Fully Awake - Art Education as a Catalyst for Democracy

By: Siu Challons-Lipton  

Today's students are the most technologically connected in history, yet conversation is being sacrificed for connection and communication, compromising self-reflection, risk and engagement. They need to be fully awake. The need for an education through the arts has never been greater. The teaching example of the experimental Black Mountain College of North Carolina (USA) (1930s-1950s) is once again relevant with its dedication to educational and artistic experimentation, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and the fostering of individuality, all with the end of creating a democratic world in which artistic education involves citizenship. A liberal arts education is again the example for the future as a directive to action, the development of character, and an education for life as an active citizen engage in social change. This paper explores specific and concrete things that can be done to emulate the Black Mountain approach individually, institutionally, and inter/nationally to transform pedagogy and community engagement.

Democracy Creativity Education Citizenship Black Mountain College Liberal arts Individuality
2020 Special Focus - Against the Grain: Arts and the Crisis of Democracy
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Dr. Siu Challons-Lipton

Executive Director, Department of Art, Design and Music, Queens University of Charlotte

Siu Challons-Lipton is Executive Director of the Department of Art, Design and Music and the Carolyn G. and Sam H. McMahon Professor of Art History at Queens University of Charlotte. She earned her doctorate degree in 19th Century Art history from the University of Oxford and her bachelor's and master's of art degrees in Baroque Art from McGill University. She also trained at Sotheby's, London, in 19th and 20th Century Decorative Arts. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Mint Museums. Her research interests include 19th Century Academic and Realist Art, Internationalism in late 19th Century Paris, Scandinavian Art of the 19th and 20th Centuries, Black Mountain College of North Carolina, Critical and Creative Thinking, and Visual Literacy. She published a book in 2002 on The Scandinavian Pupils of the Atelier Bonnat, 1867-1894, and co-edited a book in 2017 on Funding Challenges and Successes in Arts Education and a chapter in 2018 on Transformative Learning through Creative Literacy for Commong Ground Publishing. Dr. Challons-Lipton spent her childhood in Africa, Europe and the South Pacific. She continues to be passionate about travel, culture, languages, and of course, art.