Saturday, March 23, 2019
Home Blog

Register now for the 2018 visual literacy conference


We invite you to submit a proposal for the 50th Annual Conference of the International Visual Literacy Association (IVLA), to be held on November 1- 4, 2018, in Chicago, Illinois.

The conference theme is Viewing the Past, Picturing the Present, Designing the Future: Celebrating 50 Years of Visual Literacy. The conference will bring international scholars and researchers, teachers and students, artists, scientists and other professionals to Chicago to participate in an exciting exchange of ideas about visual literacy and how it has developed over the years and to speculate on its future.The conference facilitates the exchange of best and innovative practices, presentation of research results, and discussion of work in progress. Paper presentations, panel sessions, roundtable discussions, and poster sessions are invited:

Call for Proposals

Deadline for submissions: May 31, 2018

IVLA 2017 Registration Now Open

Image by Jeff Gunn (Flickr)

Registration is now open for IVLA 2017 hosted by Lesley University. Please visit our Conference Site for further details and register to attend.

David McCandless: The beauty of data visualization


David McCandless turns complex data sets (like worldwide military spending, media buzz, Facebook status updates) into beautiful, simple diagrams that tease out unseen patterns and connections. Good design, he suggests, is the best way to navigate information glut — and it may just change the way we see the world.



Filmed July 2010 at TEDGlobal 2010

Simon Beck’s Snow Art


It’s possible you’ve never heard of Simon Beck, but after today, you won’t be able to forget him or his wintry works of art. Simon is an artist and is most well-known for making incredibly delicate and detailed art in the snow, just by walking over a fresh snowfall.

Watch Full Segment Here:

IVLA Montreal, a Tremendous Success!


Thank you from Montreal!

conference_300x300 (1)

Dear IVLA Memebers and Conference Participants,

We had an incredible event in Montreal, just a few short weeks ago, at our 48th Annual Conference of the International Visual Literacy Association! It is clear that the International Visual Literacy Association continues to strive to expand its programs to a broad global community. Deep gratitude goes our to gracious hosts at Concordia providing a world class and inspiring forum for the event.  In particular, we want to thank Professor David Howes for his leadership and passion for our conference and his support folks. Furthermore, special thanks go to our to our Communications Coordinator, Scott McMaster for all his work on the ground in Montreal. The event could not have happened without our generous sponsors: Hexagram, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal Museums of Fine Arts, Concordia University, The Curved House and Aura. Our keynote speakers were stellar leaders in visual technology, grand appreciation goes out to Jason Edward Lewis, Richard K. Sherwin, and Constance Classen.

Our conference has a powerful impact on all and thanks to our members and presenters. It’s this passion that continues to drive our organization into the future! Engaging the Senses was the key theme for IVLA 2016 Conference and we explored so many aspects of this area of study. The IVLA community represented the intellectual diversity of the visual literacy field with presentations exploring photographic literacy, digital media representation, creative digital activism, and early childhood writing just to name a few.  In true IVLA style, attendees represented a wide range of disciplines including arts, sciences, communication theory, semiotics, graphic design, photography, videography, media studies, digital technology, architecture, business, education, educational technology, instructional design, health, psychology, linguistics, philosophy, cultural anthropology, brain research, computer applications, museum studies, and more.

Highlights of the conference were the amazing tours for the senses that included tours, art exhibitions, demonstrations, black box demonstrations and a “walkabout”. We shared an amazing feast for the senses with an interactive sensory dinner at our gala! We enjoyed moving sounds, smells and wine. It was unforgettable and magical. Thanks to Gabriel and Jennifer and our members for embracing the experience.

We Would also appreciate your feedback and suggestions for improving our conference, what impressed you? What can we improve on? Please take 2 minutes to respond to our survey:

Our Election Results

In addition, we had our annual election.

