• Vol. 10 (2019)

    This special issue presents a selection of papers that came out of the Art and Education for Social Justice Symposium, which took place in January 2018. This event was jointly hosted by the Department of Art Education, Florida State University, and the Art Education Program in collaboration with the Lamar Dodd School of Art and the School of Social Work, University of Georgia.
  • Creative Placemaking
    Vol. 8 (2016)

    “Simply put, ‘creative placemaking’ is the ways in which communities use the arts to help shape their social, physical, and economic characters – cities and towns literally change when you bring artists to the center of them.”  -Rocco Landesman, Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

    With the retirement of Dr. Tom Anderson, JAfL created a special issue dedicated to the far-reaching impact of his scholarship.  Dr. Anderson has spent his career engaged in the practice of creative placemaking.  His work with art criticism focuses on how we creatively craft spaces for aesthetic engagement, while his interest in the social foundations of art and education centers around creative movement within education places. Likewise, his concern with social justices issues encourages us to carefully and creatively navigate the social places we inhabit, and his inspiring work with environmental sustainability supports an awareness of the physical places we live in. Most recently, his socially conscious selfie project playfully explores the development of a sense of place and community through the collective documentation of self in the environments that most move you.   

  • Fall 2014
    Vol. 6 No. 1 (2014)

    From Senior Editor Tom Anderson:

    This is my last issue as editor for The Journal of Art for Life. I am retiring after 34 years of service to the Florida State University Department of Art Education. It has been a rich and rewarding experience serving as editor, but now it’s time to pass the mantle and welcome Sara Scott Shields as the new senior editor of JAfL. Sara is a brilliant young scholar with her finger on the pulse of current trends and issues in art education, as well as a deep and abiding knowledge of traditional concerns. In addition, she is informed and curious about current topics and themes in arts administration and art therapy. The executive review committee, made up of members of the art education, arts administration, and art therapy faculty at FSU will continue to play an active role in supporting Sara as she sets a course and reviews submissions. One thing will not change. As in the past, the journal will continue make social justice its guiding principle, giving precedence to submissions that focus on an art-for-life orientation. If you have scholarly work you think fits this criterion, Sara welcomes your submissions, input, and support. I believe the future of the journal is in good hands and I urge you to submit your work and support The Journal of Art for Life.

  • Spring 2014
    Vol. 5 No. 1 (2014)

    This is the first issue of The Journal of Art for Life to be published as strictly an on-line publication. While there is something to be said for hard copy (the smell of fresh printers’ ink, the texture of paper, the turning of the page), there’s also much to be said for digital communications (the fact that volumes and issues can be flexible in length, the instantaneous publication of a finished paper, the potentially vast audience of Internet readers, and the price, not to mention the trees we are saving, which are thus available for all to hug). Inherent, too, in digital publications is the potential for creative use of the cyber-space strategies such as hyperlinks to video and other resources not conducive to hard copy. We are particularly looking forward in the future to exploring those creative digital spaces. As with all previous issues, this issue of JAfL is available online, free and open access with the support of Florida State University Library’s Diginole Commons platform. Starting with this volume of JAfL and all succeeding issues, we will be available only online.
  • Spring 2013
    Vol. 4 No. 1 (2013)

  • Spring 2012
    Vol. 3 No. 1 (2012)

    The faculty at the Florida State University Department of Art Education is proud to present a new academic journal, Journal of Art for Life, which is dedicated to the premise that art is life-enhancing. Art for Lifeis the philosophy which guides our three graduate programs: art education, art therapy, and arts administration and is based on the tenets put forth in the book, Art for Life, written by Tom Anderson and Melody Milbrandt.The power of art for social justice and societal change is not only infused in our philosophy, but is the overarching theme that pervades our curriculum and coursework. To this end, the mission of the journal is:

    •The Journal of Art for Life is a national, refereed journal focused on art education, art therapy, and arts administration in authentic, real-world contexts toward the goal of social progress through the arts. The journal is based on the instrumentalist premise that art has the power and potential to reflect and enhance the conditions of human experience. Through scholarly articles, the journal is an instrument for communicating the avenues by which the various forms of art intertwine and impact society and social justice.

    •The journal accepts articles that are theoretical, research-based, and those that address the practical applications of art for life in educational, therapeutic, and other institutional contexts, including museums. We seek social criticism related to art and art education; inquiry into potential areas of exploration regarding art in society, especially focused on social justice and other crucial issues; psychological perspectives, including therapeutic programs which emphasize arts interventions; and investigations into possible roles for arts institutions as cultural organizations that benefit people’s lives. We also seek practical applications, strategies, and position papers about art and its relationship to the enhancement of life for individuals and the societies in which we live, in art education, art therapy and arts administration contexts.

    In furtherance of this mission, we welcome manuscripts on the topics outlined above. If you are interested in submitting a manuscript, please see the back inside cover for submission details or visit our website at The journal will be published biannually and will be available in both electronic and hard copy formats. If you have questions, please contact the editorial staff. We look forward to hearing from you and serving you through a journal that will inspire your creativity and challenge your beliefs.

  • Spring 2011
    Vol. 2 No. 1 (2011)

  • Spring 2010
    Vol. 1 No. 1 (2010)

    On behalf of the faculty at the Florida State University Department of Art Education, I am pleased to welcome readers to the inaugural issue of the Journal of Art for Life. The birth of the journal marks a milestone for the programs in our department: Art Education, Arts Administration, and Art Therapy. These programs have functioned under one administrative unit for over 10 years and yet it has taken the faculty this span of time to comprehend how these programs are linked theoretically and philosophically and to create a integrated identity. Thanks to the guidance of Tom Anderson, the art for life philosophy has become focus of our work and our values.

    Often we are asked to explain this philosophy. At the root of our work is the notion that art is not solely for its own sake (although this is a perfectly sound notion); we believe that art is the cornerstone of exploring and building one’s self as a member of a community. Art illuminates how a person lives in the world. We teach that art can be used to critically analyze, re-construct, and improve our world and its people. We nurture professionals who are willing to question and critique society and to uncover unjust and oppressive aspects of our world. By exploring the cultures in which we live, we find that the world is not always moral. Therefore the art for life philosophy begs a commitment to social justice and a commitment to using art to shed light on injustices. As the mission of the journal states, we believe there is power in the arts that can lead to the betterment of the human experience.

    The five entries that follow further clarify the mission of the journal. Tom Anderson’s editorial sets the tone for the inaugural issue and Melody Milbrandt’s article deepens the concept of art for life. Jeff and Monica Broome’s article provides an example of how the art for life model can be translated into the curriculum. Vanada presents a strong argument for the arts in education from a policy perspective. Finally, Alders explores how art has mitigated social stratification in Mexican-American cultures. I invite comments on our first issue of the Journal of Art for Life. I also invite you to submit manuscripts which highlight your thinking about art and social justice issues. Please e-mail me at with your thoughts and ideas. Enjoy! -Marcia L. Rosal