Whiteness, Artist Identities, and Artworld Spaces

Author: Sarah Travis (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

  • Whiteness, Artist Identities, and Artworld Spaces


    Whiteness, Artist Identities, and Artworld Spaces



This paper considers a research study into the artist identity formation in young people engaged in a teen arts internship program at a contemporary arts center in post-Katrina New Orleans using the construct of whiteness to examine access to artist identities and artworld spaces. Art has always been embedded into the cultural and spiritual practices of people’s everyday lives. Yet, modern and contemporary artworld identities and spaces have been shaped by exclusionary and oppressive practices. In the city of New Orleans, there is a persistent presence of African American art and cultural practices that thrive outside of artworld institutions. And yet, as this study demonstrates, artworld identities and spaces within the city of New Orleans and beyond, even when they espouse social justice orientations, often remain within the milieu of whiteness and related power structures.

Keywords: art education, arts education, artist, racism, whiteness

How to Cite:

Travis, S., (2019) “Whiteness, Artist Identities, and Artworld Spaces”, Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education 36(3), 91-109. doi:

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Published on
23 Nov 2019
Peer Reviewed