The Thinking Eye



Janneke van Leeuwen


Janneke van Leeuwen has been extensively trained in both neuropsychology and the visual arts. She is interested in the relationship between visual imagination and the social brain, especially how perception and meaning making are connected to people’s sense of self. Janneke holds both facilitator and trainer qualifications in the Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) method and has run VTS workshops for the VTS organisation in America, The Photographers’ Gallery in London and various independent visual art initiatives. In close collaboration with the consultants and international experts, she develops the Thinking Eye's training and research programmes. Janneke is currently working on her PhD research at UCL Institute of Neurology in London in collaboration with the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam.        


Philip Yenawine


Philip Yenawine co-founded Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) together with cognitive psychologist Abigail House, EdD, more than 30 years ago. Director of Education at The Museum of Modern Art in New York from 1983-93, he worked in 1992-94 as consulting curator at the Institute for Contemporary Art, and during the academic year 1993-94, as Visiting Professor of art education at Mass College of Art, both in Boston. He is the author of Visual Thinking Strategies, Using Art To Deepen Learning Across Disciplines, and has written six children's books about art. Philip has been a close advisor to The Thinking Eye from the start and shares its mission to promote arts-based learning with VTS as a tool to advance observation, critical thinking and social skills.

Visual literacy is the ability to find meaning in imagery. It involves a set of skills ranging from simple identification (naming what one sees) to complex interpretation on contextual, metaphoric and philosophical levels. Many aspects of cognition are called upon, such as personal association, questioning, speculating, analyzing, fact-finding, and categorizing. Objective understanding is the premise of much of this literacy, but subjective and affective aspects of knowing are equally important.
— Philip Yenawine