Congratulations to our new and re-elected executive board:

Officers (serving two year terms)

President:Karen Tardrew
Vice President:Jung Lee
Immediate Past President:Janet Hethorn
Communications Coordinator:  Scott McMaster
Membership Coordinator:  Frank Cerreto
Treasurer: Lyn Berenato
Secretary: Geri Chesner

 Board of Directors (serving three year terms)

Term Expires 2017
Kristen Harrison
Peter Fox
Rhonda Robinson

Term Expires 2018
Danilo Baylen
Petronio Bendito, Purdue University

Term Expires 2019
Edd Schneider (new)
Naomi Jeffery Peterson (continuing)

IVLA Membership


We are so excited that many new members joined IVLA at the conference. Our membership is well over 200 representing 18 countries and we look forward to continued growth. Enjoy this visualization of our global membership from our board member Naomi Peterson.

Hooray! Spread the word. If you know someone that would be a good match for IVLA, please send them to our website or membership coordinator: Also please follow us on Facebook to stay connected.

IVLA 2017 Boston


We are thrilled to continue this active exchange of state-of-the-art research visual literacy next year September 14-17, 2017 in the amazing city of Cambridge, Massachusetts with our fabulous hosts at Lesley University. Our theme will be “Designing Visual Literacy Experiences”. We also look forward to collaborating with the Harvard Art Museum (HAM). The call for proposals will be posted in early spring 2017. Mark your calendars and look for updates in your inbox and Facebook.

Also be aware that there are many opportunities to get involved at a deeper level here at IVLA. Immediately, we are seeking an assistant editor for our scholarly journal, published with Routledge, Journal of Visual Literacy (contact if interested). In addition, we are seeking editors, readers and support for our online journal Please contact if you are interested. Currently, we have a call for papers of Selected Readings from the conference due January 1, 2017 for the Visual Literacy Today. If you have any special gifts you would like to share with IVLA, let me know and we can get you connected!

I want to send deep, personal gratitude to the executive board, as none of this would be possible without them:  Jung Lee, Janet Hethorn, Scott McMaster, Frank Cerreto, Lyn Berenato, Geri Chesner. And also board members who provided extra conference support this year, Rhonda Robinson, Kristen Harrison, Naomi Jeffery Petersen, Petronio Bendito and Danilo Baylen.

Wishing us all peace in the new year. See you in Boston!

With appreciation to all.


Karen F. Tardrew, Ed. D.

President, IVLA International Visual Literacy Association
Wisconsin Director of Education Programs
Associate Professor, School of Advanced Professional Programs
National College Of Education, National-Louis University

Registration is now open!


Registration is now open for IVLA 2016 in Montreal! Click on the image below to be taken to the registration page and follow the instructions to selected the type of registration and optional ‘Gala Dinner’.

Image: Anna Kucsma via Wikicommons
Image: Anna Kucsma via Wikicommons



If you have specific questions regarding the IVLA, please see our Officers & Board of Directors page to contact the appropriate person, otherwise please fill out the form below and we will get back to you within 48hrs.


Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Your Message

IVLA 2016 Proposal Deadline Extended to May 20, 2016


In response to many requests, we have extended the proposal submission deadline for the 2016 IVLA conference to May 20. This is the final deadline, so please submit your proposal ASAP.

Invitation to IVLA 2016 in Montreal: Call for Proposals


Dear IVLA Members and Supporters,

We are delighted to invite you to Concordia University, Montreal, Canada for the 48th annual conference of the International Visual Literacy Association. It will be held on from October 5-8, 2016. Mark your calendars!

The theme for IVLA 2016 is “Engaging the Senses,” and the conference promises to besensational. In addition to cutting edge papers on a full range of topics in Visual Literacy research, we look forward to presenting an array of art installations, and one of our partners, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, will even be offering a movement and dance tour through the galleries of its permanent collection, followed by a gestural drawing workshop. Many other special events, workshops and experiences await you.

IVLA 2016 is a co-production of the Concordia Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture, Department of Art Education, Department of Design and Computation Arts, and Centre for Sensory Studies in association with a special team from the IVLA consisting of Frank Cerreto and Jung Lee.

