Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

M. Francine Jennings

Second Advisor

Martha Barry McKenna

Third Advisor

Jane E. Dalton


The purpose of this autoethnographic study was to examine the experiences of Artist Educators and how they perceive the fusion of their artistic studio practice and teaching pedagogy impacts their creative and teaching practices. This study involved a focus group of six individuals, including the researcher. All the participants were practicing artists, currently employed or recently retired K-12 Visual Arts Education certified in the states of Maine or New Hampshire and members of the Kittery Art Association. This study used a combination of interviews and an arts-based method for data collection. All the data were analyzed and resulted in the following seven findings: (1) The identity of an Artist Educator is synchronized with a call to a vocation.

(2) The necessity to create art and teach art simultaneously was intrinsic for Artist Educators. (3) Artist Educators lived a creative life and believed it to be a personal practice that cannot be taught. (4) Both extrinsic and intrinsic factors and conditions can inhibit an Artist Educator’s practice. (5) Both intrinsic and extrinsic factors and conditions supported the practice of an Artist Educator. (6) Artist Educators cultivated quality relationships for teaching and learning by fusing their artistic studio practice and teaching pedagogy. (7) Artist Educators fostered life lessons and embodied wisdom from the fusion of their artistic studio practice and teaching pedagogy. These findings and insights acquired have implications for visual arts education practice and arts educator professional development programs. The Way of the Artist Educator paradigm offers an alternative approach for a quality and holistic 21st Century Visual Arts Education.

Key words: Artist Educator, identity, motivation, creativity, fusion, practice

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



Number of Pages


Embargo Period





The author owns the copyright to this work.