To satisfy the demands of society, the scholar-practitioner in today’s complex world of education must juggle various factors that are related to one another: practice, poiesis, or the creative act, culture, knowledge, and learning. These demands include adherence to education, law, politics, economics, ethics, equity, and social dynamics. The scholar-practitioner in the field of visual arts education also has the duty to validate the arts as a viable and necessary component of education, and this is done through examples of scholarly practice. The scholar-practitioner as leader should be grounded in the works of John Dewey, including Art as Experience, Experience and Nature, and Experience and Education. With Dewey’s conception of the scholar- practitioner as a public intellectual engaged in educational practice to transform society, there is the fostering of a learning environment for educators, students, and community that is balanced with the basic needs of daily living. This article provides a closer look at the history of visual arts education, a review of Dewey’s philosophy of art experience, and an exploration of why there may be a need for Dewey’s philosophy within K–12 art education in the United States.