Why We Make Art (Book)
And Why it is Taught
In this thorough and accessible text, Richard Hickman rejects the current vogue for social and cultural accounts of the nature of art-making in favour of a largely psychological approach aimed at addressing contemporary developmental issues in art education. This second edition will be an important resource for anyone interested in arts education.
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Governments around the world spend millions on art and cultural institutions, evidence of a basic human need for what the author refers to as 'creating aesthetic significance'. Yet what function or purpose does art satisfy in today’s society? In this thorough and accessible text, Richard Hickman rejects the current vogue for social and cultural accounts of the nature of art-making in favour of a largely psychological approach aimed at addressing contemporary developmental issues in art education. Bringing to bear current ideas about evolutionary psychology, this second edition will be an important resource for anyone interested in arts education.
Richard Hickman is a reader at the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Education. His previous publications include Research in Art and Design Education and Critical Studies in Art and Design Education.
'Hickman’s consideration of why we make art and why it is taught asserts his support for the creative potential inherent within art education. He doesn’t resort to championing one canon over another, nor does he completely discount any research he has addressed. His open and honest considerations of topics addressed create a much-needed space for discussion within the realm of education. If more educators could gain this clarity of vision through imaginative consideration, our educative systems might one day reflect the imaginings of an artist. And to that end, we might embrace our innate curiosity and allow ourselves the opportunity to see our world differently and perhaps, with the artistry and imagination Hickman knows and seeks for all.'
'Richard Hickman has described the complex workings in the art classroom with literary elegance. His sensitive and astute conceptualisation of the many factors which surround the success of the art education domain emanate from the empirical evidence of his research, his depth of knowledge as an artist and art educator and his experiences as a teacher and inspector within the British education system during the past three decades.'
'Why We Make Art and Why it is Taught has been a major influence in my career as an artist and an art educator. The depth of research that Dr. Hickman has undergone in the areas of creativity and self-esteem have impacted my way of thinking in a most positive manner. His ideas on our capacity to notice, understand and communicate visually, should be a part of every artist/educator's pedagogy.
'This book deserves close attention by those artists, teachers and academics who identify themselves with art education not simply as a subject in the curriculum but as a way of understanding and engaging with a wider meaning in life.'
'We should welcome and inwardly digest this excellent book that examines the necessity for art as a basic human need'
'Richard Hickman seamlessly brings together modern and postmodern perspectives in visual art and education and in so doing offers a truly engaging argument for why we make art and why it is taught. The strength of this book is in Hickman's ability to write lucidly (and entertainingly!) about a complex subject, blend theory and research, and maintain his unique voice throughout'