Monday, January 31, 2011

Art, Nature, Culture and Public Pedagogy

Featured in the upcoming book

"Creative Arts in Research for Community and Cultural Change"

Leaders in Arts Based Educational Research

Advance book previews
Contributor quotes.........

"A/r/tographic inquiry attempts to add to sociocultural experience by finding the movement of experience already in the world, for example, in geologic processes or families in transition, processes that are one and the same movement, differentiated by the continual slip of time. "

"A/r/tography seeks to reflect back to the world its diversity and liveliness, by creating arrangements in which people can relate to one another in ways that are not already determined and by inviting participants into collaborative artmaking."

"The forward slashes in the word a/r/tography indicate the importance of working with the rich histories of each tradition of artist, researcher and teacher as well as at their limits as continguous thresholds. Artist, research and teacher are articulated together to retain the ecology and materiality of everyday living; not irrevocably opposed but like the past and present sharing different directions of the same movement."

Valerie Triggs, Rita L. Irwin, Ruth Beer, Stephanie Springgay, Kit Grauer and Gu Xiong

(look for full article in the upcoming book, "Creative Arts in Research for Community and Cultural Change".)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Creating Art for our World Makes a Difference

Advance book previews,
Contributor quotes.....

Jan Selman

"This article discusses Are We There Yet?, a participatory play and workshop combination created by artists and health educators out of a sense of urgency about the need for more effective sexuality education for teens. The play uses the metaphor of learning to drive while it investigates and promotes safe and respectful expression of sexuality. A highly participatory theatre event, it works for and with its audience."

"If change rather than a crie de coeur is our goal, we must immerse ourselves in our audience's world and strive to create art which will touch specific audiences as deeply as possible. It follows that for artists with the intention of creating social or individual change, choices are to work "at home", creating work which speaks to people just like ourselves, or to enter into a process of deep listening, of participatory research, as we create work we hope will be relevant and transformative for our intended audience. This act of listening and translation is a bigger challenge than one might suppose."

"Context matters. Culture matters. In creating and using art for change, activist artists bring their aesthetic taste and expertise as well as their social and educational agenda to their projects. We believe that creating art about our world makes a difference, as art seeks to touch people at their core. However, as we work, it is imperative that we also engage with the specifics of the milieu in which we create. Where transformation is the goal, many artists choose to apply their art forms within education and other development processes. Why? In part we do this because we believe that to be meaningful, education (where education is understood in its broadest context, that is as a process of human development) must be deeply relevant to its participants."

Look for the full article in the soon to be released book, "Creative Arts in Research for Community and Cultural Change", Editor Cheryl McLean, Associate Editor, Robert Kelly, Detselig Temeron Press.

Jan Selman is Professor and Chair in the Department of Drama at the University of Alberta, Canada. Her career has included freelance directing and new play development, as well as facilitation and direction of many community-based popular theatre projects. In the 1980s she was Artistic Director of Catalyst Theatre, described as, "perhaps the most innovative popular theatre company in North America" (Alan Filewod, Theatre History in Canada 10, 2). Recent publications include a co-written book, Popular Theatre in Political Culture: Britain and Canada in Focus (with Tim Prentki, Intellect, 2000) as well as articles for Convergence and Adult Education Quarterly. Recent direction includes Helen Edmondson's adaptation of A Mill on the Floss for Studio Theatre at U of A. Recent popular theatre work includes co-facilitation of Transforming Dangerous Spaces, a project which used theatre to investigate potentials for coalition across difference within women's activist communities. She is the Principal Investigator for the Are We There Yet? CURA.

(Look for full article by Jan Selman in the upcoming book "Creative Arts in Research for Community and Cultural Change".)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Narrative and Story Enhances Understandings of Self in Practice

Advance book previews
Contributor quotes....

