Big Paintings Club: A Self-Initiated Approach to Teaching Painting, Materials and Techniques
- David Rufo
“Can’t we just paint?” The appeal came from one of my fifth grade students. It was a simple request but fraught with complications because I worked in a school that was adopting a more traditional curricular approach. Besides, I was not the art instructor but a general classroom teacher. Many of the faculty and administration thought offering students creative agency was a waste of time. They preferred direct instruction requiring teachers to deliver material0.1-5.23.14- BPC1 5th mtg general6 Paint Pallette Technique in a linear and methodical fashion. My educational philosophy centered on an organic approach where students became empowered and self-reliant but I had to be careful that my practices wouldn’t appear out of sync with the other classrooms. To mitigate this possibility I encouraged my students to include academic themes or elements in their creative endeavors. But as an artist and an educational researcher I knew better. I had read about the personal and pedagogical benefits inherent in the act of painting (Andrews, 2005; De Petrillo & Winner, 2005; Fiske, 1999). In fact art historian and art critic James Elkins described paint as, “liquid thought” (2000, p.5) and observed “There is no meaning that cannot seem to flow from the paint itself” (p.193). In my own artistic practice painting required developing strategies, finding solutions and solving visual conundrums. Painting was a joyful, reflective, and heuristically educative pursuit.
Dialogue & Reflective Visual Journaling
- R. Darden Bradshaw
In this paper, I share the results of this qualitative arts-based research study in the hopes of fostering dialogue among others. The two parallel lines of inquiry I returned to during that first year as an Assistant Professor were: 1) How could I support my students and together create a dialogic community that would foster a space and place for them to feel better equipped and empowered to enter into the practical and metaphorical conversation of teaching (Bakhtin, 1981), and 2) How could I find my way as an academic in this new geographic, physical, and relational territory where I, too felt uncertain and dislocated. As you will see, I turned to what I know best and what reassures me most—making art. Arts-based and theoretical research became one of the structures through which my preservice students and I reflected upon what we were experiencing, the relationship of teaching to art, and the connections of theory to practice. From those individual reflections we built a collective dialogue in the classroom.
The Dancing Alice Project: Computational & Embodied Arts Research in Middle School Education
- Alison E. Leonard & Shaundra B. Daily
The Dancing Alice Project, our pilot research study, drives our inquiry of computational thinking. In this research project, we have developed and piloted a method for blending dance and computer programming as a novel and embodied way to engage middle school children with computational thinking. Our goal is that students approach programming as an active, physical task, as they engage with the content they develop. In the Dancing Alice Project, we developed an environment on top of the current computer-programming platform called Alice, created by Carnegie Mellon, to introduce students to the computer programming language Java™. Alice has a drag and drop interface that enables students to program without having to learn the syntax that prevents many students from engaging with computer science.
(E)Motions: Using Animated Collage to create Metaphors for Belonging and (Dis)Location
- Veronica Sahagun
I am a Mexican visual artist living in Montreal. A few years ago, I made the decision
to leave what is known and familiar to me – my home, my family and my community in
Mexico – in order to pursue doctoral studies in art education in Canada. The life
experiences that came with this change of location have influenced my choice of research
interests. Perhaps most salient among these is my ongoing doctoral research, which
consists of a self-developed studio practice that focuses on the de-construction (Derrida,
1997) of my cultural identity. Having been a working artist for over ten years, I consider
my studio practice the point of departure that leads to the formulation of further
educational research questions. In other words, my studio is a site for exploration in
which I test concepts and media, and in doing so, allow my intuition to take the lead. As a
result, the (E) Motions project is a self-study in which I have explored the ways in which
collage and digital media (photo and stop motion animation) may communicate the
experience of belonging a not belonging to a place. The results of my self-study have
illuminated the possibilities of using these media in order to develop community-based
educational activities engaged with the exploration of cultural identity.
Jamming the Self: Culturally Responsive Art Education in Pre-Service Education
- Ulyssa Martinez
This article aims to answer the question, “How can a visual culture jam be utilized to foster Culturally Responsive Art Education (CRAE)?” My master’s research project provides the data needed to approach this question. I conducted my project during Fall 2012 at a mid-Atlantic research-based university as an assignment in a pre-service art education Capstone course. My participants were senior level, pre-service art educators, who were about to embark on student teaching during Spring 2013. The curriculum was centered on a performance-based art project in which participants created “visual culture jams” as a form of critical self-reflections of their own cultural, ethnic, and racial identities. The performance of these visual culture jams disrupted the notion of “essentializing” cultures and encouraged participants to probe their cultural identity (Sleeter, 2012, p. 570). My arts-based research project took place over a period of three class sessions and data includes digital self-portraits, narrative responses, and video recorded performances of my participants’ visual culture jams. Performances will be discussed through the following emergent themes: family as culture, heritage, and other forms of identity. My own reflection on the project will conclude this article and consider whether or not CRAE was successfully implemented.
The Cabinet of Curiosities
- Angela Wuttig
The Cabinet of Curiosities: An Arts-Based Investigation into Curiosity and Learning, sets out to trace the history of wonder and inquiry through an examination of the phenomenon of the Baroque Cabinet of Curiosities or Wunderkammer. These encyclopedic collections of natural and manmade objects were comprised of items selected for their rarity, peculiar allure, and metaphorical significance, and were often compiled and exhibited for the purpose of wonder, enlightenment and scholarship. This study surveys the historical significance of the Cabinet of Curiosities in order to evaluate and document the contemporary value of curiosity-driven investigation. These findings are presented through an arts-based curatorial discourse, which focuses on the significance of curiosity in relation to learning, research and creativity.
- Guang Zhu
The name Reasonless Math presented itself to me after months of writing artist statements for various production opportunities. I intend it to clarify that the context of my work is neither in the interest of beautifying math, nor in displaying its magic of producing beautiful visuals. Rather, the uncertainty of exploring equations, the unknown of algebraically operating frequencies, the playful imagination of coding a liquid time into equations... those purposeless and reasonless mathematical processes are the creativity of mathematical operations that I find attractive and beautiful. The term Reasonless Math captures the underlying sublime qualities of art while emphasizing the context of mathematics.
System Opacity and Student Agency in the New Media Landscape
- Luke Meeken
Even as web-based digital media increasingly presents itself as participatory, users are still largely subject to a landscape of 'one-to-many media' in which they are the recipients of, or participants within, artifacts and edifices crafted by a relatively small elite who have full fluency in the underlying language of digital media. New Media Art Education must provide students with the literacies to respond critically to these structures and to create their own digital structures and artifacts in return. This project examines the problem of pre-formatted thinking with respect to new media works in popular visual/web culture, fine arts practice, and art education, and recommends avenues for giving students the opportunity to use programming as an expressive and empowering artform.