ANIMATION

Stokrocki, M. & Buckpitt, M. (2002). Computer animation at an Apache middle school: Apache children’s use of computer animation technology. In Y. Gaudelius & P. Speirs (Eds), Contemporary Issues in Art Education for Elementary Educators (pp. 264-274). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

In their research, Stokrocki and Buckpitt question choices children make in their use of technology and if they are based on gender, ethnicity, and culture. They created a three-week long computer animation workshop during a summer program at an Apache Middle School. Buckpitt, the art teacher at the school, has implemented digital arts throughout the school year to inspire students to tell stories of their heritage, usually a part of oral tradition, while experimenting with art criticism inquiry tools. This particular animation workshop took place during the summer and out of sixty registered students, Stokrocki focused on two groups: six and seven-grade class of respectively ten and eleven students (both male and female). The workshop consisted of the initial famiariation with the software, exploration of its tools and menus, creating backgrounds, and eventually-designing characters and animating them. Stokrocki noted that in the creation of the projects, the students often selected images that were culturally important to them and specific to their surroundings. Stokrocki considered multiple prior research sites and approaches to animation in an art classroom, but did not situate her study within the general context of teaching animation. Her analysis of the observations is rather limited and focuses solely on images chosen by the students and their cultural connotations. This type of investigation would be appropriate for utilizing any medium in the art classroom, and does not give any additional insight to an art of animating specifically. The author makes specific conclusions significant to the Apache students, when in reality, they could apply to any student population. Some ethnically-specific observations are very valid and cannot be dismissed.

ART EDUCATION AND / VS. ART THERAPY

Dalley, T. (ed.) (1984). Art as therapy: An introduction to the use of art as a therapeutic technique. London: Tavistock Publications.

This book demonstrates a wide range of approaches in art therapy as a fairly new discipline and argues for its continual diversity as the field becomes more established. Peter Fuller, in the Forward describes general lack of consensus among the practitioners about “the scope of its ability, its informing theories, or even its clinical probable.” The introduction by Tessa Dalley goes to explain the relationship between art and therapy; their historical context of separation; theory and practice of art therapy; while challenging assumptions about what both of the fields are and are not. In the first chapter “A consideration of the similarities and differences between art teaching and art therapy”, Diane Waller describes the historical links between the two disciplines and current situation of the two.

Marshall, J. (2002). Exploring culture and identity through artifacts. In Y. Gaudelius & P. Speirs (Eds), Contemporary Issues in Art Education for Elementary Educators (pp. 279-290). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

PLAY AND CONTROL

Bernier, M., & O'Hare, J. (2005). Puppetry in education and therapy: Unlocking doors to the mind and heart. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse.

This book offers a great amount of varied examples of applying puppetry in art education and art therapy environments. The book offers detailed explanation of how puppetry in education and puppet therapy relate to the conventional puppet theater and how those two fields address the same aspects of puppetry, ex. puppet as a metaphor. Although, I am trying to dismantle this dichotomy, it is important to understand it and respect the existing divisions. The structure of the book reflects that as well. The art of puppetry is very closely related to the art of animation. Chapter titled “From Phonics Pals to Pecos Bill: Teaching Literacy to Second Language and Special Education Students Through Puppets (25-32) can be specifically applied to my research within immigrant and refugee groups. “Puppetry is evocating because it is a three dimensional symbolic art form with the capacity of movement and speech.”

Gray, P. (2011). The Decline of Play and the Rise of Psychopathology in Children and Adolescents. American Journal of Play. 3(4), 443-463.

