THE INFLUENCE OF TEACHING ART AND VISUAL CULTURE ON THE PROCESS OF SELF-EXPRESSION/IDENTIFICATION OF LGBTQ PARTICIPANTS (SPECIFICALLY RELATED TO THEIR USE OF LANGUAGE)
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis thesis presents a project within the area of Art and Visual Culture Education created for Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Transsexual, Questioning, and Queer (LGBTQ) participants situated in the city of Tucson, Arizona. The main objective of the research was to design and implement an art and visual culture educational curriculum in a local community center in order to explore and compare the different approaches to, and uses of LGBTQ-related language by the participants as they engaged in opportunities for self expression that the critical analysis and creation of art and visual culture might provide. This research reflects a combination of the ideas of critical pedagogy (based on the work of Paulo Freire) and queer theory (based on the work of Judith Buller), and their theoretical and practical interconnections within the area of public pedagogy. The curriculum design will take as its foundation, examples of Judy Chicago's content-based art pedagogy, Karen Hutzel's Asset-based Community Art Curriculum, and Lisa Frohmann 's Photo-Narrative Art Project. Through this combination of theories, ideas, and references, the research study is expected to generate spaces for voice for LGBTQ communities wherein they can explore their use, misuse, and disuse of LGBTQ related language and eventually, express through art and the examination of visual culture, their feelings, secrets, or stories by modifying existing discourses, creating personal codes, or even generating new forms of language. When searching for a place to implement an art education project for LGBTQ participants, I encountered BICAS, a non-profit collectively-run community education and recycling center for bicycles. BICAS includes in its programming an awareness of LGBTQ issues, specifically through its Women and Transgender workshops. With BICAS' support, and through a series of workshops directed at LGBTQ and allied people, I was able to apply the curriculum design developed in this thesis and to study possible interconnections between art making in education and the importance of language in the process of self-identification of LGBTQ participants. In particular, I was able to study the participants' perceptions and use of labels, and provide them with opportunities for claiming freedom of self-definition by creating new meanings or words through artistic expression.
Degree ProgramGraduate College