Posted June 8, 2011

Art education professor wins Fulbright

Lisa Kay, assistant professor of art education in Tyler School of Art, has been awarded a
Fulbright U.S. Scholars Award for a fellowship to Hungary, where she will work on an interdisciplinary project that bridges art education, art therapy and qualitative inquiry.

As part of the project, Kay will study the therapeutic pedagogy of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, an accomplished Bauhaus artist and art educator who taught at Terezin ghetto camps near Prague during World War II.

Through “freeing up” exercises, Dicker-Brandeis encouraged her young students living in Nazi controlled concentration camps to express their fears and emotions through their art work.

As an art therapist who has worked with children suffering from trauma, Kay says her work is informed by Dicker-Brandeis and Brazilian educator Paulo Freire, author of Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

“They are my touch tones,” said Kay. “I see Dicker-Brandeis as a mentor and personal friend, even though we live in separate times, while I see Freire as a philosopher who provides systematic justification for Dicker-Brandeis’s pedagogy.”

In addition to her inquiry of Dicker-Brandeis, Kay will present her research on adolescents' drawings of beauty and ugliness at the InSEA World Congress, install an art exhibition titled An Artist/Researchers Journey: Visual Essays, and teach an “Introduction to Art Therapy” course at the Mohaly-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest.

Using arts-based research is a relatively new phenomenon in the field of qualitative research, said Kay.

“This exhibition brings a unique perspective to researchers in Hungary and demonstrates a relatively new phenomenon in the field of qualitative research that became an integral part of the data gathering and data analysis process,” said Kay.

Kay is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholars Program.