In this essay, Peter Gray describes the correlation between the decline of play in western world and increase of anxiety, depression, suicide, feelings of helplessness, and narcissism in children, adolescents, and young adults. The author describes multiple functions of play in many environments, and the specific application of play in mental health care, as well as the correlation between the sense of personal control and anxiety / depression. Through play children develop essential skillsets, learn to problem-solve and come up with solutions, exercise their sense of control, learn about the rules and their application, learn to self-regulate their emotions, make friends and learn about relationships, and experience joy. “Clinicians know for certain that anxiety and depression correlate strongly with individuals’ sense of control or lack of control over their own lives. Those who believe that they master their own fate are much less likely to become anxious or depressed than those who believe that they are victims of circumstances beyond their control (449).”

Hicks, L. E. (2004). Infinite and finite games: Play and visual culture. Studies in Art Education, 45(4), 285-297

In this article, Laurie Hicks argues for the value of conceptualizing and practicing art education as a game. She attempts to negotiate the traditional focus of art education on the Eurocentric canon of arts and crafts, while attempting to discuss the movement to extend the scope of art education’s mission beyond “providing education and training in the creation and appreciation of objects (258)”.

Levine, E. G. (1998). On the play ground: Child psychotherapy and expressive arts therapy. In In S. K. Levine and E. G. Levine (eds.) Foundations of Expressive Arts Therapy: Theoretical and Clinical Perspectives (257-273). London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

This chapter describes intersection of play and art-making in the therapeutic encounter. It is shown in terms of concepts of imagination, transitional space and phenomena, the frame, experimentation, circularity, and metaphor. Focusing on the role of imagination in client’s self-expression, art therapists who use play in their practice, facilitate special contexts for playing and art-making. The goal is to free child’s imagination, impulses, and feelings. The purpose of this writing is to “show that play therapy and expressive arts therapy have common roots: play and art are fundamentally interconnected (pp. 258-9).”

Liebmann M. (1984). Art games and group structures. In T. Dalley (ed) (1984) Art as Therapy (156-172). London: Tavistock

In her chapter, Marian Liebmann describes use of games or structured activities in different kinds of art therapy groups. She talks about reasons for moving away from individual therapy to group settings, and benefits of working collaboratively with others. She describes not only different structures of art therapy groups, but also different purposes (social vs. individual) to participate. Liebmann comments on the utility of games and play in a group setting, and how it differs depending on a therapist’s individual philosophy. Liebmann’s extensive experiences with group therapies draw a broad understanding of this approach. Although, her research on play and games in therapy is very helpful, it lacks in-depth analysis of what play can mean in a community setting. Though her research mentions factors like group leaders, fluctuating group numbers, and power structures within the group influencing the group dynamics, Liebmann does not describe, how exactly they impact the overall group processes.

Meyer M. A. (1999). In exile from the body: Creating a ‘play room’ in the ‘waiting room’. In S. K. Levine and E. G. Levine (eds.) Foundations of Expressive Arts Therapy: Theoretical and Clinical Perspectives (241-255). London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

In her chapter, Meyer discusses expressive arts therapy used in work with ‘traumatized refugees’, clients who escaped physical and/or psychological violence from ‘political, religious or ethnic enemies’ in their country of origin, after arriving at refugee reception centers in Norway. The art therapy workshops are meant to give participants tools to cope not only with the past traumas, but their current stressful situation of displacement. Through a metaphor of the ‘house of the body’, Meyer describes terrifying consequences of war and trauma on a community and an individual, the treatment of a traumatised individual, and what role expressive art therapy (focusing on bodily expression, like dance, music, art making, etc.) might play in re-integrating one with their ‘escaped’ body. Through two very specific examples of expressive art therapy with refugee groups, Meyer beautifully describes patient-client relationships, along with challenges that they face, but the utility of actual ‘play’ in the expressive arts therapy group is very broadly described. One of the most interesting aspects explained by the author is the difference between imagination and fantasy. “Fantasy is an internal activity that does not relate to reality in the outer world; imagination, on the other hand, is the bridge from the internal to the external world . . . through singing and moving, and ‘giving life’ to the imagination with the help of painting, story-telling and poetic language, the survivor may find his or her way home (p. 244-245).”