Painting like a housewife : an inquiry into gender bias in professional art education
Lamminmaki, Patricia Marie
Master of Arts
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Primary research method consisted of in-depth interviews with 10 female artists from Thunder Bay, Northwestern Ontario, Canada.This thesis is an examination of the post-secondary art educational experiences of female artists. The focus of the thesis is an analysis of their perceptions regarding the effect of gender on their art, their lives as artists, and their education. In essence, it explores the synthesis of artist and woman. Such an exploration directs attention to those virtually excluded from previous research. In order to accomplish this, the primary research method consisted of conducting in-depth interviews with 10 female artists from the Thunder Bay area. With regard to these female artists I explored: their personal perception of art education, their construction of professional identity as artists, their integration of the role of artist with other roles, as well as any perceived or real barriers to creative work. To understand fully the perceptions women artists have of their own professional identity, it was necessary to incorporate other societal roles held by the participants, and explore the resultant juxtaposition. A portion of this thesis is an autobiographical investigation of my own journey as an artist designed to integrate with and provide additional focus to the investigation. This research contributes to the understanding that there is a great deal to discover from the standpoint of women, and also from personal reflection.