Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Sarah Ganz Blythe
The arts remain in the shadow of Education’s assumptions: the arts are a subject of skill, a place for the finished product. While counter efforts, both current and past, have been pursued by the field of Art Education to promote art as an everyday tool, the static presence of this regulated pedagogical space makes it difficult to shift art accessibility from the artist to society as a whole. In response, it is certain the field demands a new environment. A space that validates its convictions and passions into something translatable to the masses, so art education may stand alone. In this thesis, I suggest the accessible setting to be a third space. Derived from postcolonial text and spatiality theory, it references a space between what is real and imagined. I propose to find a third space for Art Education and the creative community by turning to the [learning] environments; questioning what the role of a third space might be. Since I arrived in Providence my preliminary studies, from teaching experiences with Project Open Door and CityArts to the fieldwork analysis of the case-study I conducted of a temporary drawing studio within the RISD Museum, have provided visible prototypes of a third space. A term whose multi-modal standing is mostly referenced in the theories of Edward Soja, Maxine Greene, and other scholars expanded upon in the thesis. As the results suggest, a third space creates access to the learning body while refocusing the importance of the arts from “finished product” to the possibilities of creative interaction. Moreover, third space provides a substantiated term through which Art Education can develop a qualitative language of its own; rather than continuing to borrow terms from other fields. In conclusion, art education does not need to stand alone. It needs a gathering space, a third space that enables art to grow. This is the role of a space in between.
Gunter, Denise, "Space in between : finding a third space for art education & creative community" (2018). Masters Theses. 295.
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