I just received my copy of Culturally Relevant Art Education: A way out of no way, which includes a chapter I wrote on how we name social justice art education. In “Narrowing in on the Answers: Dissecting social justice art education” I look back at the literature on activist art and how it aligns with the scholarship on social justice education. This great compilation includes articles by bell hooks and Dipti Desai about teaching art from a justice standpoint.
Another successful semester of City Art Lab comes to a close with a jam-packed art exhibition of youth artwork. Hosted at Gallery M, the opening attracted close to 150 youth artists, friends, family, and curious passersby. For more information about the projects the graduate students facilitated, check out their regular blog pots on the City Art Lab website.
This collaboratively authored article highlights the unique kinds of learning that emerge from a culturally relevant art practice. I had the great honor of working with several Hawaiian scholars to co-author this piece which was published in the Harvard Educational Review in their recent special issue on Art Education. This piece is particularly meaningful to me since it gave me a chance to acknowledge how much I have learned from my kumu as I’ve practiced weaving lauhala papale myself (note the image of my first papale here!).
I had the pleasure of writing a review of Art and Social Justice Education: Culture as Commons by Therese Quinn, John Ploof, and Lisa Hochtritt for Studies in Art Education in a short piece titled “Walking the Talk of Art and Social Justice Education.” This fantastic book offers profiels on artists, reflections on teaching art, and narratives about student projects. It’s definitely a keeper. They also have a facebook page and an online resource for extended conversations about art and social justice education.
These might just be my two favorite classes, two variations on the theme of Community, Identity, and Culture in Art Education: one graduate version and one undergraduate version. A little multicultural education, lots of discussions about how race, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, and all our other identities impact power and privilege in education, some culturally-relevant art-making, a dash of how not to essentialize cultures when teaching about their art, and a ton of thinking about what it means to teach art in a way that empowers young people to be active agents of equality and justice in our world. It doens’t get any better.
The final exhibition of teen artwork from this spring’s City Art Lab drew crowds of over 150 family, friends, educators, and fans to Azucarar Gallery in Harlem to celebrate the work of a talented group of young artists. The exhibition was curated and installed by the graduate students in City College’s Art Education program. Not a bad way to finish up the semester.