Todd Sojonky

"Through narrative, story and poetry this article shows the importance of personal growth and informs the practice of being a "good psychologist". It asks the reader to consider how cross cultural experiences influence professional psychology discourse and practices as well as to explore the relationships between dominant psychology systems and cultural enactments. "

"As a starting point, I began writing narratives (personal stories, journal entries and poems) that focused on experiences and incidents in my work in First Nation communities. The self study I embarked on involved self as psychologist. By examining my motives, feelings, fears and interests in relation to my work as a psychologist in First Nations communities, I came to a better understanding of my "self" and was also able to enhance my practice and offer insights for others in "psychologist culture." ( Look for the complete article by Todd Sojonky in our 2nd book in the CAIP Research Series "Creative Arts in Research for Community and Cultural Change", Detselig Temeron Press, for release May 2011.)

Todd Sojonky Ph.D., R.D., holds a Ph.D. from the Educational Psychology program at The University of Regina. He is a registered doctoral psychologist with extensive experience in marriage and family counselling rooted in a transpersonal and relational approach to healing. Visit Todd Sojonky's blog at
He has recently released a book,
Sojonky, T. (2010). A self-study: Being a white psychologist in an Indian world. Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Previews, Quotes from Contributors, Creative Arts in Research for Community and Cultural Change

Contributor Previews, B. Stephen Carpenter

Ceramics and Research in Action for Potable Water

"Our collaborative projects encompass a variety of research methodologies aimed at examining the social, cultural and environmental aspects of water's role in community health by using ceramic arts education as a means of community change."

"The TAMU Water Project operates out of a strength-based approach by working within existing contexts and with community residents, in order to more fully understand and prioritize next actions. In using the word research as a verb (to research with), rather than as a noun (to do research on), the power dynamic between researcher and researched becomes non-hierarchical. The TAMU Water Project has successfully demonstrated and utilized this approach to participant-led action research, or participatory arts-based research, as a means to lead innovation in ceramic water filter development through interdisciplinary work, successful non-hierarchical working relationships and positive community change." ( Look for the complete article by B. Stephen Carpenter and colleagues in our 2nd book in the CAIP Research Series "Creative Arts in Research for Community and Cultural Change", Detselig Temeron Press, for release May 2011.)

B. Stephen Carpenter, II is Professor of Art Education at Penn State University. He is author/co-author of numerous scholarly articles that have appeared in journals such as Art Education, Ceramics: Art and Perception, Computers in the Schools, Educational Leadership, The Journal of Aesthetic Education, The Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education, The Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, The Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, The Journal of Visual Literacy, Studies in Art Education, and Visual Arts Research. He has also authored/co-authored numerous book chapters in art education, visual culture, and curriculum theory. In addition, he is co-author of Interdisciplinary Approaches to Teaching Art in High School (2006), and co-editor of Curriculum for a Progressive, Provocative, Poetic, and Public Pedagogy (2006). His mixed media installations and performance artworks have been exhibited in regional, national, and international exhibitions. Carpenter was editor of Art Education, the journal of the National Art Education Association (2004-2006) and is co-editor of the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy.

See video clip

Friday, January 21, 2011

Quotes of Note

"The qualitative researcher may be described using multiple and gendered images; scientist, naturalist, fieldworker, journalist, social critic, artist, performer, jazz musician, filmmaker, quilt maker, essayist. the many methodological practices of qualitative research may be viewed as soft science, journalism, ethnography, quilt making or montage. The researcher, in turn, may be seen as a bricoleur, as a maker of quilts, or as in filmmaking, a person who assembles images into montages." Collecting and Interpreting Qualitative Materials, Norman K. Denzin, Yvonna S. Lincoln, Sage c.mclean

"The business of art is rather to understand Nature and to reveal her meanings to those unable to understand. It is to convey the soul of a tree rather than to produce a fruitful likeness of a tree. It is to reveal the conscience of the sea, not to portray so many foaming waves or so much blue water. The mission of art is to bring out the unfamiliar from the most familiar." Kahlil Gibran

Friday, January 14, 2011

Announcing the 2nd text in the CAIP Research Series About the Book

Photo by © C. McLean

Creative Arts in Research for Community and Cultural Change the second book in the CAIP Research Series, Publisher Detselig Temeron Press

With the successful release of the inaugural text in the CAIP Research Series, Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice for Hope and Change, The International Journal of the Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice is actively engaged in creating the 2nd text in the series, Creative Arts in Research for Community and Cultural Change, Editor Cheryl McLean, Publisher, International Journal of The Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice, IJCAIP and Associate Editor Dr. Robert Kelly, Associate Professor, Faculty of Fine Art, University of Calgary.

