Art as an embodied practice: artistic expression, conocimiento, and identity formation




Castillo, Sarah

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With a study designed to research questions to which I have sought answers, such as how do artists rely on art to understand their evolving identity, autoethnography facilitates my self-knowledge positing that art-making shapes the formation of identity. Further, I visually articulate intersectionality in a creative expression that channels healing and understanding in the context of Chicana mental health and my identity development. This study is guided by questions framed to understand the ways that art, identity, and healing expand our notions about relationships to Self and the sociocultural world. Moreover, it examines the spatial positionalities of a self-identified Chicana feminist artist who came to identity formation in the process of graduate education. To document the process, I have utilized journal entries, artwork, and qualitative and quantitative information as a positioned subject who is central to the project. Photographic self-portraits and collections of prose document an interdisciplinary path, underscoring self- and other-knowledge in reference to identity formation. In addition to providing explanations of how I came to see myself as Chicana artist, I have gained a landscape of identity-based art strategies for understanding the ways in which Chicanas claim their ethnic, gender, and racialized identities.


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Artisitic expression, Conocimiento, Identity formation, Mexican American culture, Visual art



Bicultural-Bilingual Studies