Ethics in the Arts

The mission of the Ethics in the Arts program is to explore ethical issues in the arts, through art making and art viewing. This program encourages ethical dialogue and reflection around ethical questions that arise organically when interacting with art. Through hearing from visiting artists and exploring art through dynamic activities, participants engage in meaningful exploration of fundamental concepts that enrich their understanding of themselves, the world, and their relationships with others.

The Ethics and the Arts program supports participants as they broaden their awarness of ethical issues and use their unique voice to explore ideas through art and dialogue. Some questions that often arise are:

  • Identity: What role does a person’s identity have in their art and our viewing of their art?
  • Risk-Taking: What does taking risks look like for artists, and when does this cross an ethical line?
  • Responsibility: What obligation, if any, do artists have to others, like their subjects, viewers, and the general public? How should we engage with an artwork? Can there be plagiarism within art?
  • Intention vs. Impact: How should we navigate tensions between the impact of the art and intention of the artist? What should we do when an artwork is offensive or harmful?

About Our Summer Program


The Ethics & Art Summer Program invites rising 7-12 grade students from throughout New Jersey to engage in a creative and innovative summer experience that will teach the foundations of ethics and ethical thinking through hands-on art making guided by professional artists and trained ethicists.

This one-week program will explore how the ethical elements of intention, impact, and values are raised by art viewing and art-making. Participants will learn hands-on skills in photography, painting, and spoken word as a way to explore their ethical questions and examine current-day ethical issues. Each day participants will engage in in-depth ethical discussions around questions related to each day’s theme.

  • Intention & Duty: When, if ever, do intentions matter? What are your ethical duties as an artist?

  • Values, Virtues & Character: What do you value? What type of person do you want to become? How can art contribute to a more ethical future?

  • Impacts & Consequences: When, if ever, do the impacts matter? What, if anything, should artists do about unintended consequences and impact of their art?

  • Reflection & Decision-Making: What role should reflection play when deciding what to do? How do you make decisions as an artist? Who, if anyone, should decide if an artwork is effective?

Visiting Artists

List of 4 items.

  • Dara Kalima

    Dara Kalima is a loud and proud Bronx resident who was introduced to poetry and story writing around the age of nine. She obtained her BA in Literature with a concentration in Drama Studies, an MA in Educational Theater and a MPA in Nonprofit Administration.

    Dara’s theatrical career has included the roles of actor, sound designer, stage manager, and director in numerous Black and Latinx community theaters in the northeast region including the HADLEY Players, Teatro LATEA, and Aaron Davis Hall. As a poet, Dara has performed on several stages across New York City including Bowery Poetry Cafe, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and Mike Geffner's Inspired Word. She was also featured on WBAI’s Perspectives hosted by the late Louis Reyes Rivera. Dara founded and facilitates Black Authors Collaborative, a Facebook group dedicated to helping established authors share resources while providing a place for aspiring authors to learn publishing best practices.
  • Emi Winter

    Emi Winter was born and grew up in Oaxaca, Mexico. She holds a BA in visual arts from Oberlin College and a MFA in painting from Bard College. Her work includes painting, printmaking and textiles which she makes in collaboration with master artisans in Mexico and the United States. She currently lives in New Jersey and teaches bilingual art classes to Latino immigrants for the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey.

    She was an artist in residence at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas and Ateliers Hoeherweg in Dusseldorf. In 2011 she was awarded the acquisition prize for the XV edition of the Rufino Tamayo painting biennial in Mexico. Most recently, her work has been shown at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; LACMA; High Museum, Atlanta; Parker Gallery, Los Angeles; V1 Gallery, Copenhagen; Ulterior Gallery, New York; Maine College of Art, Portland and The Suburban, Milwaukee.
  • Eric Laska

    Eric Laska is an artist and musician currently based in Philadelphia. Recent projects of his have mostly taken shape as sound installation or performance. His work has been featured in venues such as Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, New York; Machine Project, Los Angeles; Ausland, Berlin; MACO, Oaxaca; San Serriffe, Amsterdam; Hangar, Barcelona and online at Gauss PDF and Ear | Wave | Event. He is founding editor of the online audio journal Lateral Addition which seeks to enrich the conversations surrounding contemporary sound practices and co-runs the project space Remote Viewing in Philadelphia with Geoff Mullen.
  • Laura Larson

    Laura Larson is a professor emerita of photography at Ohio State University. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, including Art in General, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, SFCamerawork, Susanne Vielmetter/L.A. Projects, and Wexner Center for the Arts. Her exhibitions have been reviewed in Artforum, Hyperallergic, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Time Out New York, and she has published artist projects in Cabinet, Documents, and The Literary Review.

