Caucus for the Spiritual in Art Education (CSAE) Column: Feb/Mar 2022

NAEA News Feb/Mar 2022

The columns for this issue of NAEA News were written prior to the 2022 National Convention. As such, you may find information about Convention sessions and references to past occurrences in the future tense.

Walking is a physical and metaphorical act for moving forward multidirectionally, for exploring new paths, and for “getting lost.” It is such a natural act, yet we sometimes take the ability to walk for granted. In the past year, when work became remote, street traffic and walking ceased. Walking is so fundamental to our emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being because walking allows us to connect with others.

I want to share how the CSAE collectively has “walked” and connected this past year. Within CSAE, these areas of the NAEA mission were addressed during 2020–2021: (1) research and knowledge; (2) learning and community vibrancy; and 3) equity, diversity and inclusion. Drawing from the CSAE mission statement, CSAE remains strong in its focus to “study the relationship between the spiritual impulse and the visual arts” to encourage “the study of the spiritual in art in all levels of education” and to strengthen “a community of art education professionals who participate in scholarly research and publication on topics related to the spiritual in art education.”

The goal of research and knowledge of the CSAE mission was achieved during 2020–2022 through an increase of NAEA proposal submissions to CSAE and accepted research-based sessions at NAEA Conventions.

In my NAEA columns throughout my tenure as Chair, I also focused on a variety of topics related to spirituality, art, and education: issues of harmony and balance; connections to place, art, and artistic practice; self-care; and nature. I also used my columns to highlight CSAE artist-educators as Featured Members, Barbara Caldwell and Vicki Evans, to highlight the importance of artistic practice.

The goal of community vibrancy was achieved through Zoom meetings and an expansion of the CSAE website, both of which increased professional development opportunities for members to connect and exhibit their artworks. Thanks to Zoom presenters Vicki Evans, Austin Ohm, and Raine Dawn Valentine, who shared their work. Thanks to Vicki Evans, the CSAE Outreach Coordinator, for facilitating the Zoom meetings in 2021, for continuous updating of the CSAE website, and for organizing the two online art exhibits in 2021. Please check out the updated CSAE website:

The goal of equity, diversity, and inclusion to expand membership and leadership was achieved through additions to our board. Austin Ohm was appointed Secretary. Raine Dawn Valentine was elected as the Chair-Elect and will be the next Chair. Raine has served as Middle Level Representative on the CSAE Board since 2018. She will assume the Chair position after the NAEA 2022 Convention. Congratulations to both!

This is my last column as Chair, as Raine Valentine will take on the Chair position after the 2022 NAEA Convention. Her term will last until the close of the 2024 NAEA Convention. I am looking forward to her leadership of CSAE. At the close of the 2022 Convention, I will become Past Chair and will continue to serve on the board. Nancy Brady, the current past Chair, will rotate off the board after 6 years of service to CSAE. Thanks to Nancy for her commitment to CSAE. I’d also like to thank Maggie Leysath, the current CSAE Membership Coordinator, who has tracked our membership these past 2 years. Thanks also to Patricia RAIN Gianneschi, CSAE Archivist, who has compiled some historical documents that are posted on the CSAE website under “Archives.”

After the NAEA Convention, look for announcements for nominations for the following CSAE Board positions: Membership and Middle School, Elementary, and Higher Education Representatives. I would like to extend appreciation to our current representatives Shana Perlmutter (Elementary), Raine Dawn Valentine (Middle), and Jane Dalton (Higher Education) for their service to the CSAE Board these past 2 years.

I’d like to suggest how we might each walk our path, individually and collectively, in the new year. How might we use walking as part of our research? Walking is a noted research methodology among researchers that allows for walking interviews (Kinney, 2017) and experiencing relationships between self and place, movement, and the body (Lasczik et al., 2021; Macpherson, 2016; Springgay & Truman, 2018). How might we individually and collectively use walking as a research method to explore identities through self-study? (Klein & Miraglia, 2021). Some of these references might start you on the path.

To close, I offer this quote by holistic educator John P. Miller (2000) that is a great reminder that the spiritual is “not confined to institutional religions but is concerned with the connection we can feel between ourselves and something vast, unseen, mysterious, and wondrous” (p. 140). I hope this quote can lead you all in your search to connect with the unseen, mysterious, and wondrous.

Happy New Year to all our members and thank you for your continued support and interest in CSAE!


Kinney, P. (2017, Summer). Walking interviews. Social Research Update, 67, 1–4.

Klein, S. R., & Miraglia, K. M. (2021). Becoming a visually reflective practitioner: An integrated self-study model for professional practice. Intellect.

Lasczik, A., Rousell, D., & Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, A. (2021). Walking as a radical and critical art of inquiry: Embodiment, place and entanglement. International Journal of Education Through Art, 17(1), 3–11.

Macpherson, H. (2016). Walking methods in landscape research: Moving bodies, spaces of disclosure and rapport. Landscape Research, 41(4), 425–432.

Miller, J. P. (2000). Change and the soul. In Education and the soul: Toward a spiritual curriculum (pp. 139–152). State University of New York Press.

Springgay, S., & Truman, S. E. (2018). Walking methodologies in a more-than-human world: WalkingLab. Routledge.

Column by: Sheri R. Klein

Sheri R. Klein, CSAE Chair

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