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Learning From Each Other: Narrative Explorations of Art Museum Self-guided Materials

Description: By engaging in collaborative arts-based and arts-informed narrative inquiry with my six-year-old daughter, we explored self-guided materials in art museums in the North Texas area. Though the field of art museum education is becoming increasingly participatory, most academic research related to self-guided materials has fallen short of exploring visitors' experiences with these materials. Furthermore, the perspectives of children have been long overlooked in academic and, at times, institutional research about family experiences in museums. Over the course of nine months, my daughter and I visited art museums and engaged with their self-guided materials, ranging from audio tours to interactive galleries. During this time we created collaborative works of art based on our experiences, which acted as both data collection and analysis in preparation for writing narratives. Our narrative explorations allowed us each to better understand our collective experiences. Though this research specifically targets self-guided materials in art museums, any educator interested in intergenerational or collaborative family learning may find both our methodologies and our conclusions to be helpful in better understanding how narratives are essential to this type of learning.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Fuentes, Jessica
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploring a Community Partnership: A Narrative Inquiry into the 2004-2006 Semester Programs Between Artpace San Antonio and Louis W. Fox Academic and Technical High School

Description: This qualitative inquiry explores a community-based art partnership called the semester programs that took place between Artpace San Antonio and Louis W. Fox Academic and Technical High School from 2004 until 2006. This narrative inquiry used interviews with artists and former Fox Tech art students involved in our program, along with my teacher/ researcher reflections, to make meaning from the data. The artists involved in the semester programs were Gary Sweeney, Daniel Guerrero, David Jurist, and Ethel Shipton. Former students interviewed include Eloy McGarity, Rosa Leija, John Contreras, and Jennelle Gomez, while I, Maria Leake represent the voice of the art teacher. Our stories of experience were analyzed and connections between situated learning theory, creativity theories, community-based art education, and memory research were all recognized as being exhibited during our community partnership programs. There were seven patterns and themes that were noted as occurring within each semester program, as well as notable distinctions. The patterns and themes from the data analysis suggest that our community partnership reflected the following: learning and creative expression went beyond the individual; networks of support and communication were available to all participants; challenges were acknowledged; empathy between participants was an unintentional outcome; working together as a community of practice facilitated personal interactions and connections; learning and creative expression went beyond the traditional curriculum; and educational benefits were realized by all participants.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Leake, Maria De La Luz
Partner: UNT Libraries

Eating from the Tree of Knowledge: The Impact of Visual Culture on the Perception and Construction of Ethnic, Sexual, and Gender Identity

Description: This study explores the way that visual culture and identity creates understanding about how the women in my family interact and teach each other. In the study issues of identity, liminality, border culture, are explored. The study examines how underrepresented groups, such as those represented by Latinas, can enter into and add to the discourses of art education because the women who participated have learned to maneuver through the world, passing what they have learned to one another, from one generation to the next. Furthermore, the study investigates ways in which visual cues offer a way for the women in my family to negotiate their identity. In the study the women see themselves in signs, magazines, television, dolls, clothing patterns, advertisements, and use these to find ways in which to negotiate the borderlands of the places in which they live. Although the education that occurred was informal, its importance is in creating a portal through which to self reflect on the cultural work of educating.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Peralta, Andrés
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Collaborative Affair: The Building of Museum and School Partnerships

Description: This study examined two art museum and school partnerships in order to learn how partnerships enable an integration of goals, participants' beliefs and values, and learning objectives. This study examined the partnerships through a social constructivist lens and used narrative analysis as way to interpret participants' stories about collaboration. The research found three major themes among participants' stories. Participants: a) valued good communication to establish relationships between partners, b) believed partnership offered students experiences that educated the whole person, and c) felt that students making meaning by interacting in the museum environment was an indicator of success. The study closes with discussion of the researchers' own constructions as they developed throughout the study.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Yount, Katherine
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Art Car Spectacle: a Cultural Display and Catalyst for Community

Description: This auto-ethnographic study focuses on Houston’s art car community and the grassroots movement’s 25 year relationship with the city through an art form that has created a sense of community. Art cars transform ordinary vehicles into personally conceived visions through spectacle, disrupting status quo messages of dominant culture regarding automobiles and norms of ownership and operation. An annual parade is an egalitarian space for display and performance, including art cars created by individuals who drive their personally modified vehicles every day, occasional entries by internationally renowned artists, and entries created by youth groups. A locally proactive public has created a movement has co-opted the cultural spectacle, creating a community of practice. I studied the events of the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art’s Art Car Weekend to give me insight into art and its value for people in this community. Sources of data included the creation of a participatory art car, journaling, field observation, and semi-structured interviews. The first part is my academic grounding, informed by critical pedagogy and socially reconstructive art practices. The second part narrates my experiences and understandings of the community along with the voices of others. Dominant themes of exploration include empowerment, community, and art. I examine the purposes for participation by artists, as well in the practices of audiences and organizations that provide support for this art form. My findings have significant implications community-based art education and k-12 classroom educators. Relational and dialogic approaches to making art, teaching, and researching are tied to problem-posing education as a recommendation for art education.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Stienecker, Dawn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Novice Teachers' Stories Represented As a Graphic Narrative

