Valerie Oliver, Artist, Researcher, Contemporary Art Practice Consultant

Valerie Oliver, Artist, Researcher, Contemporary Art Practice Consultant

BY: Valerie Oliver

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While doing my MA in Fine Art by Project, I decided to work on my proposal for a PhD. In 2008, I started my PhD in Creativity and Culture. I was awarded my doctorate in February 2016. There was no university job waiting for me at the end. I am a practicing conceptual artist; my doctoral research is cross-disciplinary with social sciences. My PhD was self-funded. I was working before I started the degree and had to continue working throughout the program. This type of work is not permanent or long-term and I combined the work with artistic practice, and research. I still work in various educational and community institutions including managing and leading community partnership-funded projects with diverse groups of people.

My aim is to change with the way fine arts are viewed and how they are taught in both educational and community institutions. Artistic education should support individual learning, whether or not they choose the arts as a career path. The process of making art harnesses individual intellect as it helps develop thought for problem-solving. My thesis explored how and if using contemporary art education and practices can help to reintegrate marginalised youth and to raise their sense of self-efficacy.

Today I am going through a transition period. I have more time since I have finished my research and I am trying to stay focused, positive and productive. I do not know how long this transition will last, as it is uncertain and at times difficult to sit through this process. Yet, it is a process that is part of the life path I have chosen. What I am doing thus far includes: 1) writing articles in order to disseminate the knowledge I have gained; 2) looking for more contract work and trying to make connections with individuals within universities; 3) trying to create projects for further research within the community, which also entails researching and applying for funding.

I loved to draw and make things when I was little it made me happy. I knew then that I wanted to learn whatever I could to be an artist when I grew up. Growing up my education, together with my personal and environmental experiences unfolded many possibilities and opportunities. These supported my ideas to transcend and to change on a personal level, which enlightened my chosen career path. I believe in the importance of continuing to learn new skills, develop ways to use my skills, my art, and knowledge to give back to the community.

 

Header art by Valerie Oliver.


 

While doing my MA in Fine Art by Project, I decided to work on my proposal for a PhD. In 2008, I started my PhD in Creativity and Culture. I was awarded my doctorate in February 2016. There was no university job waiting for me at the end. I am a practicing conceptual artist; my doctoral research is cross-disciplinary with social sciences. My PhD was self-funded. I was working before I started the degree and had to continue working throughout the program. This type of work is not permanent or long-term and I combined the work with artistic practice, and research. I still work in various educational and community institutions including managing and leading community partnership-funded projects with diverse groups of people.

My aim is to change with the way fine arts are viewed and how they are taught in both educational and community institutions. Artistic education should support individual learning, whether or not they choose the arts as a career path. The process of making art harnesses individual intellect as it helps develop thought for problem-solving. My thesis explored how and if using contemporary art education and practices can help to reintegrate marginalised youth and to raise their sense of self-efficacy.

Today I am going through a transition period. I have more time since I have finished my research and I am trying to stay focused, positive and productive. I do not know how long this transition will last, as it is uncertain and at times difficult to sit through this process. Yet, it is a process that is part of the life path I have chosen. What I am doing thus far includes: 1) writing articles in order to disseminate the knowledge I have gained; 2) looking for more contract work and trying to make connections with individuals within universities; 3) trying to create projects for further research within the community, which also entails researching and applying for funding.

I loved to draw and make things when I was little it made me happy. I knew then that I wanted to learn whatever I could to be an artist when I grew up. Growing up my education, together with my personal and environmental experiences unfolded many possibilities and opportunities. These supported my ideas to transcend and to change on a personal level, which enlightened my chosen career path. I believe in the importance of continuing to learn new skills, develop ways to use my skills, my art, and knowledge to give back to the community.

 

Header art by Valerie Oliver.


 

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