Academic journal article Studies in Art Education

The Studies Invited Lecture, 2001

Academic journal article Studies in Art Education

The Studies Invited Lecture, 2001

Article excerpt

Editorial

I am writing this after the 2001 annual meeting of the NAEA in New York City, which was as usual large, lively, and full of interest. And as usual one of the highlights of the meeting was the annual Studies in Art Education Invited Lecture. Each year the editorial advisory board of Studies invites an outstanding art educator to deliver a lecture at the annual meeting, and it is subsequently published in the journal. This year, it was a particular pleasure for me that the lecturer was Ana Mae Barbosa, whose lecture appears in the first pages of this issue.

It was a particular pleasure because Ana Mae Barbosa has long been a personal friend, since before the time several years ago when she spent a sabbatical leave at The Ohio State University. Ana Mae is the dominant figure in art education in Brazil today and has been so for many years. She is the intellectual leader in art education there, and also the political, personal and rhetorical leader, well-known by art educators of all kinds, and widely admired throughout the country. Intellectually, she has fought for a more democratic, contemporary, and socially relevant art education, one that addresses contemporary social issues, uses contemporary art, and has an important place in schools and museums. She has tried to adapt from other countries, including the USA, whatever seems useful to art education in her own country and at the same time to throw off the psychological shackles of older colonial habits by insisting on the value of selected Brazilian ideas and artworks. This has meant that she has been deeply involved in many academic debates and political movements and events throughout the country, a passionate and energetic partisan of democracy.

Ana Mae's own dissertation was on the influence of John Dewey on Brazilian education, an interest that she has maintained over her career, and she was a student and personal friend of Paulo Freiere. These influences can be seen in her various activities and many books on art and art education. It is not that she simply repeats what she learned from them. I just learned that she is currently editing a new book on postmodernism in art and art education, something that Dewey or Freiere might have done if they had lived into these times.

Ana Mae Barbosa was for many years Professor and Chair of the program of art education at the University of Sao Paulo, which is the dominant university in Brazil. …

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