Catch + Release: Experiential Learning through Contemporary Art in a Heritage Museum Context

By Ruth Beer, Kit Grauer and Patricia Huijnen.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The paper will focus on the project Catch + Release: Mapping Stories of Cultural and Geographic Transition (2009-2013), a SSHRC supported collaborative research and creation project involving artists, art educators and designers, and the related exhibition created for the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historical Site in Steveston, British Columbia, Canada. The Catch + Release project exhibition explores issues around the demise of the fishing industry and the changing coastal conditions on the west coast of British Columbia from a contemporary and interdisciplinary artistic perspective.

Situated in a heritage museum context, this artistic research project is at the crossings of multiple disciplines such as art, pedagogy and museology. Drawing from site-specific art practices and the ways artists engage with the museum as site, this paper examines how this artist/museum partnership expands the traditional ways in which non-art museums display, present and provide pedagogical experiences. In relation to what has recently been described as the educational or pedagogical turn of artists and curators towards education as a form of art making, the paper discusses how contemporary art in heritage museum settings can provide learning experiences such as those described by constructivist theories as well as by educational philosopher John Dewey.

Keywords: Interactive Environmental Art, The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site, Heritage Museum, British Columbia, Research/Creation, Visual Art, Informal Learning, Arts-based Research, Pedagogy, Artist/museum Collaborations

The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.27-36. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.072MB).

Dr. Ruth Beer

Professor, Faculty of Visual Art and Material Practice, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Ruth Beer is a Professor in the Faculty of Visual Art and Material Practice at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. She is an artist and researcher with an interest in interdisciplinary approaches to these practices. Her work in sculpture, photography, and digital new media investigates ideas about social and cultural shifts related to marine environments and coastal communities. She has an extensive record of national and international exhibitions. She is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and has completed several public sculpture commissions. Recently, as principal investigator, her work has focused on Catch + Release: Mapping Stories of Geographic and Cultural Transitions, a project that is supported by a SSHRC Research/Creation Grant in Fine Arts (2009-2013) to create artwork and exhibitions related to social history and fishing industries in collaboration with cultural and heritage museums.

Dr. Kit Grauer

University of British Columbia, Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia, British Columbia, Canada

Kit Grauer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Grauer's interests include arts-based and image-based research, international issues in art education, teacher education, museum education, and art curriculum and instruction.

Patricia Huijnen

Research Assistant, Visual Art, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Originally from Luxemburg, artist and museum educator Patricia Huijnen holds a BFA (Maîtrise, 1999) from France, pedagogical training (University of Luxemburg, 2002) and an MAA (2012) from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver. Huijnen has professional museum experience from Luxemburg, Switzerland and Canada. In her research-based art practice Huijnen examines affect theory through sculptural means. Her artwork has been exhibited in Luxembourg, Zürich, Edmonton and Vancouver. Huijnen is currently working as a research assistant on the Catch + Release project and is a museum educator in a heritage museum in Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada.

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