Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Transformational Arts Practice

My life-long journey as someone from a challenging background who has used art as a force for healing, making meaning, and helping others by creating multicultural picture books, murals, service-based art projects,  and teaching art and problem solving skills, have all led me to start the next part of my life where I "claim face" as Maya Gonzalez encourages, and my authentic identity as an artist/educator/transformationist as Kelly Rae Roberts encourages. I feel like I spent the last six years wandering in the emotional desert of academia where so much is the opposite of being authentic, with myriad hoops to jump through that get progressively higher and higher and institutionalized systems of regulation (me grading students, me being graded by those higher up on the totem pole). All these things that are so far away from what I really want to do - which is make and teach art in playful and empowering ways. A big part of this distance from my authentic self was being part of the "tenure" system, which I am now grateful to be out of. I know for many people it's not an issue, but for me it was.

So now, I am very excited to announce (drum roll please) that I am about to embark on a new period in my life teaching (in-person and on-line e-courses) in sequential art and problem solving skills through a transformational arts practice based on a pedagogy of pleasure. I have been developing this pedagogy of pleasure for many years and wrote about it in Studies in Art Education. If anyone enjoys academic writing visit for some of my articles. Transformational Arts Practice teaches course members how to "tap" into left and right brain ways of thinking and doing to overcome blocks in specific areas with specific projects while also teaching traditional and contemporary art and crafts skills (something that many newer artists might really appreciate). I feel that my academic background has trained me in research practices that will be very helpful in providing background information and good pedagogy, while my artist's soul, sensitivity, and joy in making and teaching art will help me teach these things in a loving way. I am VERY excited about  actually launching SOON, but am finding it hard to decide on which blog button to use as this will decide how my new site will look. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated as it's very hard to see and critique your own work. If you can - do let me know what you think.


ellie said...

I like #2 the most. It is endearing. And would draw me in. Second is #1. Calming.

Good luck.I wait with bated breath to see the winner.

Kristen Schwartz said...

I like #2 as well. It really stands out and I think it would at any size. It also feels most authentic to me. What keeps coming into my head is, "This is for real..." :)

Megan Frances said...

Hope this doesn't cloud the picture: I think the blue backgrounds of 1 and 4 are eye-catching. I also like the image in 2. It would be cool if there was some way you could incorporate the butterfly - it's a great symbol of transformation. e.g. If the face was looking at a little butterfly?

Sorry - I realize this isn't that helpful.

Good luck with your new venture. Anything you do is going to be wonderful!

Maki said...

Hi Mira. Woooo how exciting! It sounds an amazing course! All the best!

re; the buttons. I love the original image of 4 (the previous post) but, considering what you will be doing, person would be the better, wouln't it? Love all of them. I'm the bad one to decide! mmm 1&2 looking more waiting for the potential whilst 3 may have already there? So maybe 1 or 2? If your favourite is 3, sorry. Also good! (I'm hopeless!) x m

Moyra Scott said...

I like the red elephant and the blue background. I don't like the butterfly one much as it hides her eyes, though I like the butterfly as an idea. i like the blue colour background. I can see what people are saying about the number 2. it makes it personal. but I like the red elephant