ERIC Number: EJ791445
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: 6
Commentary on Community-Based Art Studios: Underlying Principles
Allen, Pat B.
Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, v25 n1 p11-12 2008
In this commentary, the author discusses the Open Studio Project, which he cofounded in 1995. The community studio, as perceived by the founders, is a place where anything can be expressed as a moment on life's continuum. Believing that meaning in art is renewed in the process of art itself, the project is not conceived at art therapy: there are no efforts to fix, cure, change, or interpret but merely to witness the flow of expression in the images that arrive and to learn from them. The writer both compares and contrasts U.S. and European studios. In both cases, the community studio deals with many who are at least a step or two away from the mainstream and keeps alive some important minority values as a balance to the main cultural thrust. The goal of the European community studio may be to create a dignified place in the culture for an artist who, due to disability or limitation, would otherwise remain unvalued. In the United States, the community studio may invite a wider range of individuals who are estranged from mainstream culture to have a place to create meaning in their own lives or envision images of social change and well being. The author concludes by advocating that art holds and expresses the meaning of the human condition, that it should be embraced and supported by providing a wide variety of places where the basic right of artistic self-expression is cherished and enjoyed.
Descriptors: Art Expression, Community Programs, Art Therapy, Comparative Analysis, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States