Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Embodied Artists: Engagement of the Body When Making Art

Ruth Ellen Tepper.

Engagement of the body can facilitate learning. This paper focuses on the role of the body in making art. The presenter will begin with a theoretical framework consisting of a range of sources, including the writings of movement practitioners, philosophies of embodiment, developmental and evolutionary theories, and views of artistic development. Next, the researcher’s study will review her study. It involved observations of art classes in a pre-school, an elementary school, and a high school, where the participants were interviewed. Self-observation by the presenter, an artist, was also part of the study. Participants of all ages showed physical engagement when making art. High school participants, when discussing their experience of themselves in art class, revealed a concern for the body, both actual and metaphoric. The presentation will conclude with recommendations of ways to make the art class more hospitable to embodied artists.
Those attending the presentation will gain insight regarding the relationship between the body and making art. Theories of embodiment may provoke a fresh look at the classroom environment.


Ruth Ellen Tepper  (United States)
Teacher, Artist.
Program in Art and Art Education
Teachers College

MA, Art and Art Education, Teachers College. BA, Fine Arts, Marymount Manhattan College. Studied painting at Pratt Institute, and privately. Resident, Vermont Studio Colony. Has taught art to children and adults in school and recreational settings. Has exhibited her work in New York City.

  • Art Education
  • Embodiment
  • Body
  • Movement
  • Phenomenology
  • Development

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)