This ambitious publishing project has been launched by The International Journal of The Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice and is the second text in the groundbreaking Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice (CAIP) Research Series to be published by Detselig Temeron Press. Building on the fundamentals of Book 1, the inaugural text, Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice, Inquiries for Hope and Change, Book 2 in the CAIP Research Series, Creative Arts in Research for Community and Cultural Change, features informative and thought provoking articles describing applications of the creative arts in research within neighborhoods, villages and cities integrated in distinctive ways to help investigate, explore, articulate and communicate research findings while working actively within and beyond borders to foster change. In this action oriented collection, creative arts and community based, participatory approaches are featured as well as other methodologies. Taking a global perspective, the book explores creative arts in interdisciplinary practice for cultural and community change through hands on illustrative accounts, for example, the creative arts in research fostering peace and bridging communities, creative arts in research and action in community practice in addiction work, creative arts in research exploring issues of migration and racism, arts for community change addressing environmental issues, creative arts and its role in cultural change as well as discussing applications of the creative arts in many forms in practice in communities addressing critical health issues for improved quality of life.Articles raise questions and mobilize by example pointing to alternative forms of discovery and resolution through community action that challenges stereotypes of race, gender and identity. At a time of desperate need and ongoing unrest internationally, this important contemporary research text is a valuable source of information as well as a call for creative new approaches in contemporary research leading to meaningful action. Creative Arts for Community and Cultural Change provides first hand insights into evolving processes unique to the creative arts in research and interdisciplinary practice as well as a wealth of information and examples for in class review and highly relevant in-depth dialogue and debate.


IJCAIP International Journal of The Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice website

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"You come on wings enchanted in such hunger for light you become the butterfly burnt to nothing."

Goethe, "Blessed Longing."

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Introducing Editors CAIP Research Series

Cheryl McLean M.A. is Publisher and Executive Editor of The International Journal of the Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice and Editor of the CAIP Research Series and research texts, "Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice, Inquiries for Hope and Change" (August 2010) and "Creative Arts in Research for Community and Cultural Change" (for release October, 2011), Associate Editor Dr. Robert Kelly, published by Detselig Enterprises, Calgary. She has a background in journalism and Social Sciences (BA, Social Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London) and mental health and arts (MA, Faculty of Fine Art, CAT, Concordia, University, Montreal). She is an independent scholar, publisher and educator advancing the emerging field of the creative arts in research and interdisciplinary practice worldwide. In her research she created and performed the “ethnodrama” Remember Me for Birds” based on true stories raising awareness about aging, mental health and autonomy. The solo performance was based on data gathered in research and groupwork (a number of her older clients were Holocaust survivors) She has performed the solo performance as a keynote for national conferences, universities and medical schools in Canada and the U.S. The work was produced as an educational film in 2006. An agent of change and longtime arts advocate Cheryl McLean has taught the course "Creative Responses in Death and Bereavement" at The University of Western Ontario, London, and in her work as a community educator has facilitated numerous seminars and workshops for health professionals which use story and performance to help professionals embody and express personal narratives for self awareness and community witness. She continues to help shape the emerging international field of the creative arts in interdisciplinary practice raising awareness about the vital role the arts have to play for hope and change in contemporary research and interdisciplinary practice.

