A chapter in a recent publication from the Association of College & Research Libraries features work by Gallery Director Catherine Tedford. Entitled Unframing the Visual: Visual Literacy Pedagogy in Academic Libraries and Information Spaces, the book describes visual literacy as “an interconnected set of practices, habits, and values for participating in visual culture that can be developed through critical, ethical, reflective, and creative engagement with visual media. Approaches to teaching visual literacy in higher education must include a focus on context and not just content, process and not just product, impact and not just intent. Unframing is an approach to visual literacy pedagogy that acknowledges that visuals are a pervasive part of everyday life, as well as embedded into every scholarly discipline.”
Tedford’s chapter, “Street Stickers as Subversive Visual Discourse,” is included a section of the book called “Pursuing Social Justice through Visual Practice.” In it, she provides a brief history of street stickers for those unfamiliar with the genre and describes how a university art gallery educator uses a collection of sociopolitical street stickers and a related Street Art Graphics digital archive to teach aspects of visual literacy through the lens of social justice issues. In an art gallery learning environment, street stickers become the focus of both introductory, hands-on creative workshops and more advanced interpretive writing assignments. Three case studies also highlight typically underrepresented artist collectives and/or themes, showing how street stickers can be used for teaching and research.
Photo: St. Lawrence University students at the gallery selecting stickers for writing assignment in Dr. Brook Henkel’s Intermediate German 103 class.