Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with Contemporary Art Turns Four

The four Marx Bros… Image: noodleinahaystack.blogspot.com

No sooner are we celebrating our upcoming fourth year with Art21 Educators as I am reminded that the Teaching with Contemporary Art column also turns four this week. Looks like I’ll be playing the fourth horse in the fourth race this weekend…

Last year I celebrated by looking back over the first three years but today I’d like to just look back over the past twelve months because, well, it’s been quite a ride. Here are some of the highlights since last spring:

The post Installation in Installments took a look into one approach for working with site-specific work in a school. Emphasis is placed on (realistic) planning and organization as the necessary steps for creating high quality work.

Using Art21 Video Exclusives allowed readers a glimpse into how educators can curate films from the Art21 series and use them to teach thematically.

Last summer, a post called Three Ways of Seeing explored some of the ways people go about looking at and, hopefully, understanding contemporary art. Shows by Nancy Grossman, Ryan Trecartin and Laurel Nakadate at PS 1 were happily used for my little experiment.

TwCA’s first post about our new online video series, New York Close Up, was all about Lucas Blalock’s beautiful still lifes that utilize objects exclusively found in discount stores. These photos continue to make me look again.

Last September I had the opportunity to talk with Adam Weiler of the amazing Michigan after-school-super-group, Ambrose. If you haven’t yet checked out their work, please, it’s time.

The post titled Taking the Long Way Home: Working with a Theme in a Series focused on sharing experiences asking students to investigate a theme over a period of time.

Interdisciplinary is Not a One-Way Street took a look into the stereotypes associated with asking art educators to “help” teach other subjects as well as attempting to illustrate what the “inter” of interdisciplinary really means. The follow-up post used Mark Dion’s Neukom Vivarium as an example.

How Much Is That? took on one of the most popular questions in the art classroom and Occupy This considered teaching about inequality in the classroom.

As we turned the corner on a new year Working with Memory discussed how to get students to incorporate specifics from their own history into works of art. Teaching with Contemporary Art in the Elementary Classroom took a look into how two of our Art21 Educators, Maureen Hergott and Julia CopperSmith, have begun to get away from step-by step projects and into using video documentation more often.

February offered a chance to talk with Janine Antoni a second time and both part one and part two of that interview is ready for your reading pleasure.

Finally, Balancing Skill-Building and the Formation of Ideas took on popular questions from the recent NAEA annual conference while Sexy and I Know It shared some parallels between Jimmy Fallon’s approach to performing and the ways artists use juxtaposition in order to make us pay a different kind of attention.

Like I said a few weeks ago… It’s hard to believe it’s been four years, but it has, and this past year has been a strange and spectacular one. Thanks to all of you for reading and for your ongoing support!


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