The Mindful Eye

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  • Title: The Mindful Eye: Contemplative Pedagogies in Visual Arts Education
  • Author(s): Michael Garbutt, Nico Roenpagel
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Image
  • Keywords: Contemplative education, pedagogy, visual arts, art, design, wisdom, meditation, mindfulness, embodiment, philosophy, transformation, studio practice, university, higher education, innovation
  • Year: 2018
  • ISBN (hbk): 978-1-61229-985-3
  • ISBN (pbk): 978-1-61229-986-0
  • ISBN (pdf): 978-1-61229-987-7
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Garbutt, Michael, and Nico Roenpagel. 2018. The Mindful Eye: Contemplative Pedagogies in Visual Arts Education. Champaign, IL: Common Ground Research Networks. doi:10.18848/978-1-61229-987-7/CGP.
  • Extent: 318 pages


The Mindful Eye explores the ways in which contemplative approaches can incorporate mindfulness and embodiment practices in visual arts higher education. Currently discussed as a promising complementary vision, contemplative pedagogies are increasingly introduced across a wide range of disciplinary practices in higher education with well-demonstrated positive impacts on students’ academic performance, creativity, stress management, and sense of wellbeing. Significantly, however, ways of knowing and being that privilege attention, stillness, and an awareness of interior states have particular resonances for art and design practitioners, inspiring the development of “mindful ways of seeing” essential for co-creating a more just and sustainable future. The case studies in this book provide a critical guide to incorporating contemplative practices across a range of teaching and learning contexts, from the practice-based studio to the classroom, lecture theater, and field excursion. Covering a range of visual practices, the 13 chapters are grouped into four sections, respectively entitled Moving Images, Embodied Practices, Creative Expressions, and Contemplative Designs.