Collaborative Space of Room 13

I recently came across a fascinating article in the magazine Art Education about something called Room 13. The article describes how the author initially discovered Room 13, which is an student run art studio space within a school, while she was investigating collaborative artwork. The article describes the workings of this studio space, which began in one school in Scotland and has now expanded internationally, and calls it an innovative collaborative art studio. By the end of the article, not only was I struck with how interesting and innovative Room 13 was in an art education sense, but also in a collaborative art sense. If anyone is interested, I would definitely recommend reading the article in the September Art Education magazine, but you can also go online to the Rm. 13 website to read more about this concept.

While I think the concept of Room 13 is great, and it seems to be a very collaborative effort in terms of the students organizing and running the space on their own, it is hard to tell exactly how much of the artwork created in the studio is actually collaborative. In the article, the author seems to emphasize collaboration, saying, "Room 13 is an ongoing collaborative work of art. It's about teaching thinking through making art." I would love to be able to observe in an actual Rm. 13 to see what kinds of artistic processes actually happen, and if there is a lot of collaboration between students on artwork. In any case, maybe Room 13 should be a model in terms of how collaboration could be better utilized in the art classroom, both in terms of student organization and control over space and material as well as art-making.

As I begin to think about what types of collaborative works we will make in class this semester, I can't help but bring art education into the equation. I wonder what king of work would be both collaborative and involve art education in some way...

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