Framework Spotlight on Scholarship: “Threshold Concepts as Metaphors for the Creative Process” by Garcia and Labatte

Today’s Spotlight on Scholarship features the article “Threshold Concepts as Metaphors for the Creative Process: Adapting the Framework for Information Literacy to Studio Art Classes” [paywall] by Larissa Garcia and Jessica Labatte, published in Art Documentation: Journal of the Art Libraries Society of North America, Volume 34, Number 2, September 2015, pp. 235-248.

This article reports on a collaboration in an advanced studio art class in photography between a member of the art faculty and the librarian art subject specialist. The collaboration focused on teaching students the role of research in art production, where the Framework’s information literacy concepts served as useful and generative metaphors for different elements of the creative process. For instance, the studio critique–in which a student’s art is presented for critique–became a more constructive experience for students through engagement with the “Scholarship as Conversation” frame. The artist’s statement, which contextualizes the artist and their work in “art history and ideology,” required a bibliography of diverse interdisciplinary sources the students consulted in order to contextualize themselves as artists. “Searching as Strategic Exploration” became a metaphor and enactment of the creative artist browsing for inspiration in the context of searching the online catalog for information about their own artistic works and subjects. This article articulates the resonance between the Framework, metaliteracy, and the disciplinary context of studio art, and connects creativity to information literacy using a concrete classroom case study that includes descriptions of course learning objectives, assignment designs, and assessments, making it a valuable contribution to the literature on information literacy in the disciplines.

Larissa Garcia is Information Literacy Librarian/Art Subject Specialist and Jessica Labatte is Assistant Professor of Photography, both at Northern Illinois University.

The “Framework Spotlight on Scholarship” column is a regular post series highlighting scholarship that uses, builds on, critiques, or responds to the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.