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Opening speech
by the event organisers


Jana Jiroutová & Petra Šobáňová

Main Organisers, Czech Section of INSEA, Palacký University Olomouc,
Czech Republic



We saw our conference primarily as an opportunity to reflect on what we have experienced. We wanted to put all the key general questions into the context of our field. For a moment, it almost seemed that the topic might be slowly fading and becoming less and less relevant.

But the opposite is true. At least in the Czech Republic, the pandemic is back and much stronger. We have alarming numbers of people infected, hospitals are running out of capacity, a state of emergency has been re-declared; cultural, educational and other activities are being curtailed again. Our conference – for which we have chosen a virtual form quite deliberately – is again very topical and important not only because of its theme, but also because it allows us to try an alternative – and somewhat experimental – way of professional communication. Unfortunately, today it is one of the few platforms where we can safely meet and share our experiences.

It is certain that the spread of coronavirus has changed our lives and will continue to do so. We are faced with the challenge of dealing with this new situation and looking for ways to preserve the values ​​of art education and to bring them to life in new conditions. In my opinion, the crisis must be taken as an opportunity. You may have seen for yourself many times during the pandemic that human creativity cannot be stopped. Papers you can get acquainted with at our conference show not only that, but much more. In particular, it is the artistic and pedagogical creativity that comes to life in crisis and shows its strength. Personally, I am enthusiastic about the pedagogical approaches that our guests present here, as well as the theoretical studies and topical research analyses that inspire new ways of thinking. The papers presented at our conference show us the way we, as teachers of art education, have managed to communicate the importance of art education and to defend it where it has been sidelined.


Dear guests, colleagues, friends in art and art education, welcome to our virtual international conference!

It is our great pleasure to see you all here, ready to get in touch, to share, to talk about the area that is so dear to all of us. The area of art and education through art.

The global situation that some of us are now experiencing for the second time this year, has presented us with many challenges. Back in March when the first state of emergency was declared, our lives changed almost at an instance. The new reality has affected every part of it including, of course, also art education.


I would like to express our deep gratitude to all of you for taking the time and participating in this conference. Our sincere thanks go to the keynote speakers who selflessly agreed to share their great experience and expertise with us.


And we would also like to thank our partners who helped us along the way to organise this conference, namely: our alma matter and the seat of the Czech Section of INSEA – Palacky University Olomouc here in the Czech Republic, our colleagues from the Olomouc Museum of Art, our colleagues from USSEA, from the Canterbury Christ Church University in UK, and to our colleagues from InSEA who were so generous as to endorse our event. Our thanks also go to the scientific and organising committee for volunteering to help us with the conference.


We would like to extend our thanks to all the volunteers especially to our Ph.D. students who helped us create the visual style of the conference and the promo videos. Last but not least, our special thanks go to the artists who offered to perform for us at the opening of our conference.


So, now make yourselves comfortable in your homes, offices, anywhere else you are right now.

And enjoy the conference which is now officially opened! Cheers to all of us!


Short Bio about associate professor Petra Šobáňová, Ph.D.

Petra Šobáňová works at the Department of Art Education, Faculty of Education, Palacký University Olomouc as an associate professor in the field of didactics of art education. In addition to art pedagogy, she specialises in the field of museum and gallery pedagogy, and has earned the accreditation for the study programs of Museum and Gallery Pedagogy and Education in Culture. She participates in a number of research-based, developmental or methodological projects, either as the main researcher or as a co-researcher and external collaborator. She has published dozens of papers and a number of monographs, and has founded the peer-reviewed journal Kultura, umění a výchova [Culture, Art and Education] of which she is the editor-in-chief. She is currently the chair of the expert committee for the Ph.D. study program Art Pedagogy and the guarantor of this study program. She is engaged in supervising Ph.D. students, and other professional activities (e.g. she is a member of scientific councils and journal editorial boards). Since 2015, she has acted as the head of the Czech section of INSEA and has been contributing to its development ever since. She was re-elected as the head of the organisation in 2019. During her tenure, she renewed the Newsletters of the Czech Section of INSEA, established a web portal and organised a number of educational events for teachers.

Short Bio about Jana Jiroutová, M.Phil., Ph.D.

Jana has studied English studies at the Faculty of Arts of the Palacký University Olomouc (CZ) specialising in community interpreting and translating, and has completed her master's degree in Literary Translation at the Trinity College Dublin (IE). In 2019, she completed her Ph.D. studies in Art Education (Theory of Art Pedagogy and Art). In her research, she focuses on the history and development of museum and gallery education in the Anglo-American region. She gives lectures on museology, museum culture and museum and gallery education. She is a member of the editorial board of journals Výtvarná výchova [Art Education] and Kultura, umění a výchova [Culture, Arts, and Education]. She is a member of the board of the Czech Section of INSEA.

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