Dr. Elizabeth "Like" Lokon awarded OAEA 2021 Distinguished Citizen for Art Education

The Scripps Gerontology Center is proud to announce Dr. Elizabeth “Like” Lokon as the winner of the Ohio Art Education Association’s (OAEA) 2021 Distinguished Citizen for Art Education award. This award recognizes her outstanding performance as an art educator and her work that has greatly impacted her students and community. Lokon was nominated for this distinction from the membership of almost 2,000 art educators statewide because of her long-term commitment to the visual arts as an educator, gerontologist, and artist in founding Opening Minds through Art (OMA).

In 2007, Lokon developed OMA, an intergenerational art program that pairs students with older adults to create art and develop meaningful relationships. Today, over 2,400 Miami University students have participated in OMA, and there are currently over 200 sites across the U.S. and Canada that facilitate OMA programs in their local communities.

Stephanie Danker, Associate Professor of Art Education at Miami University, proudly nominated Lokon for this award. Danker stated, “Dr. Lokon has innovative ideas, is gifted at making connections between people, and provides ways to increase the quality of life for people living with dementia through artistic expressions. She is inspirational and backs up her work with research, informing, and contributing to the progression of her field. People around the world are implementing her program, and we are fortunate to have her living and working in our community.”

Lokon accepted her award on Friday, November 5, at 6:00 p.m. during the OAEA’s annual professional development conference entitled “Queen City” at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Kentucky.

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Dr. Lokon poses with her nominator, Dr. Stephanie Danker, Associate Professor of Art Education at Miami University.


Dr. Lokon and her husband pose with her award, dressed as royalty for the "Queen City" themed event.


The Distinguished Citizen for Art Education plaque was awarded to Dr. Lokon on November 5, 2021.