Working in segregated institutions for people with mental retardation in the 1970′s convinced Doug Blandy of the importance of promoting non-segregated inclusive educational environments. His studies in Art Education at Ohio University and The Ohio State University; his teaching in schools, community arts centers, and universities; and his research over the past twenty-five years has all been attentive to providing art educational experiences in community-based settings that meet the needs of all students within a life-long learning context. Blandy’s research and teaching has also concentrated on the relationships between art, education, gender, community, and place. Courses developed and taught by Blandy include Zines and Do-It-Yourself Democracy, Art and Human Values, Art and Society and Community Cultural Development.
Blandy’s research defines, describes, critiques, and analyzes the implementation of community arts programs that are participatory, community focused, community based, and culturally democratic. Methods derived from critical theory and cultural studies are used to examine multiple cases in which community arts organizations are contributing significantly to environmental, social, cultural and economic well-being. Blandy is particularly interested in cases where indigenous solutions, rather than externally prescribed solutions, to community problems are implemented. Where he often sees the struggle for a democratic society working best are in those diverse informal and formal enclaves in which people are working and acting together for a variety of political, cultural, economic, and educational purposes. Through his research, Blandy learned to appreciate the important role that the arts or community arts organizations can have in fostering civil society. His most recent research considers the creation and distribution of zines
as a component of radical democracy. He is also a principle investigator in a multi-university project associated with the documentation and interpretation of China’s material culture.
Blandy’s research has been published in Studies in Art Education, Art Education, the Journal of Multicultural and Cross-Cultural Research in Art Education, Visual Arts Research, Social Theory and Art Education, and the Visual Sociology Review among other journals. He co-edited, with Kristin G. Congdon, Art in a Democracy (1987) and Pluralistic Approaches to Art Criticism (1991). With Paul Bolin and Kristin G. Congdon he co-edited Remembering Others: Making Invisible Histories of Art Education Visible (2000) and Histories of Community-Based Art Education (2001, both published by the NAEA. Blandy is currently Senior Editor of Studies in Art Education.
Portland State University’s Art Department offers free public lectures every Monday night of the school year. This is the twenty-second lecture of the fourth year of the PMMNLS. The PSU MFA Monday Night Lecture Series is supported in part by PICA, Reed College, Lewis and Clark College, and The NW Film Center.