Please take a moment to peruse the Call for Proposals, and  submit your proposal today:

David Howes
IVLA 2016 Conference Chair
Professor of Anthropology
Concordia University
Montreal, Quebec

IVLA 2016 Conference

Image: Anna Kucsma via Wikicommons

Call for papers: Spring 2016
Conference dates: October 5-9, 2016
The International Visual Literacy Association are pleased to announce that the 48th Annual Conference of the IVLA will be hosted by Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.

Known for its European charm and joie de vivre, Montreal is also a multicultural city (where francophones, anglophones and allophones mingle), an underground city, and the premier creative city of Canada.

A comprehensive, cosmopolitan urban university with over 45,000 students, Concordia is ranked 16th in Canada as well as 101st in North America in the 2015-2016 QS World University Rankings. It is also featured in the 2015 Times Higher Education ranking of the top 100 universities worldwide under 50 years old.



VTS & Common Core State Standards


VTS & Common Core State Standards!

“In a few minutes you can see how VTS fits into the Common Core Standards puzzle, and it’s a very good fit indeed.

Watch terrific teachers and kids in schools in New York City, Hartford, and Lafayette Louisiana illustrate how VTS nurtures the anchor skills sought by CCSS.

It might be a perfect companion to the book, Visual Thinking Strategies: Using Art to Deepen Learning Across Disciplines.

Be sure to check it out!”



New Keynote Added! Rachel Franklin.


We’ve added another stellar keynote speaker to our lineup. EA Video Game’s Rachel Franklin will be speaking and we are super excited!

EA’s Rachel Franklin has been named to the 2015 “Women Worth Watching” list from Profiles in Diversity Journal. This annual award celebrates the achievements and personalities of leading women executives from a diverse set of industries and backgrounds. The winners were nominated by colleagues, peers and mentors for their initiatives and achievements.

Rachel currently serves as the Executive Producer on The Sims 4 and the General Manager of The Sims Studio at our headquarters in Redwood Shores. She holds a degree in applied mathematics and computer science from Carnegie Mellon University which she used to land her first job as a software engineer for a Department of Defense contractor. Since then, Rachel has combined her experience with her love of videogames and entertainment to build a successful career in the gaming industry.   

“My current role as GM & executive producer of The Sims 4 combines my passions for technology, entertainment, and gaming. While my experiences have not been conventional, they have prepared me for the role I enjoy today,” said Franklin. “Explore your disparate interests and passions. You’ll be surprised how much you can leverage seemingly non-relevant expertise in your career.”*

Details on our other featured speakers coming soon…

(*excerpt from EA)

Visual Literacy Resources


Below you will find a range of resources on visual literacy and related topics. If you have resources you would like to see added, please contact us or post on our Facebook or Twitter pages.



The Benedict Visual Literacy Collection

Center for Research into Practice

Doors of Perception Magazine

Ethics of Databases

Images in Practice

MIT Media Lab

Research at the Getty

RGB Project: Research, Design and Education

Talking About Visual Texts With Students

Visual and Verbal Resources for Evaluative Meaning in Political Cartoons

It Depends: ID – Principles and Guidelines (3rd Ed.)
by Rune Pettersson

Basic ID-concepts (Information Design)
by Rune Pettersson



Art, Design, and Visual Thinking (Cornell College, New York)

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

Hodges Health Career – Care Domains – Model

Introduction to Visual Literacy – ArtIS 301 (Iowa State University, Ames, IA)

Knowledge Quest: Visual Literacy [online edition]

Macromedia Solutions for Academic Integration

Mural Arts Program (Philadelphia, PA)

New Art Basics Project

New Arts of Persuasion

Usability Consortium — Training: Interface and Interaction Design

Visual Language by Neil Cohn

Visual Literacy (Kent State University)

Visual Literacy (Kent State University)

Visual Literacy – Com 155 (Marist College)

Visual Literacy K-8

Web Resources for Visual Anthropology



Bad Human Factors Designs

Color Test

Color Theory – ArtIS 208 (Iowa State University, Ames, IA)

Graphic Organizers

Motionary: the “meaning in motion” project

On-Line Visual Literacy Project

Visual Design of Web Pages

Visual Thesaurus (online edition)

What is a Print?

