Growing the Art Image and Visual Literacy Garden: The Journey to Create a Practice Guide for Student Employees

Growing the Art Image and Visual Literacy Garden: The Journey to Create a Practice Guide for Student Employees by Lael J. Ensor

Expanding upon my poster titled “Art Instead of Just Images: Training Students to See Beyond the Screen” presented at the 2016 ARLIS/NA + VRA Third Joint Conference in Seattle, I detail the current journey of my project to create a practical guide for student employees to understand and manipulate images of art. In exploring this topic I discovered that there is a lack of literature specifically addressing looking at and manipulating digital surrogate images of works of art. Non-humanities student employees often lack the visual literacy and art historical skills to successfully edit and evaluate digital art images. This article seeks to find a way to effectively provide such students with a baseline of knowledge with the goal of both improving the quality and extent of their work and adding value to their own educational careers. In this article, I question both what constitutes a baseline of knowledge and what we actually want to teach student employees. What would a practical guide need to include and entail? Further investigation reveals a host of theoretical and ethical considerations that must be addressed for any such documentation to function.

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