Artist Scholar

Reflections on Writing and Research

G. James Daichendt

Artist Scholar

G. James Daichendt

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

161 pages | 30 halftones | 7 x 9 | © 2012
Paper $23.00 ISBN: 9781841504872 Published December 2011

Artist Scholar: Reflections on Writing and Research is part history, introduction, and discussion for artists and designers entering, graduating, and employed by the contemporary art academy in the United States. The evolution of art education in the university continues to expand in the 21st century as the variables of craft, skill, technique, theory, history and criticism shift and expand as the perspective of arts-based research is introduced into this professionalized environment. Given this context: what can M.F.A. students do to improve their understanding of writing and research without sacrificing their commitment to their studio art process?

Through a series of essays, the text argues for better writing at the M.F.A. level with the purpose of becoming better artists. By contextualizing art practice in the university and providing a foundation for future artist scholarship, it serves as an invitation to artist scholars to push their work further and develop the confidence to situate their art in the university context.

Preface: Scholarship and Art’s Ambiguous Objects by John Baldacchino

Chapter 1: Artists and Scholarship
    Basic language on research and the arts
    Universities and arts research
    Playing the cello in a marching band
    Artistic scholarship
Chapter 2: The Professionalization of the Visual Arts
    A history or art education
    The foundation of university art departments and the art major
    Growth in university education
    Origins of the American art department
    Intellectualism of art making
    Teaching to research
    The M.F.A. degree
    Art history lends a hand
Chapter 3: The Status of Art Scholarship
    Research through practice
    Going forward with M.F.A. scholarship
    Practice-led research
Chapter 4: Artists and Writing
    Writing and art making
    Common graduate writing strategies
    Why write?
    Writing critically
    Writing and higher education
Chapter 5: Reflections on Knowledge and Understanding
    Art making and understanding
    Art practice and new knowledge
    Subject-based knowledge
    Knowledge and research or understanding and writing
Chapter 6: Practicing Reflective Scholarship
    An introduction to scholarship
    What is a thesis/dissertation writing project?
    Artistic paradigms and reflective inquiry
    Where to begin?
    Developing a question
    Creative methodologies
    Data sources and methods
    Analyzing data
    Some larger philosophical issues to consider about artistic scholarship
    Research paradigms
    Critical theory
    Paradigms and research
    Reflecting on artistic scholarship
    Completing a research proposal
Chapter 7: Revisiting Writing and Research
    Doctoral programs in the visual arts
    Writing and research with art-making option
    Combined writing and research with final art project
    Where are we going with arts research?
    Writing and research

Appendix A: Putting Writing into Practice
    Title of project
    Research question
    Aim and scope of study
    Rationale for inquiry
    Objectives to be covered 
    Methodology and procedure for inquiry
    Potential outcomes
Appendix B: Banksy Hearts NY
    Preface to study
    Research question
    Methodology and procedure for inquiry
    Brief biography
    Literature review
    Cultural atmosphere
    Professional influences
    Artistic media
Review Quotes
“Daichendt begins with a challenging query that frames the entire structure of his subsequent arguments: ‘What does it mean to be a scholar in the visual arts?’ Universities typically confer the MFA degree on graduate students who produce exhibitions of art objects. Increasingly, though, academic pressure requires more, i.e. a piece of scholarship. This, this volume, in an  attempt to address the demands of writing and object-making, offers seven chapters and two appendices on various aspects of these topics. . . . Recommended.”

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