Description: The issue of alternative certification teacher training has greatly affected art education over three decades. As a result of training through alternative certification, many art educators enter the profession unprepared and unable to cope with the realities of teaching. This study attempts to understand and represent the experiences and struggles of four alternatively certified art teachers, including myself. By reading these stories, others within the education community can empathize with and provide support for struggling novice teachers. This creative thesis uses a graphic novel format to represent participants' stories. By combining text and imagery, the graphic novel format provides different meanings, interpretations, and insights into the teachers' lives. This medium offered a unique and rich perspective on the stories of what it is like being an alternatively certified art teacher.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Deardorff, Philip
Partner: UNT Libraries

Unpacking Self in Clutter and Cloth: Curator as Artist/Researcher/Teacher

Description: This a/r/tographic dissertation offers opportunities to interrogate curator identity and curator ways of being in both public and private spaces. Instead of an authoritative or prescriptive look at the curatorial, this dissertation as catalogue allows for uncertainty, for messiness, for vulnerable spaces where readers are invited into an exhibition of disorderly living. Stitched throughout the study are stories of mothering and the difficulties that accompanied the extremely early birth of my daughter. Becoming a mother provoked my curating in unexpected ways and allowed me to reconsider the reasons I collect, display, and perform as a curator. It was through the actual curating of familial material artifacts in the exhibition Dress Stories, I was able to map the journey of my curatorial turns. My engagement with clothing in the inquiry was informed by the work of Sandra Weber and Claudia Mitchell, where dress as a methodology allows for spaces to consider autobiography, identity, and practice. It was not until the exhibition was over, I was able to discover new ways to thread caring, collecting, and cataloging ourselves as curators, artists, researchers, teachers, and mothers. It prompts curators and teachers to consider possibilities for failure, releasing excess, and uncaring as a way to care for self, objects, and others.
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Date: May 2016
Creator: McCartney, Laura Lee
Partner: UNT Libraries

Enacting Community Through the Arts

Description: This study is concerned with the roles and relationships between artists-in-residence, community audiences, and program coordinators/art educators as they engage together in community arts programs. This study takes place at Project Row Houses (PRH), a community arts organization located in Houston, Texas and focuses on the artist-in-residence program, which commissions a group of national and international artists for a 6-month period to create art installations in relation to the community and its African-American heritage. This ethnographic case study is based on the activities and events surrounding the 2008 PRH exhibition, Round 29, Thunderbolt Special: The Great Electric Show and Dance, after Sam Lightnin’ Hopkins and employed qualitative data gathering methods of participant-observation, conducting semi-structured, open-ended, in-depth interviews, and through document collection, and contextual information. Observations were recorded through field notes, photographs, and video. Interviews were conducted with 3 artists-in-residence, 3 community audience members, and 3 program coordinators or staff members involved with the program, regarding their experiences at the site and experiences with each other. My analysis presents the roles of artist, community audience, and program coordinator/art educator through three sections on cultural work. Within these sections I discuss topics related to the power of voice, situatedness, and creativity, as it relates to the artists and community audiences. For the role of program coordinator/art educator, I focus more closely on her role in the process of mediation. Topics of power, social dynamics, identity, and representation are also framed within these discussions.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Keller, Sarita Talusani
Partner: UNT Libraries

Interrelated Histories, Practices, and Forms of Communication: Using Arabic Calligraphy to Learn Arabic Typography

Description: In this self-study inquiry, I studied my graphic design practice in a professional setting, focusing on my Arabic typographic skills and knowledge. My roles as researcher and design educator indivisibly intertwined throughout this research. I worked to understand the value of calligraphy in art and design education, highlighting its power as an art form while also emphasizing its pedagogical potentials. I utilized two theoretical approaches suited to investigating and understanding the Arabic letters as text and image, Ibn Arabi’s science of letters, or 'ilm al-hurûf, and semiotics. I applied my theoretical framework to three distinctive artworks to investigate their uses of the Arabic letters, contemplating their roles in modern and contemporary Arab art. Essential to my research was learning Arabic calligraphy through two approaches: 1) I attended a calligraphy workshop, and 2) I conducted three self-study experimentations. I analyzed my experience through visual representations, commentary, and narrative inquiry to assess Arabic calligraphy’s significance for graphic design education. As such, my experimentations confirmed Arabic calligraphy’s aesthetic and educational value. I employed my findings to create a contemporary Arabic typography curriculum suitable for university-level students. This curriculum is built on learning theories such as visual culture analysis, semiotics, constructivist theory, play principles, and critical thinking, aiming to situate Arabic calligraphy as a modern learning model significant for typography education. Finally, I constructed a basic course for Arabic typography to support students’ development of Arabic typography fluency.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Al-Ansari, Banan Ahmed
Partner: UNT Libraries

