The second International Community of Artist Scholars (ICAS) annual conference took place in January 2018 at the California Centre for Integral Studies and at the HI Downtown San Francisco hostel. For a second time, this conference brought together an impressive group of artist-researchers who shared a desire to connect and support one another through their creative and scholarly journeys. The presentations from attendees were varied, featuring creative activities, walks, presentations of research, and interactive workshops. Our group included PhD students, academic faculty, artists, and two undergraduate students with an interest in artistic research.
For many attendees, this conference represents a unique opportunity to make connections with students and professionals beyond their home networks. Some of the issues discussed include creative processes, research methodologies, managing the expectations of advisory committees, ethics and responsible conduct, and dealing with epistemological questions pertaining to qualitative research. Participants eagerly shared ideas at the end of our weekend together about how to grow ICAS and expand this unique community. Everyone who has attended ICAS either in 2017 or 2018 is engaged in innovative research and creation that questions, and productively re-imagines the parameters of research in the academy. Not all attendees, however, receive strong support at their home institutions and may in fact face resistance. ICAS offers an opportunity for knowledge sharing, for the testing of ideas, and for the creation of a support network. Arts-based research and research-creation (in Canada) represent a rapidly growing paradigm of research in the arts and organizations such as ICAS are incredibly valuable for the support of those engaged in this groundbreaking form of research.