The attached article ‘Fostering Adult Literacy in Art Museums‘ was published in 2004 in the Journal of Visual Literacy for the International Visual Literacy Association. It offers a synopsis of my Masters in Museum Studies Thesis at John F. Kennedy University, Berkeley, California. Reading the article afresh today, I am, once again, struck by how loaded words like ‘literacy’ and ‘visual literacy’ are.
How varied their interpretation can be depending on the context. Overclaiming the benefits and/or transformative impact of visual art, by pointing out the interconnection between language development and visual literacy, can be precarious. Rather, articulating nuanced perspectives by what we mean in visual arts practice about our understanding of visual literacy and how we are experiencing it happening ‘live’ in Project 20/20 best exercised as reflective practice.
It seems timely to post the article here today and to remember the early stages of this research. We are about to embark on a new phase of work for Project 20/20 with a Visual Thinking Strategies Beginners Practicum Training and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. Reflecting and remembering as we continue to move and progress offers us space for more realistic expectations to emerge.