Place-Based and Intergenerational Art Education

Description: This qualitative inquiry explored how art educators might broaden their views of place through critical encounters with art, local visual culture, and working with older artists. I combined place-based (PB) education and intergenerational (IG) learning as the focus of an art education curriculum writing initiative with in-service art educators within a museum setting to produce PBIG art education. This study engaged art educators in cooperative action research using a multi-modal approach, including identifying and interviewing local artists to construct new understandings about local place and art to share with students and community. I used critical reflection in our cooperative action research by troubling paradoxes in local visual culture, which formed views of place including Indigenous cultures. Using Deleuze's Logic of Sense (LOS) theories of sense and event, enabled concept development through embracing the paradoxes of this research as sense producing. LOS theory of duration complements IG learning by clarifying the contributions of place and time to memory and experience. Duration suggests that place locates the virtual past, which is actualized through memories--one of the shared experiences of IG learning. Rethinking IG relationships as a sharing of experience and memory while positioning place as a commonality, dismantles ageist notions by offering alternatives to binary thinking about old and young. By triangulating participant data based on the extended epistemology of cooperative action research and Deleuze's pure event, I assess the credibility of participant learning. Critical reflection in cooperative action research combined with LOS theory is significant because the reflective aspect of action research aligns with Deleuze's pure event. Vital curricula and teacher praxes resulted when participants integrated localized experiences of place through older artists' memories and art.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Langdon, Elizabeth Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

Sexual Orientation and the Advanced Placement Art History Survey

Description: This two-part study included a content analysis of an AP art history text and a survey together with interviews with AP art history teachers that embraced both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. The first phase of the study examined one of the more popular art history survey texts in the AP art history program, Gardner’s Art through the Ages, in terms of how inclusive it is in addressing issues of sexual orientation and, particularly, same-sex perspectives. In addition, the text was examined for evidence of sexual orientation ignored – particularly same-sex perspectives ignored and for heteronormative hegemonies. The second phase investigated the understandings and opinions of AP art history teachers toward the inclusion of sexual orientation and same-sex perspectives in their curriculums and classrooms. Recent recognition of gay, lesbian, and same-sex perspectives in the study of art history has challenged art educators and art historians to begin to consider opening up their curriculums and writings to include these perspectives. These ignored perspectives produce important understandings that enrich and deepen the discourse of art history. The inclusion of gay and lesbian content and same-sex perspectives to the study of AP art history, not only effectively serves the needs of AP art history teachers, but it provides a more equitable and comprehensive visual arts education to students. The implications of this study are broad and complex. If students are to be well and comprehensively educated in the history of the visual arts, including discussions about the sexual orientation of gay and lesbian artists as well as artworks depicting same-sex perspectives is important. Similarly, their teachers must be well-informed and believe that including such material in the curriculum is important. There is definitely a need for designing more balanced and equitable AP art history programs that include gay and lesbian artists as well ...
Date: December 2014
Creator: Bond, Richard P.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Analyzing Visitors’ Discourse, Attitudes, Perceptions, and Knowledge Acquisition in an Art Museum Tour After Using a 3D Virtual Environment

Description: The main purpose of this mixed methods research was to explore and analyze visitors’ overall experience while they attended a museum exhibition, and examine how this experience was affected by previously using a virtual 3dimensional representation of the museum itself. The research measured knowledge acquisition in a virtual museum, and compared this knowledge acquired between a virtual museum versus a real one, employing a series of questionnaires, unobtrusive observations, surveys, personal and group interviews related to the exhibition and the artist. A group of twenty-seven undergraduate students in their first semester at the College of Architecture and Design of the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico participated in the research, and were divided in two groups, one of which used a 3D virtual representation previous to the museum visit. Results show that participants who experienced the virtual museum concurred that using it was a positive experience that prepared them to go to the real museum because they knew already what they were going to find. Most of the participants who experienced the virtual museum exhibited an increased activity during their museum visit, either agreeing, being more participative, concurring and showing acceptance, asking questions, or even giving their opinion and analysis, disagreeing with the guide and showing passive rejection. Also participants from this group showed an increase on their correct answers to the knowledge acquisition questionnaires, going from 27% answers responded correctly in the pre-test, to 67% of correct answers after the virtual museum usage. The research attempted to show that experiencing a virtual museum can be similar to the experience in physical museum visits, not only engaging participants to go to the museum, but sometimes even offering a more functional way to deliver content. Results of this research evidence that using a virtual museum creates a positive impact in ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: D’ Alba, Adriana
Partner: UNT Libraries