From: Stacey Salazar
It is my pleasure to be the NAEA Mentor for the month of September. Some of you may know that I am on the faculty at the Maryland Institute College of Art where I direct the Master of Arts in Art Education program, working with amazing graduate candidates who are experienced art educators teaching in schools and communities around the US and the globe. You may also know that much of my research has explored studio art and design education in post-secondary settings, an interest that began many years ago, while I was teaching studio art in both high school and college settings. It was during those years that I began to explore the ways in which my art students might authentically investigate contemporary art practices as they undertook their own search for meaning with tactile, visual forms. In particular, it seemed to me that play-as-creativity was significant to both professional and student artists, some aspects of which I considered in my chapter, “Fiat lux: Creativity Through Play,” in the 2015 NAEA publication, Connecting Creativity: Research and Practice in Art Education, edited by Flávia Bastos and Enid Zimmerman.
In my work as a teacher of studio art pedagogy, a maker of art, an art education researcher, and as director of the MAAE program, I become every day more convinced that structuring opportunities for authentic play in the art classroom is of central importance to 21st-century art education. Therefore, for my posts as your September mentor, I will share a few strategies and resources for “Putting Play in the Process.”
For my next post, look for a definition of “authentic play,” some thoughts on the relationship between play and creativity, and two excellent resources on play in contemporary artmaking practice.