Saturday, October 14, 2023 - 10am-4pm at Florence Filberg Centre in Downtown Courtenay

Barbara Bickel


Barbara Bickel is a writer, artist, researcher, teacher and an Emerita Associate Professor of Art Education at Southern Illinois University. She is co-artistic director at Studio M*: A Collaborative Research Creation Lab Intersecting Arts, Culture and Healing. A socially-engaged and collaborative artist she works with humans and more-than-humans. She maintains a multi-media studio and ritual performance practice and exhibits internationally. She has published articles and book chapters in over 60 peer reviewed journals and anthologies, and is co-founder and co-editor of “Artizein: Arts and Teaching Journal”. Her books include: “Art, Ritual and Trance Inquiry: Arational Learning in an Irrational World”, the co-edited book “Arts-Based and Contemplative Practices in Research and Teaching: Honoring Presence” with Susan Walsh and Carl Leggo, the co-edited book “Arts-Based Educational Research Trajectories: Career Reflections by Authors of Outstanding Dissertations” with Rita L. Irwin and Richard Siegesmund, and most recently, the co-authored book “Art-Care Practices for Restoring the Communal: Education, Co-Inquiry and Healing” with her life-partner R. Michael Fisher.



Art-Care Practices for Restoring the Communal: Education, Co-Inquiry and Healing (see below)

“Art, Ritual and Trance Inquiry: Arational Learning in an Irrational World”

This book provides insights into the practice of trance-based inquiry through arts-based research, serving as a beacon to guide the way to thresholds of ancient, yet novel, transmissions. Embedded in lived experience and theory, this book introduces the reader to the liminal space of place and trance-based inquiry processes entwined with creative artworkings. The interweaving of art, ritual, and trance-based inquiry opens sacred spaces for learning and unlearning that bring spirit into form. Each chapter presents examples from women artists and culminates with experiential practices drawn from the author’s decades of creative peregrinations to assist artists, teachers, and researchers in transmitting a conscious way of practicing and creating with trance.

“Arts-Based and Contemplative Practices in Research and Teaching: Honoring Presence”
Susan Walsh, Barbara Bickel and Carl Leggo, co-editors

This volume presents a scholarly investigation of the ways educators engage in artistic and contemplative practices – and why this matters in education. Arts-based learning and inquiry can function as a powerful catalyst for change by allowing spiritual practices to be present within educational settings, but too often the relationship between art, education and spirituality is ignored. Exploring artistic disciplines such as dance, drama, visual art, music, and writing, and forms such as writing-witnessing, freestyle rap, queer performative autoethnograph, and poetic imagination, this book develops a transformational educational paradigm. Its unique integration of spirituality in and through the arts addresses the contemplative needs of learners and educators in diverse educational and community settings.


This book contributes to a larger global call to radically re-create ourselves—to transform our fear and alienation from art, Nature, and ourselves. It nurtures a magical, mythical, integral reenchantment of art in relationship with all others—human and more-than-human. With compassion and grace, the co-authors outline how all people, in small circles of community, may access the gift of Spontaneous Creation-Making and change dominant narratives of individualism through a restoration of the communal. Re-discovering interconnectivity through art-care we can dream courageously together into the unknown possibilities of a precarious future. Art-care is available to everyone and not limited to artists. Shared creative practices call forth open-inquiry, fragility, awe, and compassion by experimenting with what the co-authors name matrixial aesthetic practices and matrixial mediators. This theoretically informed and practice-based book bridges the individual with the communal in Creation-centred ways that interweave the many parts with the whole. It provides examples of teachings, practices and spontaneous creations of 22 makers that will benefit those who want to integrate art-care into individual practices or group facilitation. This book was created to benefit socially engaged artists, arts-based researchers, artist-philosophers, activists, students, teachers, organizers, therapists, caregivers, and more.


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