinary education, Dr. Gaskins blogs for Art21, the producer of the Peabody award-winning PBS series, Art in the Twenty-First Century and publishes articles about topics such as Afrofuturism. Her essay was included in “Meet Me at the Fair: A World’s Fair Reader” published by ETC Press. Dr. Gaskins wrote “Afro-Futurism: Countering Mass Culture’s Reductional Breakdown Through Creative Forms of Representation” for Nictoglobe Magazine, and “Urban Metaphysics: Creating Game Layers on Top of the World” for UCLA’s Mediascape.

In the past Dr. Gaskins has supported the use of digital technologies by students and faculty in all art/media disciplines; worked as a teaching artist for the Boston 100K Artscience Innovation Prize; and was a youth media/technology trainer for Adobe Youth Voices. She was board president of the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture and on the board of the Community Technology Centers Network (CTCNet).

Dr. Gaskins presented Black Futurism at We Are City 2014 in Indianapolis, Cybism and Decoding the Letter at ISEA2011 in Istanbul and co-facilitated Augmented Reality in Open Spaces (AROS) at ISEA2012 in Albuquerque, NM. She moderated Enlightenment, Strange Mathematics & Rhythmic Equations at The Studio Museum in Harlem (2014). She was a Digital STEAM research intern at the Smithsonian Institution (2013) and received funding from the National Science Foundation for Advancing STEM Through Culturally Situated Arts-Based Learning (2014).