Lorrie Blair, PhD
Professor, Art Education
Fellow, School of Irish Studies
How did you get into art education?
"When I started my studies, I didn't know any working artists. I'm from a place where women were either nurses or worked in banks or were teachers...I didn't have any artistic role models. So when I was a couple of semesters into my Fine Arts major, I switched to Art Education and discovered that I had a real passion for teaching. Being able to teach something that I was also passionate about - art - allowed me to bring all my interests together..."
"The interesting thing is that, at the time, that decision made my friends angry; they said I was taking the easy way out...like I had really committed a crime. But this was years ago, and I'm still in the arts. I still make art, while some of them don't make art anymore at all..."
What are your academic interests?
"Things that are very practical; I'm interested in the topics people teach rather than how they teach. My particular focus is on what teenagers do on their own: graffiti, tattooing... And how those kinds of interests and intense motivations can be applied to a classroom, where motivation is often almost nonexistent."
Lorrie Blair teaches undergraduate courses in popular visual culture, Irish popular culture and pre-service teaching at the secondary school level. In the graduate program, she teaches courses on research methods and special topics courses related to her areas of research. She is active as a supervisor of MA and PhD thesis students.
Her teaching and research interests are censorship, outsider and folk art, Irish popular culture, and popular visual culture, with a particular focus on the gendered meanings and practices of body modification. Specifically, she interested in the role popular culture plays in teaching women about cosmetic surgery, piercing and tattoos. In 2005, she received the Faculty of Fine Arts Distinguished Teaching Award.
Blair held the post of Associate Dean, Academic and Student Affairs for the Faculty of Fine Arts from 2009 to 2012 and currently serves as the Faculty's Code of Conduct administrator.
School of Canadian Irish Studies
Lorrie Blair, Ph.D. (Ohio State University), has published articles and presented papers on Grosse Île and other famine memorial sites, Saint Patrick’s Day Parades, and on various aspects of Irish popular culture. Her current research examines the narratives of selected men and women who have obtained "Celtic" or "Irish" tattoos. She teaches undergraduate courses in popular visual culture, Irish Popular Culture, and pre-service teaching at the secondary school level. In the graduate program, she teaches courses on research methods and special topics courses related to her areas of research. She is active as a supervisor of MA and Ph.D. thesis students and was a recent recipient of the Faculty of Fine Arts Distinguished Teaching Award.
Selected Thesis Supervision
Chase, Stanley. Chronicles of teen participants from the Leave Out Violence (LOVE) photojournalism project. Concordia University, 2008.
Rahn, Janice. Motivation in hip-hop graffiti culture : the site of tension between individual desire, peer influence and community space. Concordia University, 1999.
Levy, Leanne M. Pink politics : a research project about girls. Concordia University, 2006.
Rochon, Katherine. La robe est la métaphore: une expérience de studio en tant que modèle et témoignage d'un apprentissage. Concordia University, 2007.
Woo, Vila. A critical reflection of student art teaching and the implications for cooperating teachers. Concordia Univesity, 2006.
SSHRC Aid to Workshops: Teenage Cultural Practices: Setting a Research Agenda.
The Vice-President, Research & Graduate Studies' Seed Funding Program. Research on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in First Year Drawing Courses.
2009). Teaching about the cultural significance of symbols through tattoos. Canadian Art Teacher, 8 (1), 52-55.
(2009). Teaching about unsanctioned street art: Risks and Rewards. Teaching about the cultural significance of symbols through tattoos. Canadian Art Teacher, 8 (1), insert.
(2007). Tattoos and teenagers: An art educator's response. Art Education, 60 (5), 39-44.
(2006). Art Teacher Barbie: Friend or Foe. Canadian Journal of Education, 29 (1), 329-346.
(2005). Cosmetic surgery and the cultural construction of beauty. Art Education 58 (3)14-18. Co-written with Maya Shalmon.
Art Teacher Barbie: Friend or Foe. (2006) Canadian Journal of Education 29 (1), 329-346
(2006). The Razor's Edge: An Art Educator's Response to Self-Mutilation. (2006). Actes du colloque sur la research en enseignment des arts visuals.
Cosmetic surgery and the cultural construction of beauty. (2005) Art Education, 58 (3), 14-18. Co-written with Maya Shalmon.
(De)Constructing the Irish Famine Memorial in Contemporary Quebec. (2002) In Ireland's Great Hunger: Silence, Memory and Commemoration. Edited by David Valone and Christine Kinealy. Maryland: University of America Press. 311-329.
The art of remembrance: What memorials can teach us. (2000) Actes de colloque sur la recherch en enseignement des arts visuals. Edited by Francine Gagnon-Bourget and Pierre Gosselin. Montréal: Créa Éditions. 7-11.
Outsider art: Some ethical considerations for art educators. (2000) Canadian Review of Art Education, 27, (2), 33-50.
Teaching about sacred objects. (2000) With Linda Szabad-Smyth and Janette Haggar. Journal of the Canadian Society for Education through Art, 30 (2), 14-20.
Censorship Canadian Style. (1997) In Readings in Canadian Art Teacher Education. Edited by Rita Irwin and Kit Grauer. Quebec: Canadian Society of Education through Art. 125-130.
Strategies for dealing with censorship. (1996) Art Education, 49 (5), 57-61.
Profile of Irish-Canadians: Paul Kane. (2003) Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, 27-28 (2-1), 112-115.
Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. (2001) Art Papers, 25 (5), 56-57, and Canadian Art, 18 (3), 108.
La Biennale de Montréal. (1999). Art Papers, 22 (2), 63.