Jennifer Eiserman – Principal Investigator
Eiserman is fascinated by how people learn through engagement with art and with each. This has resulted in teaching and research about community based art and collaborative practice for 30 years. The importance of making together, learning together, and understanding together have been the driving force of her research and her teaching practice. This has resulted in two bodies of work:
First, Eiserman has been exploring the nature of learning through art. Her work is inspired by the pedagogy of the early childhood educators in Reggio Emilia. This practice understands we humans are equipped with problem solving and inquiry skills appropriate to our life stage and our contexts. Her practice is also based on a constructivist, learner-centred, negotiated, generative approach that requires that teacher and student collaborate in the co-creation of knowledge. Learning what this means, and how best to support learning through art, has been the work of my students and myself in the university classroom and within early childhood, elementary and community settings in Calgary, Alberta.
A second area of interest is cultural diversity in art and art education. This definition includes issues with ethnicity and identity in art/art education as transdisciplinary approaches. Work in this area has included: research into the nature of the contribution of Canadian artists of Chinese descent to Canadian art; the interrelationship between the fine arts and sciences, especially within digital technologies; contemporary Jewish art and community based Jewish art in North America. Most recently, this work has embraced both aspects of cultural diversity in an exploration of the ways in which contemporary art and its institutions can contribute to community development.
Beaumie Kim – Co-investigator
Kim’s work is focused on using scientists’ resources and tools (especially Earth Sciences) for the research and development of learning resources and tools using technology. In her recent National Research Foundation of Singapore funded project, her team conducted progressive design workshops to design and develop an educational game that promotes a deeper understanding of our Earth. Her research work is carried out in collaboration with teachers and students as design partners, and by observing their interactions, discourse and artifacts. Kim has also worked with street youth on a collaborative graffiti project.
Farzan Baradaran Rahimi - Collaborator
Baradaran Rahimi has an MA in Architecture and brings years of experience as a practicing architect to his research into the creation of “hybrid spaces” within museum exhibitions. The underlying impetus behind Rahimi’s doctoral research was to create spaces that allow visitors to learn through enjoyable experiences; what factors are needed to create an enjoyable experience? Among his notable recent accomplishments that relate to this project, Rahimi collaborated on the creation of an interactive learning environment that resulted in an engaging and enjoyable experience for adolescents of the Second World War.
Ryan Doherty, Contemporary Calgary – Research Partner
Doherty is a writer, curator and administrator working out of Lethbridge and Calgary, Alberta. He worked at the U of L Art Gallery curating exhibitions from their extensive collections and at Southern Alberta Art Gallery as both Director and Curator until mid-2018. His curatorial practice has explored the construction of meaning in the information age, social practice & community engagement, and notions of maintenance, adaptability and institutional reflection. As an administrator, Doherty has become well-versed in art advocacy and in particular with helping direct institutions through facility renovations and expansions.
Janet Blatter, Independent Researcher - Collaborator
Blatter is interested in the ways in which creative problems are solved. Specifically, she studies how filmmakers (especially animators) use drawings, gestures, and language to help them share and transform ideas about story, space, and time. Blatter is currently Scholar-in-Residence for the National Film Board of Canada. Eiserman and Blatter have collaborated on research that examined the use of storyboarding as a tool for meaning making. Batter will be studying the design process of the team as they move through the processes of realizing this project.