Ways of Making, Seeing and Thinking about Art: Art Expression and Art Education

By Alexandra Mouriki-Zervou and Antonis Vaos.

Published by The Arts Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In this paper we argue that the arts (visual arts) constitute a kind of an expressive gesture (as conceived by the French philosopher M. Merleau-Ponty), and on the basis of this hypothesis, we shall try to show that they can fulfil the presuppositions required to be addressed in comprehensive and meaningful school programs. Our central argument is that artistic activity is an expressive activity par excellence: it is an “advent”, an original operation, i.e., which, constitutes a sign as a sign, implants a meaning in that which did not have one and thus, inaugurates an order and founds an institution or tradition. Accordingly, this meaning is on principle a meaning in genesis, ever to be re-created and re-interpreted. Given that, we claim that just as the arts are an attempt to visually articulate meanings, to create meaningful forms, correspondingly art education is an attempt to cultivate children’s ability to grasp, understand and respond to such meanings available from art’s expressive forms. We maintain that the role of art education is to facilitate access to various artistic approaches and to help to the development of a reflective attitude towards their significance as expressive advents (as described above).

Keywords: Art, Art Education, Expression, Meaning, Advent

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp.207-216. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.153MB).

Dr. Alexandra Mouriki-Zervou

Assistant Professor, Department of Early Childhood Education, Faculty of Humanities and Social Studies, University of Patras, Athens, Greece

Alexandra Mouriki (Dipl. of Philosophy, University of Athens. Ph.D. in Philosophy of Art, University Paris I - Panthéon - Sorbonne) is Assistant Professor at the University of Patras, where she teaches Aesthetics, Art History and Art Pedagogies. Fields of interest and research: Philosophy of art, aesthetics and aesthetic education. Publications: She has published a book: Transformations of Aesthetics (Athens 2003), as well as several articles on art theory, aesthetics and aesthetic education. She has also translated essays of Merleau-Ponty and Paul Ricœur.

Dr. Antonis Vaos

Assistant Professor, Department of Early Childhood Education, Faculty of Humanities and Social Studies, University of Patras, Patras, Greece

Antonis Vaos was born in Milos Island –Greece. He studied Fine Arts in Rome and he earned his Ph.D. from the Panteion University in Athens. He is presently teaching as an Assistant Professor at the University of Patras, Early Childhood Education Department (Art Education). He has published two books on Aesthetic Education and Art Education in Greece, as well as several articles on art pedagogies and aesthetic education. He has also presented his work in various exhibitions in Greece and abroad.

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