Robert K
elly Ph.D., Associate Editor CAIP Research series is an artist and educator as well as an author writing about creativity processes in action. Robert Kelly is an associate professor in the Faculty of Fine Arts, and an adjunct associate professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary where he teaches creativity theory and practice, studio art and curriculum theory and design. Robert’s research is focused on the concept of creativity and its applications for educational practice. Of particular research interest is the nature of idea generation and the development of supporting environments and practice. His recent book Creative Expression, Creative Education (co-edited with Carl Leggo, University of British Columbia) presents the case for creativity as a primary rationale for education.

His creativity research, through his Creativity Education Project, extends to the development of courses on creativity and educational practice and personal creative development for graduate and undergraduate students and the general public.

Robert received his undergraduate training in education at the University of Western Ontario followed by master’s graduate work in art education at the University of Victoria and doctoral work in education at the University of Calgary.

Robert Kelly has been a featured keynote speaker at lectures and workshops across Canada speaking on creativity theory and practice across disciplines.Visit Robert Kelly's website

About Creative Arts in Research for Community and Cultural Change

Creative Arts in Research for Community and Cultural Change
Editor, Cheryl McLean Associate Editor, Robert Kelly
Detselig Enterprises, Calgary

Creative Arts in Research for Community and Cultural Change”, the second text in the series, takes a global perspective featuring projects that have used the creative arts applied in research for community and cultural change. In this action oriented collection qualitative research and community based and participatory methods play a major role as well as other experiential approaches.

The articles in this second volume have been divided into four thematically related sections:

Part 1 Community Action and Education through Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice; Part 2 Images for Witness, Community Action in Disability and Health; Part 3 Arts Exploring Immigrant Experience and Cultural Identities; Part 4 Human Stories “from the outside in” for Community and Cultural Change.

Many of the researchers, artists, educators, participants and community members you will read about in these accounts strive for change by joining together in interdisciplinary projects to address the most fundamental of human needs, the need for healthy and safe communities with water to drink and air to breathe, the need for human expression and connection, the desire to be accepted and acknowledged as a human being of value and to voice their personal stories for witness whether it is from a stage, a study circle, a kitchen table or to be experienced at exhibits in public spaces in the photographs of a community of women, street workers, sharing images depicting stories of survival on the streets of the inner city.

There is hope for change within these pages as we learn about the day to day lives of those who live on the margins, those whose stories are seldom heard. As Liz Day and John J. Guiney Yallop express in the article, Four Poems for Four Lives, A Study of Four Ex-prisoners through Poetic Inquiry, “We believe that all human experience is of value and that all human experience has something to teach us.” For me, this statement became a touchstone, at times guiding the editing journey, an underlying theme I often referred to in the shaping of this volume.

Creative Arts in Research for Community and Cultural Change is fundamentally a book about the arts in action and practice for hope and citizen empowerment, about people and communities making a difference through arts processes and democratic change. It may be true that we are shaped by culture and yet as is clearly evidenced by the articles in this book culture itself can be artfully shaped and re/formed within communities by the hands of the people who daily transform it.

We hope you will learn from these articles, we expect many will be transformed by what they witness through these accounts and a few might be inspired to take action themselves launching new initiatives and igniting change for the betterment of places, for the life of our cities and all who call them home and because they believe in the arts and all that communities, in action, together, can accomplish.

Our journey continues.

C.L. McLean, Editor

This book will be available in 2011. Inquiries

A New Blog for the Second Book in the CAIP Research Series

This is a new blog for the second text in the CAIP (Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice) Research Series, "Creative Arts in Research for Community and Cultural Change" Editor Cheryl L. McLean, Associate Robert Kelly, Publisher Detselig Temeron Press.

Information about our first book in the CAIP Research Series, Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice, Inquiries for Hope and Change, Detselig Temeron Press, (August 2010) can be found at the CAIP Research Series BLOG at
The book can be purchased directly from the website.

This was the cover for our first book in the CAIP Research series, Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice, Inquiries for Hope and Change. A very cool design by our designer/artist and" interdisciplinarian" James Dangerous of Detselig Temeron Press.