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Wednesday, May 12 • 1:30pm - 2:30pm
17. Confluent Practices: Non-Traditional Research Methodologies in Art Librarianship

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As art information professions evolve, we look to understand our work and patrons through a diversity of voices, experiences, and approaches. Although LIS scholarship reflects a multidisciplinary approach to research, much of the existing literature focuses on traditional qualitative and quantitative methodologies. The turn towards autoethnography, creative interventions to library work, and the utilization of non-traditional information sources enriches our practices and our own body of knowledge. This panel will explore the application of non-traditional research sources and methodologies in art information scholarship. Panelists will discuss new ways of approaching the literature of art librarianship or visual literacy, the application of autoethnography and reflective practices in art information work, creative and studio practice in relation to library work, and other approaches.

Moderator: Mackenzie Salisbury

Reading Outside the Lines: Using the Writings of Artists to Understand Artistic Research Practices

This paper will explore an article for the Spring 2021 issue of Art Documentation. After reviewing the literature related to artists’ information seeking, we sought a study focused broadly on artists’ research practice beyond the context of the library. Rather than limiting our search to the literature written by librarians, we looked to the literature written by artists, for artists to develop a framework for understanding information acquisition in the studio. We found a rich discourse which made many of our implicit knowledge explicit, and both filled in and augmented the library-centric literature. The resulting framework posits that knowledge for studio artists is embodied, affective, ambivalent toward disciplinary norms and strategies, and enacted through making. Rather than surveying art students or faculty, we interviewed two practicing artists to uncover the extent to which their framework was supported. Based on these preliminary findings, we will discuss future directions for this scholarship.

Speakers: Courtney Hunt and Michele Jennings

The Personal is Pedagogical: Autoethnography, Disability Studies and Interdisciplinary Art and Design Education

During a research project on the effects of service work on library workers who experience mental illness, I was introduced to two research methodologies that would intersect with my pedagogical practice: disability studies and autoethnography. At Maryland Institute College of Art, I work directly with Senior Thesis students in a number of departments, meeting with around 85 students for research consultations annually. Many of these students are interested in accessibility and design, or in exploring their own identity through their work. Introducing them to autoethnography and disability studies often radically transformed their experiences of research. Further, I found myself engaging more deeply with students, bringing my own practice and personal experiences into our discussions. In this presentation, I will explore the relationship between the interdisciplinary research strategies I employed in my writing and how these tactics changed my pedagogical practice, enabling me to better support my students’ creative work.

Speaker: Sian Evans

Performing Art History: Scholarship as Embodied Practice

This session proposes a praxis-oriented approach on how embodied art history can activate viewers and spaces through performative and artistic practices that rewrite and discuss art histories beyond the threshold of the academy while maintaining critical academic engagement and rigor. I will illustrate this proposed approach through an exploration of my own mixed artistic and art historical practice: Queer Heresies. My practice is one of socially engaged art and research that combines archival and historical with artmaking to create rituals of mythmaking, cultural subversion and heresy, and the production of new research and perspectives for global and diasporic audiences. By activating art historical research through this creative practice, I argue the gallery, the library, the archive, and the museum carry the possibility of transforming its visitors, by inviting them to imagine worlds, people, and cultures both like and unlike their own.

Speaker: Kevin Talmer Whiteneir Jr.

Comics as Information Behavior Artifacts

Sometimes it has felt like a struggle to get studio art students (and even faculty) to see the benefits of incorporating research into an art practice. My personal and professional love of the medium of comics has shown me what magic can happen when creators clearly have done their research. This has inspired a long-term project of exploring the information behavior of comics creators. This presentation will discuss the first steps of this project that involves attempting to capture comics creator's information behavior through their finished products: comics. I'll also address how this investigation might inform my work as an academic art librarian.

Speaker: Olivia Piepmeier

avatar for Mackenzie Salisbury

Mackenzie Salisbury

Information Literacy Librarian, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

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Courtney Hunt

Art & Design Librarian and Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University Libraries

Michele Jennings

Ohio University
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Sian Evans

Liaison Librarian for Online Programs and Women, Gender & Sexuality, Sheridan Libraries, Johns Hopkins University
avatar for Kevin Talmer Whiteneir Jr.

Kevin Talmer Whiteneir Jr.

Senior Library Assistant, Ryerson and Burnham Library and Archives, Research Center, The Art Institute of Chicago
Kevin Whiteneir Jr. is an interdisciplinary artist and art historian whose work discusses the relationships between gender and queer experiences as they relate to race, the effects of (neo)colonialism, and its parallels with performance, ritual, religion, and witchcraft. Whiteneir... Read More →

Olivia Piepmeier

Arts & Humanities Librarian, UMass-Dartmouth

Wednesday May 12, 2021 1:30pm - 2:30pm EDT