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New Book Co-Authored by UC Faculty Member Examines Art in Urban Environments

UC art educator Flavia Bastos is the co-author of a new book that examines the role of art and art education in urban environments.

Date: 2/19/2012
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: Provided by Flavia Bastos

Art and art education can make a significant different in urban environments, and a new book co-authored by University of Cincinnati art educator Flavia Bastos provides a blueprint for catalyzing the power of art.

In the book, “Transforming City Schools Through Art,” Bastos and her co-authors suggest ways that artists and art educators can work in urban environments and in urban schools in order to benefit students, schools and cities.
Book cover

According to Bastos, associate professor of art education in UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), “It’s necessary to mine the city’s people and network resources as a cultural mother lode. People are the most important asset in order to expose students to art and to engage them in the making of art.”

For instance, Cincinnati’s Art in the Market project, which engages urban teens in the making of urban art to benefit the community, is a program that relies on residents, teachers, volunteers and the students themselves to create compelling projects year after year.

“This is just one example of art serving as the catalyst for change,” she said, adding that such templates included in the book are what make the new book accessible and useful not only for artists and art educators in the classroom but for community residents, community developers, architects and urban planners.

Bastos’ co-authors on the book, which took about seven years to complete, are
  • UC art education alumna Karen Hutzel, assistant professor of art education at Ohio State University.
  • Kim Cosier, head of art education, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Also contributing to the book were
  • Olivia Gude, professor of art education, University of Illinois at Chicago.
  • James Haywood Rolling, Jr., associate professor at Syracuse University.
  • Leda Gulmaraes, art educator at Brazil’s Federal University of Goias.
While the book provides an applicable blueprint for integrating art into urban environments, the impetus to do so is not a new one.

Stated Bastos, “The presence of art in urban settings dates back centuries, and art education for the general urban populate dates back to the mid 1800s in response to the industrial revolution when it was considered to be necessary manual training for citizenry in an industrialized setting.”

The best part about completing the book is the opportunity to work for change in urban environments, stated Bastos, adding, “I hope the book will help build communities via art. It’s a product of the community I’ve come to know during my last 12 years here at UC. My students here helped design the cover, and a former student served as the editor on the project.”

“Transforming City Schools through Art” was published by Teachers College Press, one of the most prestigious publishers of works for educators.