Harold Pearse (Photo by Louise Muenstermann

As a post-secondary art educator, other roles, in addition to those of artist and teacher, come into play – those of researcher and author. I see each as complementing and informing the others, bridging theory and practice. This dynamic dialectical relationship between theory and practice is called praxis. It is theory into practice, practice out of theory. Theory informs practice and vice versa. Consequently, my research and writing relate to and come from my experiences, education and practice as both artist and teacher. I am interested in how and why people learn in, through and about art and how the field of art education has evolved internationally and in Canada.  A passion is drawing: its history, pedagogy and practice.

I am particularly interested in artists from those groups that have been traditionally marginalized from mainstream visual art institutions by virtue of race, class, age and ability (i.e. Black Nova Scotian artists, Nova Scotia Folk artists, child artists and artists with developmental disabilities).

Books and Exhibition Catalogues

  • Editor and principal author: From Drawing to Visual Culture: A History of Art Education in Canada, McGill-Queens’ University Press, 2006
  • Co-author (with Donald Soucy) of a book on the history of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design called The First Hundred Years, NSCAD & UNB,1992
  • Co-author (with Mary Blatherwick): What Works: Innovative Strategies for Teaching Art, CSEA, 2011
  • Human Rights and Citizenship: Through the Eyes of Artists (Co Edited with Paul Freeman and Wendy Hollo with a preface by John Ralston Saul), Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts Stollery Gallery, Edmonton AB, 2004
  • “An Outsider’s view of Black Art in Nova Scotia” in In this Place . . . Black Art in Nova Scotia, co-curated with David Woods, the Anna Leonowens Gallery, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, NS, 2001
  • “NSCAD Archive Project: An Historical Perspective” in Wallpapers, 17 June 2000 – 14 January 2001.The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, curated by Richard Mueller, Halifax, NS, 2001, (pp. 10-20
  • “A Gift of Art: Eva Comeau Hersey and Nova Scotia Folk Art”, in A Gift of Art/Le Don d’Art Eva Comeau-Hersey, The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, curated by Daniel Comeau, Halifax, NS, 1998
  • “Memories of the Mounted”, in Canadiana: The Canadian Mountie, curated by Terry Graff, Confederation Centre of the Arts Art Gallery and Museum, Charlottetown, PEI, 1997
  • The Refrigerator Gallery: An Introduction to the Art of Children for Adults and Children of All Ages, with Virginia Stephen, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, 1991


  • “Drawing Education in Canadian Schools: Late Nineteenth to Mid-Twentieth Century as Seen Through Drawing Textbooks”, in Drawing Education Worldwide: Continuities -Transfers- Mixtures, Edited by Nino Nanobashvili and Tobias Teutenberg, Heidleberg: Heidleberg University Publishing, 2019
  • “Everything (well almost everything) I Know about Art and Art Education I Learned from my Dogs”, in Professional Paws: Dog’s in Scholars’ Lives and  Work, (Volume 2, Human-Animal Bond Series), Edited by Ardra L. Cole and Sharon Sbrocchi, (2016) Backalong Books, Big Tancook Island,  Nova Scotia, 2017
  • “Sketchbooks, Workbooks, Visual Journals: All in a Day’s Work”, in Revisions: Readings in Canadian Art Teacher Education. K. Grauer, R. Irwin & M. Emme (Eds.), CSEA, 2007“Themes, Cross-curricular Connections and Daily Drawing”, in StARTing With … ,. K. Grauer and R. Irwin (Eds.), CSEA, 2004, 2011
  • “Praxis in Perspective”, in A/rtography: Rendering Self through Arts-Based Living Inquiry. R. L. Irwin & A. de Cosson (Eds), Vancouver, BC: Pacific Educational Press 200“Discovering the First Black Graduate and Rediscovering NSCAD’s First Art Education Program”, in Remembering Others: Making Invisible Histories of Art Education Visible, D. Blandy, P. Bolin and K. Congdon (Eds.), NAEA, 2000, pp. 26-36
  • “Doing Otherwise: Art Education Praxis in a Postparadigmatic World”, in Art Education: Content and Practice in a Postmodern Era, M. Suggs and J. Hutchens (Eds.), NAEA, 1997, pp. 26-29

 From Drawing to Visual Culture McGill-Queens Publication In This Place Exhibition Catalogue A History of NSCADWhat Works CSEA publication

Articles (Selected)

  • “The Art Educator as Collector: Archivist, Collector or Packrat?” The Canadian Art Teacher , Volume 11, Number 2, 2013, pp. 8-17
  • “The lost art of pedagogy “(with Cynthia Taylor and Amy Brook Snider), The Canadian Review of Art Education, Volume 38, 2012, pp. 5-16, The Canadian Society for Education through Art. (Reprint with postscript by Harold Pearse)
  • “Confessions of a daily drawing addict”. New Directions: BCATA Journal for Art teachers, Volume 53, Number 2, 2011, British Columbia Art Teachers’ Association, pp.4-11
  • “A Question of Taste: Is Bad Taste a Relevant Concept in Art Education?, The Canadian Review of Art Education: Research and Issues. Vol. 32, pp. 1-8. 2005
  • “C.D. Gaitskell’s Legacy to Canadian Art Education: Did Dudley Do Right?”, The Canadian Art Teacher, CSEA, 4 (1), 2005
  • “The Serial Imagery of Maud Lewis”, Arts Atlantic, Vol. 15, No. 2, Summer 1997, pp. 26 – 29Chapter in book, Starting With... CSEA publication