Barbara Bickel is an artist, researcher, and educator currently practicing in Calgary, Alberta Canada where she co-founded Studio M*: A Research Creation Lab Intersecting Arts, Culture and Healing in 2017. An Associate Professor of Art Education Emeritas at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, USA she teaches art as an inquiry and interdisciplinary meaning making process. Her arts-based Ph.D. in Art Education from The University of British Columbia, Canada was awarded the Arts Based Educational Research Outstanding Dissertation Award from the American Educational Research Association (ABER SIG) in 2009. Her art and research interests include arts-based inquiry methods, collaboration, socially engaged art, the body, connective aesthetics, spirituality, feminism, women’s leadership, and restorative and trans-formative learning.
Since graduating in 1993 with a BFA in Painting from the University of Calgary, Canada she has had a multi-media studio practice (drawing, collage, painting, sculpture, experimental video, sound and time-based installation), been an exhibiting and performance ritual artist, as well as an independent curator, gallery director and arts educator in Canada and the US. She co-founded The Centre Gallery (1995-2001), a non-profit women’s focused gallery in Calgary, Alberta, and Gallery 3342 (2014 – 17 ), a women, gender and sexuality focused gallery at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale Illinois, and is a co-founding and active member of the Gestare Art Collective (2009 -).
She has had 26 solo art exhibitions and presented her art and writing at over 50 peer reviewed conferences and 20 invited presentations. She co-edited a book, with Susan Walsh & Carl Leggo, entitled Arts-Based Research & Contemplative Practices in Research & Teaching and is co-founder and current Editor in Chief of a new book series called Arts Based Educational Research with Springer Press. Her articles on arts-based inquiry have been published in 8 book chapters and 21 peer reviewed journals, such as the International Journal of Qualitative Research, Journal of Arts and Community, Visual Culture and Gender, International Journal for Education in the Arts, and the Journal of Arts & Communities.