Artmaking, Play, and Meaning Making

Art Education in Practice Series

By Sydney R. Walker

From the author: “Innovation and unconventional thinking readily associate themselves with art learning and artmaking, but in reality, artmaking in the classroom can fail to live up to these descriptors. As art educators, we want to see students experiment and approach ideas from new perspectives, but often struggle with how to achieve this. My experience as an art instructor has been no different. Swaying students from shallow, obvious thinking has always been a challenge. This issue came to a head after I began to structure student artmaking around big ideas as a method for focusing on meaning making. I am still an advocate for designing artmaking as a pursuit of ideas, but experience taught me that more was needed.”

This new title in the Art Education in Practice Series explores the use of play as a method for provoking new ways of thinking. In this impactful new book, the author draws from contemporary artists and classroom artmaking to demonstrate how paradoxical play works to evoke diverse thought and challenges students to move beyond traditional artmaking. Walker provides art educators with the theoretical underpinnings as well as a set of approaches that can be conceptualized as a form of play. She introduces six kinds of play and contemporary artists whose work exemplifies these kinds of play. In each chapter, she distinguishes the characteristics of play involved and shows how they look in the lives of students.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Naming Play
  • Chapter 2: Nonsense Play
  • Chapter 3: Physical Play
  • Chapter 4: Experimental Play
  • Chapter 5: Social Play
  • Chapter 6: Participatory Play
  • Chapter 7: Chance Play

Buy Artmaking, Play, and Meaning Making

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