Posting Date: October 14, 2011


Meet Dorothy Holmes: Art meets neuroscience

By Kendrick Gaston

Dorothy Holmes

Photo by Tracie L. Hinnant


For seven years, Dorothy was painting a life without art.  Other priorities – working and attending another university – overshadowed her high school love.  Now a senior in KSU’s art education program, Dorothy has paired art with a new love – neuroscience research.


Dorothy describes herself as “just an art education student with dreams of becoming an art teacher” when she wrote her research paper, “Art and the Brain: Formalities, Understanding and Aesthetics.” Inspired by what she learned, Dorothy continued her research, eventually partnering with Rick Garner, associate professor of art education, on a project exploring the benefits of art in the field of neuroscience.  

Garner has been impressed with Dorothy’s dedication.  “Dorothy persists creatively to go beyond the basic requirements of an assignment or project,” Garner explains.  “We collaborated in writing an article on Neuro-Arts Education and she proved herself to be very adept at this type of research and writing.” This October, Dorothy and Garner will be presenting their paper at the Georgia Art Education Association Conference. 

 “Professor Garner, along with others in the art education department, have expanded the way I think of art,” Dorothy says. It’s one of the main reasons why she would encourage others to study at KSU.  “The art program has a family atmosphere and the faculty are always available to give good advice.”

Off campus, Dorothy is a student teacher and volunteer at The Center of Children & Young Adults, where she helps abused children learn to draw and create craft artwork.  “Children are a great source of information and inspiration,” says Dorothy.  “Their work is a direct reflection of them and give insight about cognition and development.”

After graduation, Dorothy plans to continue researching neurotherapy and pursue a master’s degree. Her goal is to become an art teacher and teach how art affect the human body. 


Garner is confident Dorothy’s current and future research endeavors will help to move the art field “beyond the stereotype and confines of the ‘right-brain’ artist.”  He adds, Dorothy “performs with a high degree of professionalism and creativity in all of her undertaking. Her future is promising.” 


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