Experiential Pathways to Infusing Spirituality in Pre- Service Art Education


  • Laurel Campbell Purdue University Fort Wayne
  • Jane E. Dalton University of North Carolina, Charlotte
  • Seymour Simmons III Winthrop University




art education, spirituality, holistic, contemplative, embodied


This paper addresses diverse approaches to researching spirituality in art education. It then argues for the importance of such research today, given current controversies related to religion, and the general divisiveness that increasingly imperils public education along with other aspects of society. As we assert, addressing spirituality through art can help connect students rather than divide them, enabling them to find common ground through learning about art and through the experiences of making it. Each of these issues will be discussed in considering the following research agendas: definitions of spirituality, contemplative practice, and relations between spiritual traditions, East and West.

Author Biographies

Laurel Campbell, Purdue University Fort Wayne

Dr. Laurel H. Campbell holds three degrees from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She has taught in higher education for 26 years and in PreK-12 for four years. She is currently the Director of Art Education at Purdue University Fort Wayne and an Associate Professor in Art Education. Her research interests include spirituality in art education, holistic art education, and deep ecology in art education. She is a goldsmith and a fibers artist, often teaching courses in these subjects in the Fort Wayne community. She raised two sons and worked in the family business while living in Champaign-Urbana.

Jane E. Dalton , University of North Carolina, Charlotte

Jane Dalton is an Associate Professor of Art Education at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. She earned her Ph.D. in Expressive Arts in Education and an M.F.A in Textile Design and Weaving. Her research interests include mindfulness, contemplative pedagogy and practice, and transformative learning using the arts. Her teaching includes studio art, arts-based professional development workshops for K-12 teachers, and preparing pre-service art education teachers. She teaches with the arts at the center of learning, believing the arts are a powerful tool for transforming classrooms by motivating students to make connections across content areas, to work cooperatively, and to think critically and creatively.

Seymour Simmons III, Winthrop University

Seymour Simmons III recently retired as Professor of Fine Arts from Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC where he taught drawing and art education. Prior to Winthrop, he taught at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. He has a B.F.A. from Colorado State University 1973, and M.Ed. ’81; and Ed.D. 88’ from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where his doctoral thesis was on the history and philosophy of drawing instruction from ancient times to the present.


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How to Cite

Campbell, L., Dalton , J. E., & Simmons III, S. (2022). Experiential Pathways to Infusing Spirituality in Pre- Service Art Education. Arc: The Journal of the School of Religious Studies, 50(1), 99–122. https://doi.org/10.26443/arc.v50i.1109