What Can Art Do? A Review of Bridging Communities through Socially Engaged Art Edited by Alice Wexler and Vida Sabbaghi


  • Kristin Bergaust Oslo Metropolitan University




socially engaged art, art education, art therapy, community art work


My review of Bridging Communities Through Socially Engaged Art (2019), looks at this collection of case-studies and practical examples, mainly from the United States, read by a Northern-European reviewer. The book presents twenty-seven inspiring project examples from artistic practice, art education, art dissemination and art therapy. This review looks at some chapters, representing different sections of the book: Museums and Cultural Institutions in Diverse Communities, Art Pedagogy in Diverse Communities, Critical Race and Gender Perspectives, and DIS/ability Justice and Outsiders. The included chapters of the volume are mainly authored by practicing professionals and offer both concrete descriptions and reflections. The dire situation of charged political and contextual conditions was a sub-text in my reading. As a conclusion, I found this book a rewarding and inspirational experience to be recommended for students and decision-makers.

Author Biography

Kristin Bergaust, Oslo Metropolitan University

Kristin Bergaust is educated at the University of Oslo and at the National Academy of Fine Art in Oslo. She works as an artist, researcher and educator. She is a full professor at the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design at Oslo Metropolitan University, since 2008. She was formerly professor and head of Intermedia at Trondheim Academy of Fine Arts, NTNU (2001-2008) and artistic director of Atelier Nord media lab for artists (1997-2001). Kristin is one of the pioneers of the self-organized early media art scene in Norway in the 1990s. Her feminist and relational perspectives are shaped through performative and technological strategies, sometimes fed by cultural history or other narratives. Experiments with the communicative and the sensory are inherent both in her research and art. Currently, she engages in ecological and transcultural processes in urban contexts through artistic methods, interdisciplinary research and technological developments.



How to Cite

Bergaust, K. (2020). What Can Art Do? A Review of Bridging Communities through Socially Engaged Art Edited by Alice Wexler and Vida Sabbaghi. Art/Research International: A Transdisciplinary Journal, 5(1), 233–240. https://doi.org/10.18432/ari29527