Publications

International Journal of Art & Design Education

Collaboration in Visual Culture Learning Communities: Towards a Synergy of Individual and Collective Creative Practice (pages 164–175)

Volume 36.2   2017

ANDREA, KARPATI; FREEDMAN, KERRY; CASTRO, JUAN CARLOS, KALLIO-TAVIN, MIRA and HEIJNEN, EMIEL

 

A visual culture learning community (VCLC) is an adolescent or young adult group engaged in expression and creation outside of formal institutions and without adult supervision. In the framework of an international, comparative research project executed between 2010 and 2014, members of a variety of eight self-initiated visual culture groups ranging from manga and cosplay through contemporary art forms, fanart video, graffiti and cosplay in five urban areas (Amsterdam, Budapest, Chicago, Helsinki and Hong Kong) were studied through interview, participant observation and analysis of art works. In this article, collaborative group practices and processes in informal learning environments are presented through results of on-site observations, interviews and analyses of creations. VCLCs are identified as inspiring, collaborative spaces of peer mentoring that enhance both visual skills and self-esteem. Authors reveal how identity formation is interrelated with networking and knowledge sharing. Adolescents and young adults become participants of global communities of their creative genres through reinterpretation and individualisation of shared visual repertoires. In conclusion, implications for art education from the VCLC model for creative collaboration are suggested.