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Art Education and At-Risk Youth: Enabling Factors of Visual Expression

Sibyl O'Thearling and Cynthia Ann Bickley-Green
Visual Arts Research
Vol. 22, No. 1 (Spring 1996), pp. 20-25
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20715864
Page Count: 6
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Art Education and At-Risk Youth: Enabling Factors of Visual Expression
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Abstract

This study examines a visual art program for at-risk students and reports on answers to one question from an entrance questionnaire administered to 11 at-risk students and 35 general education college students. Answers to the question What is art? created 5 categories (1) art is expression self or artist; (2) art is determined by the viewer, (3) art is determined by society; (4) art is an object—sculpture; or (5) respondent did not know what art was. While 74% of college youth felt art was an expression of self or an artist, only 27% of at-risk students perceived art to be expression. This art program for at-risk is designed to increase self-esteem by (1) teaching art skills including self-visualizations; (2) stimulating inquiry through inspection of art monuments; and (3) developing criticism in relation to expressions of self and in response to the expressions of others.

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