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Art as Place-Based Education

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 9 months ago

Art as Place-Based Education


Quadra Island Map (recycled fibers)

Coordinator: Ian Douglas, Artist: Leanne Hodges


Texada Island Map

Coordinator: Lee Thorpe, Artist: Amanda Martinson



Salt Spring Island Map

Coordinator: Caffyn Kelley, Artist: Margaret Threlfall


Artists’ place-based educational projects are often rooted in a philosophy of Bioregionalism. As an example, the Islands in the Salish Sea Community Mapping Project engaged over 3000 people from the Gulf Islands bioregion. Artists worked with community researchers, scientists and schoolchildren to create a series of maps of 17 Gulf Islands. The project was undertaken with the goal of inviting people living on these islands to “a deeper understanding of their home places, and an opportunity to give these places a voice amid the rising cacophony of development pressures” (Vanessa Sparrow, personal correspondence.). This project celebrates the bioregion and invites bioregional thinking. And yet, without a critical analysis, the art remains powerless to address patterns of unequal development embedded in the regions’ social systems and written on the landscape of these economically gated communities. As yet another hymn to the region’s fragile beauty, does the project help to establish the islands as a region of the rich, thereby inviting ever-more unequal development? Does this Community Mapping Project wind up exacerbating the very crisis it seeks to address?


NEXT: Art as Critical Pedagogy


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