Exploring Artistic Learning Through the Creation of Tunnel Books
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This paper discusses the results of an autoethnographic, arts-based study that explored artistic learning through the creation of tunnel books. The researcher, an art teacher at a private Catholic school, chose the Painted Churches of Schulenburg, TX as the subject of the tunnel books. During the study, the researcher toured four historic churches to obtain information that guided design decisions for the tunnel books. Documentation of the tour was done through photography, video recording, and note taking. Interviews with Katherine Ruffin, book arts professor, and Rand Huebsch, printmaker, book artist, and teacher were conducted to obtain information about construction techniques, materials, and adhesives. Four tunnel books were created. During the process, materials for the tunnel books, media, adhesives, and different assembly approaches were explored. Upon completion, the books were viewed by several individuals who attended the tour of the churches, and Dr. Ann Waltz, Director of the Art School for Children and Young Adults at the University of Houston in Clear Lake, TX. The study was designed to expand artistic learning and gain information that could later be shared with middle school students at St. Clare of Assisi Catholic School. The outcomes revealed new approaches to constructing tunnel books, and applications for new and familiar media. The paper concludes with future plans for the knowledge gained, along with advice for art educators, and the field of art education.