Optical Illusions (a collection of links)




Communication Arts


Eye Magazine

I.D. Magazine

Loop: AIGA Journal of Interaction Design Education

Print Magazine


Wired Magazine



Cranbrook Academy of Art Library

Denver Art Museum Herbert Bayer Collection and Archive

Digital Wisdom Logos and Trademarks Archives

Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography

University of Iowa International Dada Archive

Yale University Arts of the Book Collection



American Visionary Art Museum

Busch-Reisinger Museum (Harvard)

California Museum of Photography

Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum

Design Museum (London)

Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

Exploratorium: the museum of science, art and human perception

Museum of Modern Art

National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC)

Nature and Design

Smithsonian Archives of American Art

Smithsonian Institution

Walker Art Center



MTN Cartoons

Official Eric Carle Web Site

Professional Cartoonists Index



Brain Connection (brain based education on vision)

Exploratorium: seeing

IllusionWorks, L.L.C. (most comprehensive collection of optical and sensory illusions on the world-wide web)

Laboratory for Scientific Visual Analysis



Fotosearch Stock Photography Fotosearch Stock Photography allows users to search from more than 6.8 million images from 140 quality stock photography publishers at one site. You can also find royalty-free clipart pictures, illustrations, stock video clips, and more on our site.

Getty Images



American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA)

Ars Electronica

College Art Association (CAA)



Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Literacy

International Institute of Neuroesthetics

International Visual Sociology Association

National Art Education Association (NAEA)

National Geographic Society

National Science Foundation

Photo Therapy Centre


Sociedade Brasileira de Design da Informação

Type Directors Club (TDC)



Video Data Bank (Chicago)

Electronia Arts Intermix (NYC)

Vtape (Toronto)


IVLA Conference Tuesday Art/Social Event!


Conference events continue just after the last sessions conclude at the de Young on Tuesday, Nov. 3.   Come enjoy an artistic and engaging event to extend your new conference friendships or renew older ones!

Eric Rewitzer and his partner Annie Galvin, painters and printmakers, and co-owners of 3 Fish Studios, are our hosts for a wonderful printmaking demonstration and printing activity.  Refreshments will be served as we learn more about printmaking and view their work.  

AND, Eric has created a design for us to print and take home as a conference souvenir!  

Or, you can just enjoy our outing into the ‘Sunset’ neighborhood of SF, a few blocks from Ocean Beach. If the weather is cooperative, there is a lovely garden for us to enjoy as well.  A fun and active way to cap off our wonderful conference experience.


Ticketed event–Extra fee:  $35 which includes a limited edition print and a light meal (to be announced). Click here to purchase, limited to 40 participants, please bring your email receipt in digital or print form.

Meet in the de Young lobby right after conference ends.  We will walk out of the park, take a short train ride to the neighborhood, and walk one block from the stop (or meet you there if you prefer to drive).

3 Fish Studios, 4541 Irving Street, SF, just south and a bit west of Golden Gate Park.


3 Fish Studios

Susan Metros, Keynote speaker Profile


The IVLA is very pleased to announce the participation of Susan Metros as one of our keynote speakers at this year’s conference.

Dr. Metros is an accomplished scholar/educator and current Associate Vice Provost and Associate CIO Professor of Visual Design and Clinical Education at the University of Southern California.

Her expertise wide ranging and encompasses; visual literacy, emerging technologies, educational and instructional technology, multimedia and video mobile learning distance/online learning to name just a few.

