August 27, 2019

Call for contributions for a new book: Wicked Arts Assignments

Research Group Arts Education at Amsterdam University of the Arts

Design: Laura Pappa.

Everyone who teaches art knows them: the assignment that is seemingly simple but which challenges participants, students and pupils to the max. We are looking for assignments from artists, musicians, designers, theatre makers, dancers, art teachers—anyone who, at a school or somewhere else, teaches children, youngsters, adults, the elderly, anything goes. Melissa Bremmer and Emiel Heijnen (Research Group Arts Education) and publishing house Valiz will collect all these challenging, original and contrary assignments in a book.

Wicked Arts Assignments:
–are bold, unusual, contrary, funny, poetical, inspiring, socially committed, or otherwise challenging
–are concisely formulated, mainly in one or two sentences
–are described more clearly with images of the end results of the participants or with examples of your own artistic work that is aligned with the assignment

The book
Heijnen and Bremmer will collect the 100 best and most challenging assignments in a book. Each assignment will be accompanied by an explanation, a biography of the artist or teacher and images of the sources of inspiration or elaborations of the assignment. In addition to the descriptions of the 100 assignments the book will contain a theoretical framework in which Heijnen, Bremmer and others will discuss educational design and strategies for making challenging art assignments. This visually enticing book will be published by Valiz, Amsterdam, and is meant for a broad audience of art teachers, artists, educational experts and anyone who is interested in the practices of present-day art teachers. It offers inspiration for original and contrary lessons that reflect the themes, ways of working and concepts from international art and educational practices.

What’s in it for you?
We will offer you a platform to make your ideas and work known and will bring them to the attention of an international audience: your original assignment will be amongst those of other (international) artists and art teachers, published by the renowned publisher Valiz. If your contribution is published, you will receive two copies of the book.

Send us at most 3 assignments before October 1, 2019 via A committee will make a definitive selection of the contributions on November 1, 2019 at the latest, based on quality, originality and the diversity of the contributions and practices represented by the participants. If accepted, you will be supported editorially in order to prepare your contribution for publication.

Emiel Heijnen and Melissa Bremmer are the heads of the Research Group Arts Education at Amsterdam University of the Arts. They research strategies that can make art education more meaningful and more challenging. Heijnen and Bremmer discovered that many artists and art teachers have one concise, often-used assignment in which everything comes together: their artistic vision, their pedagogical approach and their love for certain techniques or ways of working. Davis and Sumara (2002) call these seemingly simple but also complex assignments: enabling contraints. Enabling contraints are limiting conditions that at the same time are challenging, like the rules of a game.

Please let us know if you have any further questions or comments, by sending an email to wickedartsassignments [​at​]

Thank you!

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