Art Program Statement on Scholarship

Art scholarship at Luther College is anchored in the advancement of personal skills and knowledge through professional practices that also inform and enrich teaching in a liberal arts environment. Specific forms of scholarship vary among individual faculty. For example, exhibitions and the creation of art may be critical for studio faculty, but have little relevance to art historians whose scholarship is rooted in research and publication. Therefore the following lists are not necessarily exhaustive, nor are individual items on the list equal or even necessary to all members of the department. However, all faculty should be engaged in the production and distribution of their respective work and should participate in activities directly related to pedagogy.

Forms of scholarship include:

●        Production (including the creation of studio work and/or writing; development of instructional materials and syllabi)

●        Research (including conference, seminar, workshop attendance)

We put an emphasis on peer review of scholarship. Art History follows the general understanding of “peer review” in the Humanities, meaning an editor or editorial board has judgment of a work’s integrity and validity.  In studio art however, peer review might better be thought of as any activity where one’s work is evaluated, formally or informally, by an external reviewer.  With such a definition in mind, peer review may thus include:

●        Conference presentations and panel appearances

●        Juried exhibitions

●        Invitational or solo shows

●        Peer-reviewed publications

●        Grants, awards, and fellowships

●        Reviews of exhibited and/or published work

Depth and range of scholarship and teaching at periods of review and promotion:

In general, the forms of scholarship are much the same as a faculty member progresses along the steps of tenure and promotion, but the level at which they are engaged should change. It is expected that each faculty’s work should increase in academic or artistic visibility as he or she progress, serving the community as well as the individual. Each faculty member will shape and act thoughtfully on a plan of scholarship. An active exhibition record should progress from local to regional to national (or international) venues, and/or publications from local or regional to national peer reviewed journals and perhaps books. Participation in conferences, seminars and workshops should likewise shift outward from local to regional to national, and also change from attending and participating to presenting, and perhaps even keynoting.

Scholarship distinctive to a liberal arts college of the church.

It is not necessary to be a religious artist or create religious art in order to teach effectively at a college of the church. By its very nature, art offers opportunities to explore and investigate the process of creation and tap the spiritual component of our physical existence. Exposing students to the ways that artists have incorporated their faith into their art can provide important models of religious engagement. Creative activities engage intellectual processes and critical thinking skills that complement, acknowledge, and inform work in other disciplines. Art research opens the whole range of human activity and expression to scholarly investigation that can support or challenge personal belief. It also opens doors, provides context, and prods encounters and understanding of “the other.” Distribution of scholarship is a form of service to the (local or greater) community. All three areas of scholarship engage moral and ethical questions about freedom and responsibility.

(June 2018)