You may recognize her from a recent article by EdTech Magazine article that talks about her involvement with makerspaces and the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young (AKA dr. Dre) Academy for Arts.

Six Minutes with Susan Metros


Get to know one of our keynote speakers at this year’s IVLA conference;

Susan Metros, Associate Vice Provost and Associate Chief Information Officer at University of Southern California, takes the stage for her six minute thought piece at the 2012 Horizon Project Retreat to discuss leadership.

USC Iovine and Young Academy – The Degree is in Disruption

Conceived as a collaborative environment that brings exceptional students together with visionary faculty and professional mentors, the USC Iovine and Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation is a transformational presence on one of the nation’s most dynamic university campuses.

Learn more about one of our keynote speakers from USC Susan Metros.

IVLA Partnerships & Sponsors



47th International Visual Literacy Conference
Visual Literacy and Technology: from Sight to Insight

1 3 November 2015 @ De Young Museum
Golden Gate Park | 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive San Francisco USA



The 47th IVLA Conference will host over two hundred and eighty attendees and presenters from academia, industry, government, media and other global organizations that will actively exchange, share, and analyze state-of-the-art research and case studies on visual literacy, challenging our preconceptions and showcasing emerging communication technologies and new possibilities for thinking visually.


Visual Literacy and technology is the key theme for IVLA 2015 Conference. The importance of images, visual media and technology in contemporary culture is changing what it means to be literate in the 21st century. Today’s society is highly visual, and visual imagery is no longer supplemental to other forms of information. New digital technologies have made it possible for almost anyone to create and share visual media. Yet the pervasiveness of images and visual media does not necessarily mean that individuals are able to critically view, use, and produce visual content. Individuals must develop these essential skills in order to thoughtfully engage in a visually-oriented society. Visual literacy empowers individuals to participate fully in a visual culture.


IVLA-2015 will celebrate its 47th birthday with ground-breaking research contributions and interactions. In the past and in addition to the conferences held in the United States, IVLA research symposia have been held on a triennial basis in a various countries such as Sweden, Brazil, England, and Kenya. Papers from these symposia are also published in the Journal of Visual Literacy and conference presenters have the opportunity to submit to the IVLA Book of Selected Readings. So please come and join us as an exhibitor and/ or sponsor and help celebrate this year’s IVLA Conference. Your presence at IVLA-2015 will offer you superb insights and great networking opportunities.


Become an Event Partner

Your organization’s presence at IVLA-2015 could offer you superb networking and commercial opportunities. IVLA Sponsorship provides easy and affordable entry-level options for high-impact visibility:

  • Golden Gate Sponsor [Platinum]: Key sponsorship with contributed thought-leadership content – Keynote and session sponsorship – Company branding on all marketing materials, website, signage, and presentations – Official Cocktail Reception and Gala Dinner PR opportunities
  • Cable Car Sponsor [Gold]: Networking Lunch, session signage and sponsorship coffee breaks

If you are interested in sponsorship or representing your organization, foundation or institution at this year’s IVLA conference please contact us:

1 3 November 2015 @ De Young Museum Visual Literacy and Technology: from Sight to Insight      


Hotel & Accommodations


Below are a list of preferred rate hotel accommodations in San Francisco for Nov. 1-3. Please note that only the listed dates can be booked online, however if you would like to arrive early or extend your stay the same rates will be honoured but you will need to contact the hotels directly for payment (see info on individual booking pages).

click on the image to book:

Le Méridien San Francisco (Only Nov. 1-3)

Le Meridien San Francisco (photo by TravellingOtter: Flickr)


The Westin St. Francis San Francisco  (Only Nov. 1-3)

st. francis
The Westin St. Francis Hotel San Francisco (photo by Prayitno)

The St. Regis San Francisco  (Only Nov. 1-3)

st. regis
The St. Regis San Francisco (photo by Karl Schultz)

Other Hotels will be added soon, but for the budget conscious you may want to look at Bed & Breakfasts or

Air BnB (various locations)