Teaching Artist

Seanse explores and develops new forms of art practice.

A Teaching Artist – in Norwegian kunstnerlærer – is a professional artist working with and through art in schools and other institutions.

Teaching Artist is a model consisting of three parts: a role, a partnership, and a program. Teaching Artists work in long term and binding co-operations. The partnership is often agreed upon on an institutional level: as for instance between a gallery and a school. Art experiences at the art institution are often part of the programme.

At Seanse we think that children and young people, artists and the society as a whole, benefits a lot more from this long-term approach. The children are given the possibility to creatively engage, learn an artistic skill, and acquire a deeper understanding of themselves and the art form than what is possible through a single meeting. Teachers / health workers contribute from their specific field of competence, i.e. through insight into the target group and terms and possibilities within the institution. The artists can work over a longer period of time within more predictable frames, find more respect and understanding for their work, and are given the possibility to develop their own artistic practice through a close cooperation with an audience.

A unique aspect of the Teaching Artist-program is the high degree of facilitating for the participants’ own creative engagement. The program is not only about experiencing art, but equally much about getting involved in an artistic process, where their creativity and skills are stimulated and enhanced. We believe that Teaching Artist-work can lead to the participants’ increased creativeness, as well as utilizing resources in a way that ensures a broader spectrum of the population to have a meaningful outcome of a cultural program.

We also think that this is especially important for Norwegian school children. The present day policies emphasise the need for knowledge, social mobility and competitiveness. We know that good art for children and young people contributes to adaptability, ability to problem solving, innovation and critical thinking. The programs also contribute to strengthen the aesthetic competence within the institutions, which is of vital importance in Norway today.

Teaching Artist-course for Norwegian artists

Do you wish to become one of Norway’s first Teaching Artists?

Seanse has since 2011 engaged in bringing the Teaching Artist model to Norway, and has fronted this model for work in the art field internationally.

We believe that as a Teaching Artist working part or full-time, artists can: gain more respect for their work, create long-term partnerships between art- and other institutions, achieve more predictable financial terms, and give important audience groups meaningful and creative art experiences in a way that would not be possible through a single occurrence.

In 2012/13 we conducted our first Teaching Artist course with artists from The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, Det Norske Teatret, The National Museum, Telemark Teater / freelancers, The Norwegian Academy of Music, and Seanse / The Faculty of Arts and Physical Education at Volda University College. A new course was held in 2013/2014.

Seanse’s Teaching Artist-course includes three concentrated sessions each being 2-5 days. One session will be held in Volda, one in Oslo and one abroad where on a studytrip.

The course also centres on, and presupposes, that the artists develop and carry out their own Teaching Artist-project in the spring term, in a nursery, school, senior citizen centre, prison or health institution, in cooperation with the employees.

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