An Art-Based Inquiry into the Presence of Resiliency in the Open Studio Process

Thumbnail Image
Douglass Nuding, Dawn Virginia
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the open art studio and resiliency protective factors. Specific protective factors found within resilient children and their environments are being adapted in areas of discipline, education and mental health treatment to promote resiliency in general student populations. Literature draws a clear correlation between these protective factors and the art process, but no research to date explores the relationship in an open studio setting specifically. Using the model established by the Open Studio Project, an artbased inquiry explored this relationship (Block, Harris, & Laing, 2005). Over a three-week period, data in the form of artwork and reflective writing created in the open studio was collected from a group consisting of elementary and middle school student subjects and the researcher. As anticipated, this inquiry revealed the presence of resiliency protective factors in student subjects both in the open studio process and in the images created there.