Peter Vietgen – The Brock News
NOTE: This is the latest in a series of Q&A stories featuring Brock University faculty members who incorporate the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games into their research projects. For more information on Brock’s academic activities around the Games, visit brocku.ca/canada-games
Peter Vietgen is an Associate Professor of Visual Arts Education in the Teacher Education Program of Brock’s Department of Educational Studies in the Faculty of Education. His research interests are varied and include teacher education and the arts; museums/galleries, education and school partnerships; social justice and equity issues and the arts; aboriginal education and the arts; creative spaces; and arts education in schools and non-school settings.
Vietgen is one of 11 Brock researchers and scholars to receive funding through the 2020-2021 round of the VPR Canada Games Grants program. Here, he discusses his research project entitled “PARTicipation Niagara 2022: A Celebration of Sports & Art through the Eyes of Niagara’s Young Artists”.
Please provide a brief overview of your research project.
“Participation Niagara 2022: A Celebration of Sports and Art Through the Eyes of Niagara’s Young Artists” is a community arts project that will engage eight students from Brock’s Faculty of Education in hands-on teaching experiences and leadership in Niagara Region schools and education sites. . Working with teachers and their students, Brock students will coordinate and lead art workshops on the theme of “Art and Sports” in eight elementary and secondary schools in St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Grimsby, Fort Erie, Welland and Thorold. Also involved in this project will be Indigenous youth from the Niagara Catholic District School Board’s Soaring Eagles alternative high school program as well as students from the Courage to Soar program, which is offered at the Fort Erie Native Friendship Center in partnership with Fort Erie Secondary School and Niagara District School Board.
What do you think will be the result of your research?
The result of this community art project will be for Brock Education students to gain practical knowledge and teaching experience while building community through art making. This project will help bridge the gap between theory and practice for participating candidates at Brock’s Faculty of Education as well as build community among citizens of the Niagara Region as we establish a new normal in gatherings. communities after the isolation endured over the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
How will this contribute to knowledge or understanding of the Canada Summer Games?
Through the practice of artistic creation around the theme of “Art and Sports”, elementary and secondary school students in the Niagara region will have the opportunity to learn about the importance of such events for the athletes involved and better understand the complexities of organizing and presenting such an event. By approaching the Games through the lens of artistic creation, students will be able to share their creative ideas around sport and nationalism with the 2022 Canada Games taking place in their own backyard.
How did you get interested in this research?
As a former arts consultant with the Toronto District School Board and in much of my research at Brock on arts education and community practice, I have seen how public art projects like this can help to build bridges between schools and their local communities and how the Power of Art can create agency and a voice for our young people at a time when we need to hear their ideas and opinions more than ever.
How do you plan to share your research?
The dissemination and sharing of student-created artwork will take place at art exhibits held at various venues across Niagara. Confirmed exhibit sites include St. Catharines and Niagara Falls Public Libraries, Grimsby Public Art Gallery, Niagara Regional Native Center and Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre. These art exhibits will allow the public to view and interact with student artwork throughout July and August, including during the 2022 Canada Summer Games. , presentations from this community art project will be shared with colleagues in the arts education field at national and international academic conferences.
Do you have any tips or tricks on how colleagues in your faculty can incorporate the Canada Games into their research?
Working in the Faculty of Education, many of my colleagues already have close ties with our local schools, teachers and students there. As a leader in teacher education in Ontario, we are proud of our teacher education graduates and the impact they will have on their future students. With the Canada Games coming to the Niagara Region this summer, I encourage my colleagues to see the Games through their own program disciplines and help build those bridges that will further strengthen our relationships with our local school boards, which will result in stronger and healthier communities for everything.