Flash Points

Call for Writers: New Flash Points Series on “Storytelling”


Glenn Ligon (b. 1960). "Runaways," 1993 (detail). Suite of ten lithographs. 16 × 12 in. (40.6 × 30.5 cm each). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of the Peter Norton Family Foundation © Glenn Ligon; Digital Image © Whitney Museum of American Art.

“There’s nothing wrong with self-expression, it just has its limits”–Glenn Ligon in the Season 6 episode “History” of Art in the Twenty-first Century

Storytelling is an integral part of our daily lives, and artists are not immune from utilizing its techniques to communicate their ideas to an audience. As author Jonathan Gottschall stated, “For humans, story is like gravity: a field of force that surrounds us and influences all of our movements. But, like gravity, story is so omnipresent that we are hardly aware of how it shapes our lives.”

In connection with the recent episode “History” in Season Six of Art in the Twenty-First Century, we’ll explore the many forms that storytelling takes in art.

A few of the questions we’ll focus on include:

  • How can stories be an effective tool for communicating ideas?
  • What kinds of approaches do artists utilize when incorporating storytelling into their work, and what techniques are used to convey this information?
  • What do the stories they chose to tell inevitably communicate about the artists themselves?
  • How do we as viewers interpret stories differently, based on our own experiences?

We are eager to hear from a range of perspectives, including those of you who work as artists, arts professionals, students, art educators, funders, organizers, and academics. Please email ideas and pitches to blog [at] art21 [dot] org and put “Flash Points Proposal” in your email’s subject heading. We look forward to hearing from you!


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