Three graces of practice: Rendering the reciprocal interactions of artistry and teaching

Year: 2016

Author: MacDonald, Abbey

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Enacting reciprocity between art making and teaching constitutes a key challenge for those attempting to meet both implicit and explicit stakeholder expectations inherent to art making and art teaching. While the difficulties inherent to enacting successful artist and teaching interaction are well documented (Booth, 2010; Hickman, 2010; Milbrandt, 2008), the challenge remains for researchers to identify specific strategies that can better assist art teachers to negotiate the complex relationship between artistry and teaching.This paper identifies and then extrapolates specific ways in which artist and teacher practices can enable teachers to realise more authentic, transferable and reciprocal exchanges between practices. To facilitate this, a hybridised methodology was adopted where methods integral to narrative inquiry and a/r/tography were drawn together to generate a flowing metanarrative of participants’ intricately layered stories, or ‘pictures’ of the enacted interplay between artistry and teaching. The insights being reported upon in this paper allow for some of the existing beliefs and understandings around what constitutes a challenge and a benefit in the nexus between artistry and teaching to be contested. In exploring the storied experiences of three artists and teachers, this paper articulates both concrete and discrete ways that artist and teaching practices can interact, and the specific implications of this interaction for successful enactment of professional artist and teaching practices.