    Her first book, Hidden Mother (Saint Lucy Books, 2017), was shortlisted for the Aperture/Paris Photo First Book Prize. She is the recipient of grants from Greater Columbus Arts Council, Ohio Arts Council and the New York Foundation of the Arts, and of residency fellowships from MacDowell Colony, Santa Fe Art Institute, and Ucross Foundation. Since 2002, she’s presented four one-person exhibitions with Lennon, Weinberg Gallery in New York and her work is represented by Contemporary Art Matters in Columbus, OH. Larson is currently at work on two book projects: City of Incurable Women, a collaboration with writer Maud Casey, and All the Women I Know.

Summer Program Schedule

  • 9:00-9:30 a.m.: Class check-in & art warm up activity
  • 9:30-10:10 a.m.: Visiting Artist Talk & Art Activity
  • 10:10-10:20 a.m.: Break
  • 10:20-11:30 a.m.: Ethics Discussion around Art
  • 11:35 - 12:00 p.m.: Lunch from Marigolds in Summit, NJ
  • 12:00-1:15 p.m.: Visting Artist Skill Workshop
  • 1:15-1:30 p.m.: Break
  • 1:30-2:30 p.m.: Ethics & Art focused art-project with Visiting Artist
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m.: Group Share, Discussion, Reflection & Clean Up
  • 3:30-4:00 p.m.: Optional Art Studio Time
*This schedule will look different on the Field Trip Day*

Participation Details

DATES: June 21 - 25, 2021

TIME: 9:00 a.m.– 3:30 p.m. (option for open studio time 3:30-4:00 p.m.)

LOCATION: Kent Place School

WHO: The program is open to rising 7-12 grade students, both KPS, and non-KPS students. This program is co-ed, and capped at 40 participants (20 students per class).

COST: $800
Scholarships and financial aid are available.
10% discount for KPS Faculty & Staff children

Participants who enroll are asked to commit to the full program.
As part of this program, participants can expect to:
  • Explore the intersections between art and ethics
  • Examine their personal identity and values
  • Develop a robust understanding of ethical leadership and what it means to be a woman in the arts
  • Experience different art media, with guidance from expert artists
  • Engage in various artistic expressions that encourage positive risk taking
  • Feel empowered as ethical leaders and artists
  • Develop critical and creative thinking
  • Enhance collaboration and communication skills

2021 Facilitators

List of 2 items.

  • Ms. Marie Micchelli

    Marie Micchelli earned both her bachelor’s in art education and master’s in painting from Montclair State University. She came to Kent Place in 2014 and teaches art in the Middle School. Among her classes are electives in book arts, portraits and sculpture. In addition to her teaching duties, Ms. Micchelli is a part of the Middle School Task Force for the Ethics Institute.
  • Ms. Ariel Sykes

    Ariel Sykes is the Assistant Director of the Ethics Institute at Kent Place School. She is a skilled educator and teacher trainer with fifteen years of experience working in philosophy and education. Mrs. Sykes is an endorsed practitioner of the IAPC (Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children), the world’s oldest organization devoted young people’s philosophical practice.

    Mrs. Sykes holds a BA in Philosophy of Education from Mount Holyoke College and an MA in Philosophy and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to joining the Ethics Institute, Mrs. Sykes taught a variety of education and ethics courses at local colleges and universities, ran after-school and summer philosophy programs for kids, and developed a philosophy in the art museum program with the Montclair Art Museum.

Want to Learn More?

For more information about our Ethics Institute programs or if you have questions about the registration process, please do not hesitate to reach out at ethics@kentplace.org.
42 Norwood Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901   |   (908) 273-0900
The Ethics Institute at Kent Place School is a first-of-its-kind institute at the primary and secondary school level. We believe that promoting the process and practice of ethical thinking and decision-making prepares people of all ages to be effective leaders and compassionate citizens.