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Art-Based Research: The Art of Using Art as a Primary Mode of Inquiry

February 13, 2022 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

IACAET presentation featuring Dr. Shaun McNiff (Lesley University)

Art-Based Research: The Art of Using Art as a Primary Mode of Inquiry

With Dr. Shaun McNiff, Dr. Ross Prior, Dr. Mitchel Kossack, Dr. Michal Lev,
Dr. Dina Fried, Dr. Dori Bryan-Ployer,  Dr. Abbe Miller

Webinar Description

Artistic inquiry is an important source and method for investigating the human condition. Shaun McNiff has been engaged in this form of artistic inquiry for five decades through his practice, teaching, writings, and research. Recognized internationally as a pioneer in the fields of expressive and creative arts therapy and the rapidly growing practice of art-based research, his work has had a profound influence on our understanding of the applications of the expressive and creative arts.

This global webinar will begin with a talk by Shaun where he will define and reflect on his work with art-based research, looking at the opportunities and challenges he has faced. He will be followed by a distinguished group of colleagues, including some of his former students. A brief epistemological and practical foundation of what is art-based research will be presented. The presenters will then move into highlighting practical art-based research concepts and projects looking at various forms of artistic expression, specific challenges and insights gleaned through placing art and artists at the center of inquiry. We will conclude with panelists exploring the ‘opportunities and challenges’ that using art as a primary source of inquiry holds for creative arts educators, therapists and others committed to art’s proven history of furthering human understanding and experience.

Presenter Description


Shaun McNiff is the author of Imagination in Action: Secrets for Unleashing Creative Expression; Trust the Process: An Artist’s Guide to Letting Go; Art as Medicine; Depth Psychology of Art; Integrating the Arts in Therapy; other books; and hundreds of journal articles, essays, and chapters. His Art-Based Research and Art as Research, together with numerous chapters and essays, have been foundational to the global emergence of artistic expression as a primary mode of inquiry. The writings have been translated into many languages and he has lectured and taught throughout the world. The recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Journal of Applied Arts and Health for his leadership in advancing art as research and the Honorary Life Member Award of the American Art Therapy Association. He established the integrated arts in therapy and education graduate training programs at Lesley University from which the field of expressive arts therapy emerged and in 2002 Lesley appointed him as its first University Professor. His lifework is committed to furthering universal access to artistic expression as a source of individual and community well-being and understanding.



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