Investigating Multiracial Identities Through Visual Culture: Counternarratives to Traditional Race Discourses in Art Education

  • Natasha S. Reid
  • John Derby
  • Tracy Cheng


The authors present three counternarratives and artworks that challenge traditional race discourses within art education. They argue that art education has been inattentive to biracial and multiracial identities, in terms of both its general colorblindness and the embeddedness of simple, biological racial boundaries within multicultural research. Applying Critical Race Theory, each co-author reconstructed a key visual culture artifact from childhood that represented race and wrote a counternarrative surrounding the culminating artwork. The authors examine a perceived multiracial Cabbage Patch Kids® doll, a wall-mounted black toilet seat with a handmade “BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL” sign, and a prototypical painting of a Chinese woman in terms of their complex experiences growing up in multiracial homes. They conclude with suggestions for exploring multiracial identity in art education.


Counternarratives Critical race theory, CRT Identity, identities Multiracial, multiracial identity, multiracial identities Visual culture 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natasha S. Reid
    • 1
  • John Derby
    • 2
  • Tracy Cheng
    • 3
  1. 1.The Visual Arts CentreMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Independent ScholarLawrenceUSA
  3. 3.Independent ScholarKansas CityUSA

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