Conversations about Beauty with Ordinary Americans: "Somebody Loves Us All"

This is a book about beauty. It features fourteen people from different walks of life who talk about the impact of their encounters with beauty. Though we talk about beauty all the time, we don’t discuss its effects on our private lives. The media and our consumer culture is fixated on outward beauty, and in response our schools fear that beauty and aesthetic judgment reinforces hierarchies and lead to exclusion. The conversations in this book offer a different perspective, as a waitress, an auto restorer, a ballet teacher, an exotic dancer, a labor organizer, a choir director, and others discuss how it feels to be in the presence of something beautiful: what in life prepared them for these encounters; whether beauty makes them feel part of a community, affects their morality, and can be described as religious or spiritual. These conversations describe a vital part of contemporary life that remains unexplored, until now.

Beyond Community Engagement: Transforming Dialogues in Art, Education and the Cultural Sphere

This book reconsiders fundamental questions about relationships between community engagement, art and education within cultural spheres. Transdisciplinary chapters bring together researchers as “insider practitioners” to challenge assumptions and offer new insights about practice, engagement and possibilities for transformation. The chapters reflect both localised projects and international perspectives on ecologies of practice as a key marker of the mobility of ideas as well as social mobility. In the current milieux we ask, is all engagement transformative, educative, sustainable and linked to democratizing principles that address civic agendas? Re-imagining sites/situations of learning, culture and place as “practice encounters” utilises a range of practices relevant for educators and practitioners in the public domain. Conceiving arts-based research as a network, prioritises transitions and becomings to re-conceptualise the significance of relationships within local/global connectivity. Linking professional networks and agencies to adaptive communities, creates an expanded field of real world creative partnerships to enable changing pedagogies.

The Mindful Eye: Contemplative Pedagogies in Visual Arts Education

The Mindful Eye explores the ways in which contemplative approaches can incorporate mindfulness and embodiment practices in visual arts higher education. Currently discussed as a promising complementary vision, contemplative pedagogies are increasingly introduced across a wide range of disciplinary practices in higher education with well-demonstrated positive impacts on students’ academic performance, creativity, stress management, and sense of wellbeing. Significantly, however, ways of knowing and being that privilege attention, stillness, and an awareness of interior states have particular resonances for art and design practitioners, inspiring the development of “mindful ways of seeing” essential for co-creating a more just and sustainable future. The case studies in this book provide a critical guide to incorporating contemplative practices across a range of teaching and learning contexts, from the practice-based studio to the classroom, lecture theater, and field excursion. Covering a range of visual practices, the 13 chapters are grouped into four sections, respectively entitled Moving Images, Embodied Practices, Creative Expressions, and Contemplative Designs.

Investigating the Visual as a Transformative Pedagogy in the Asia Region

This book offers a broadly ranging contextual discourse on the forces that are shaping contemporary visual pedagogy in the Asian Region, discussing significant transformative drivers influencing recent shifts in visual art and design practice and education. It surveys a diverse and expansive range of innovative, educational and research initiatives by scholars working across the fields of art, education and design, identifying key socio cultural themes that frame research, their associated theoretical positions and practices. The reader will encounter voices articulating vivid histories through the lens of epoch spanning traditions of visual culture, policy developments influencing and shaping curriculum and evolutions in the cultural industries, and new methodologies for innovative outreach programs. We introduce this small but timely volume by highlighting its importance at a time when the role of education, and in particular, education in the context of creativity has arguably never been more important.

Transformative Pedagogies and the Environment: Creative Agency through Contemporary Art and Design

Ingeniously, this book combines new pedagogies with new syllabus: it connects the contemporary emphasis on active learning and the pressing challenge of environmental discourse. To a backdrop of many centuries of studio education—always organic, intuitive and critical—art and design furnish a necessary educational paradigm for how we grapple with teaching the unknown. As the editors Marie Sierra and Kit Wise say, “the very practice of art and design, by virtue of its ability . . . to hold opposing views in tension, provides a platform to engage with environmental issues”. Their intelligent and reflective book Transformative Pedagogies and the Environment: Creative Agency Through Contemporary Art and Design demonstrates the important research activity occurring in studio teaching in Australia, the U.K., and New Zealand, showing how critically engaged and thoughtful pedagogical practice involves students in the key issues of environment. It reveals how inspired studio teaching can engage students with broader issues of community, politics, and empowerment, so they enter their professions with real experience of the agency and catalytic potential of art and design.

—Associate Professor Robert Nelson, Associate Director Student Learning Experience, Monash University Office of Learning and Teaching