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Inclusive illustration: The importance of educating impoverished and incarcerated communities

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This study examines the effects of providing illustration education and public art opportunities to underprivileged and under-represented communities, particularly those transitioning from incarceration. Nine individuals from the Cuyahoga Correctional Facility in Cleveland, Ohio, met in a classroom twice a week over the course of two months at the North Star Reintegration and Resource Centre in Cleveland to learn about illustration and collaboratively produce a large-scale mural in the East Cleveland neighbourhood. Illustration education throughout the twentieth century has primarily focused on and been accessible to those capable of affording education. While art and art therapy prove to be valuable, therapeutic and rehabilitative tools for those transitioning from incarceration, illustration training and education provide occupational trade skills in a focused area of interest for many underprivileged individuals. This research examines the impact of poverty on education and highlights the need for the field of illustration to diversify and become more inclusive.
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Keywords: art therapy; community; education; illustration; incarceration; mural; poverty; recidivism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Kent State University

Publication date: April 1, 2017

More about this publication?
  • Illustration is a rapidly evolving field with an excitingly broad scope. Despite its cultural significance and rich history, illustration has rarely been subject to deep academic scrutiny. The Journal of Illustration provides an international forum for scholarly research and investigation of a range of cultural, political, philosophical, historical, and contemporary issues, in relation to illustration. The journal encourages new critical writing on illustration, associated visual communication, and the role of the illustrator as visualizer, thinker, and facilitator, within a wide variety of disciplines and professional contexts.

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