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Alumnus Dustin Garnet named Elliot Eisner Doctoral Research Award recipient

March 15, 2016
By Renée Dunk


Art teacher and alumnus Dustin Garnet, PhD (Art Education) 15, has been awarded North America’s most prestigious prize in the field of art education. Garnet will receive the the Elliot Eisner Doctoral Research Award in Art Education at the National Art Education Association’s annual conference (NAEA), March 17 to 19.

Patricia Franklin, NAEA president states: “Dustin Garnet exemplifies the highly qualified art educators active today: leaders, teachers, students, scholars, and advocates who give their best to their students and the profession.”

The Eisner award, determined through a peer review of nominations, recognizes the value of doctoral research to the profession of art and to foster continued support of doctoral research in art education.

Says Garnet of this great honour: "This award brings an international audience to my research and acknowledges the original contribution I have made to the field of art education."

Garnet’s work involves teaching at Central Technical School (CTS), one of Toronto’s most ethnically-diverse inner-city high schools, and he says that he’s witnessed first-hand from his students what it means to persevere and to thrive despite life obstacles.

“Stories shape how we know and relate to each other in the world, and when our stories are expressed visually, I believe we extend avenues of possibility for personal discovery and social understandings that promote greater meaning-making and engender empathy in the classroom,” he explains.

Image courtesy of Dr. Dustin Garnet Image courtesy of Dr. Dustin Garnet

Garnet’s doctoral research project offers a new perspective on CTS’s 122-year history using the experiences of the men and women who shared in its legacy. He explores how stories as a form of historical research provide insights into the everyday lives and artistic culture of the community.

“Invoking the use of stories as a means of constructing history has permitted me to expand on significant historical issues specifically addressing the domains of art, education, social structure, and culture,” he says. “In an effort to promote genealogical continuity rather than disparity between historical realities and historical narratives I engaged in primary sources of information that link five generations and identify four thematic threads including, identity politics, institutional identity, school culture, social networks, that braid and create continuity over time.”

Garnet, who also gave the valedictory address at the Faculty of Fine Arts convocation ceremony in October, will present his work at this week’s NAEA conference in Chicago.

Learn more about undergraduate and graduate programs in the Department of Art Education.

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