Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Middle and Secondary Education

First Advisor

Michelle Zoss

Second Advisor

Sue Kasun

Third Advisor

Melanie Davenport

Fourth Advisor

April Munson


This self-study research exists because of the pioneers in an arts-based research methodology, a/r/tography, those who provided an opening that included built-in affordances to recognize and support becoming as an artist, researcher, and teacher through a lens of three-dimensional space. This study explored the connections of an artist teacher’s experience by examining an existing practice of woodworking through building a chair, and how the combined identities of the artist, researcher, and teacher reflect an evolving practice of becoming that leans towards making as knowing, to explore the connection between chairing an identity, physically building chairs, and connecting through knowing and building in a physical and metaphorical three-dimensional sense. During this study, I constructed 132 pieces of art, while metaphorically relating the process of building to my researcher and teacher identity. I then analyzed the data and the process of building through the renderings of a/r/tography while questioning the epistemology of artmaking and research as a singular experience. The rendering of metaphor provided an interpretive walk-through experience of building chairs as a process for becoming that informed knowing as an artist, researcher, and teacher. This study addressed the need for more arts-based educational research that centers visual art as the question of knowing in a three-dimensional space, and how arts-based research counters the oppressive nature of scholarship in the academy, as a method of outreach that meets the needs of a diverse student population, and offers a loose guide for preservice teachers to follow as active participants in the process of art education.


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