Room 13 and the contemporary practice of artist-learners

J. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review


Room 13 is a Scottish primary school art group that is largely pupil managed, where learners have a designated "drop-in" space (Room 13) with artists-in-residence and make art that is engaged with contemporary practices. Using this example, I argue that this is an artist-teacher and artist-learner configuration that represents emerging resistance to the imposition of tightly governed curricula and regulated pedagogies. With the wider public, contemporary art has acquired significantly improved status and popularity; whilst the standing of these practices and their display and dissemination continues to grow, there has not been a similar bestowing of status or even legitimacy upon the production of art in schools. This article examines ways of analyzing classroom art practice as the collaborative art production of artist-teachers with artist-learners, a collaboration that is defined as a learning community of art practitioners, using cultural, community, and pedagogical theorists. The features of this model of learning through contemporary art are explored with reference to the singular methods and features of Room 13. For these practices to become more widespread, and for the radical development of art education, I argue that it is necessary to challenge institutional orthodoxies by developing new methodologies that insist upon the validity of contemporary artist-teacher/learner production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-33
JournalStudies in Art Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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