This book brings together interviews with twenty-one artist-teachers from different parts of the world, offering many insights into their identities, challenges and creative and pedagogic practices they have adopted. Based in a range of educational situations—from compulsory to post-secondary education, art schools, departments of art education and community-based environments—these educators discuss their own training in fine art and/or art education, research interests, teaching methods and theoretical outlooks, collaborative projects, students’ ambitions, exhibitions and the different approaches they use to connect their educational and artistic commitments. The discussions take place against a contextual backdrop that is tackled in every interview, bringing to the fore the impact of social, political, historical and institutional frameworks on artist-teachers. Illustrated with images of works and projects by each artist-teacher in the book, the volume combines the visual and the verbal in a way that reflects the complex experiences and identities of the interviewees.
Raphael Vella is a Senior Lecturer in Art Education at the Faculty of Education, University of Malta. Apart from coordinating and teaching in art education courses, he also teaches courses in fine art and theory. His publications address the relationships between contemporary artistic practices and education, art education in the Mediterranean, identity in art education, photography and cultural studies, and arts-based research. He is also actively involved in the curation of international and Maltese exhibitions and cultural events, and in recent years he initiated projects such as
Divergent Thinkers (aimed at creating a platform for emerging artists based in Malta) and the
Valletta International Visual Arts festival (VIVA). He is also a practising artist, having shown his work in many contexts, including Malta, Venice, Warsaw, Tokyo, Reims, Buenos Aires, Nicosia and Oxford.
The Mediterranean is a multifaceted conglomeration of parts that cannot be assembled into a whole. Its various histories characterised by imperial and nationalistic aspirations, imbalances of power and economies, political struggles, diverse cultural, religious and linguistic realities as well as the countless myths spawned by people over the ages all contribute to the world’s fascination with this region and simultaneously make it difficult for anyone to speak sensibly about it without resorting to the plural form—the Mediterraneans. So, can we speak of a Mediterranean pedagogy of the arts? The authors in this volume argue in different ways that the answer to this question cannot be carved out of a singular, monolithic interpretation of the region. Instead, we need to look for provisional answers in the region’s dynamic developments, historic and contemporary exchanges of ideas and cultural codes and in the shifting nature of a sea that invites journeying, inquisitive people to discover new routes.
The cover image, “La fenêtre intérieure”, is by the French photographer Sébastien Cailleux and shows a multiple exposure portrait of a child and her drawing created during a workshop called “Dessine-moi la Méditerranée”, organised by L’École d’Art au Village (Edaav) at the Museum of Illumination, Miniatures and Calligraphy at the Casbah in Algiers.