Articles by Joe Fusaro

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Balancing Skill-Building and the Formation of Ideas

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Balancing Skill-Building and the Formation of Ideas

Finding a balance between teaching specific skills and techniques with teaching about how to explore process in order to form and pursue ideas is not easy. If you teach in a culture (or department, or school, or district, or university…) that emphasizes skills and techniques as the “meat” of the curriculum, it’s probably a good idea to begin talking about the kinds of skills that everyone really considers “essential”.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Slow Turn

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Slow Turn

On Sunday, the National Art Education Association wrapped up their 65th conference here in New York City and more than ever I am encouraged by the state of affairs at NAEA. In just the past four years, as Art21 has brought contemporary artists such as Mark Bradford, Carrie Mae Weems, Mark Dion and most recently, Janine Antoni and Oliver Herring, the change is noticeable.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Talking with Janine Antoni and Getting Set for NAEA: Part Two

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Talking with Janine Antoni and Getting Set for NAEA: Part Two

Part two of my recent interview with Janine Antoni in advance of her keynote address and workshop at the National Art Education Association’s annual conference here in New York from March 1-4.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Talking with Janine Antoni and Getting Set for NAEA: Part One

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Talking with Janine Antoni and Getting Set for NAEA: Part One

This week’s column features a brand, new interview with Janine Antoni in advance of her upcoming keynote address and workshop at the National Art Education Association’s annual conference on March 1st here in New York City.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Talking with Art21 Educators: Jethro Gillespie and Jack Watson

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Talking with Art21 Educators: Jethro Gillespie and Jack Watson

Over the past few weeks I’ve thoroughly enjoyed talking and e-mailing with two more of our current Art21 Educators, Jethro Gillespie and Jack Watson. Jethro teaches Studio Art, 3D Design, Ceramics and other art courses at Maple Mountain High School in Utah while Jack teaches 2D Art and Art History at Chapel High School in North Carolina. Both look for ways to better engage their classes on a consistent basis and avoid “window dressing” projects that may look pretty but aren’t necessarily about very much…

Teaching with Contemporary Art

So, Three Thousand Art Educators Walk Into a Room….

Teaching with Contemporary Art

So, Three Thousand Art Educators Walk Into a Room….

From March 1st through March 4th the National Art Education Association holds their annual conference right here in New York City. Over 3,000 art educators from all levels have the opportunity to attend hundreds upon hundreds of workshops offered by colleagues from close to everywhere across the country.
Here at Art21, we have a few very special things planned….

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Transformation and Distortion

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Transformation and Distortion

Two of my classes begin a new unit where students are asked to work with the themes of distortion and transformation. Especially for teens, the idea of transformation- of the self, objects, symbols, even the meaning of words- is an attractive proposal. Add the multiple implications associated with distortion and it becomes the kind of field day you really want in a classroom.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with Contemporary Art in the Elementary Classroom

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with Contemporary Art in the Elementary Classroom

Julia CopperSmith and Maureen Hergott made some important points in last week’s interview and this week we take the opportunity to point out two of them regarding how teachers construct elementary art-making experiences and use documentation to influence their work.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Talking with Art21 Educators: Julia CopperSmith and Maureen Hergott

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Talking with Art21 Educators: Julia CopperSmith and Maureen Hergott

This week I want to share a conversation that took place between myself and two of our current, amazing Art21 Educators. Julia CopperSmith and Maureen Hergott teach elementary art education for the Scott and Westdale Elementary Schools in Melrose Park near Chicago. Their work has been inspiring to all of us here at Art21, especially since they are finding ways to work with contemporary art and engage some very young students in the process.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Join Us

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Join Us

Besides kicking off season 6 of Art in the Twenty-First Century in just a few months, Art21 Educators is gearing up for year 4, which starts this July in New York City.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Working with Memory

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Working with Memory

Working with memory presents challenges, like many themes and ideas we choose to teach with, that are terribly difficult to get rolling without an organized, broad and juicy introduction. This week’s column explores how looking back can help with planning forward for better introductions to thematic units.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Under the Radar: Best of 2011, Part 2

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Under the Radar: Best of 2011, Part 2

Following up on last week’s post, here are a few more shows that flew under the radar in 2011, including Dana Schutz at the Neuberger and Katharina Grosse at Mass MoCA.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Under the Radar: Best of 2011

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Under the Radar: Best of 2011

Some excellent shows from 2011 flew a little under the radar, even a few housed in major museums, and they had plenty to offer when it comes to inspiring students and teachers. Part 1 of 2.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Getting Schooled at Hopper House

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Getting Schooled at Hopper House

A few weeks ago I wrote a post (public therapy, actually) about my anxiety as I organized a student exhibit at Hopper House here in New York. The seventeen artists …

Teaching with Contemporary Art

But Wait, There’s More

Teaching with Contemporary Art

But Wait, There’s More

Feeling a little under the weather this week, so as a pick-me-up I decided to write about some of the phenomenal stuff happening at Art21. Kind of like an education …

Teaching with Contemporary Art

How Much Is That?

Teaching with Contemporary Art

How Much Is That?

“How much is that?” or “How much is that worth?” are popular questions students ask, especially when teaching with contemporary art. Often I find myself embarrassed having to admit that …

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Occupy This

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Occupy This

Yinka Shonibare MBE says in his season 5 segment that he would like to have the “trappings of wealth” himself, even though he may be criticizing it. And being made …

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Taking Note

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Taking Note

This week I want to share what seems like a simple idea… While many of us insist that students keep sketchbooks or journals in our classes, it isn’t as popular …

Teaching with Contemporary Art

It’s OK to Make Art…

Teaching with Contemporary Art

It’s OK to Make Art…

It’s amazing… After over twenty years teaching I still get nervous. And I’m not thinking about the first day of classes (everyone gets nervous then), I was actually thinking about …

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Thinking About Interdisciplinary Teaching with Mark Dion’s Neukom Vivarium

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Thinking About Interdisciplinary Teaching with Mark Dion’s Neukom Vivarium

This past spring at the National Art Education Association’s annual conference in Seattle, Art21 brought Mark Dion not only as a keynote speaker, but also to explore his work and …

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Interdisciplinary Is Not a One-Way Street

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Interdisciplinary Is Not a One-Way Street

What makes a good interdisciplinary lesson?

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Art21 New York Close Up

Teaching with New York Close Up: Keltie Ferris Spray Paints in Solitude

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Art21 New York Close Up

Teaching with New York Close Up: Keltie Ferris Spray Paints in Solitude

While watching Keltie Ferris Spray Paints in Solitude, I kept wondering to myself… What can students and teachers learn from engaging with this five minutes of film? I wanted a …

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Getting Set for PS1’s “September 11”

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Getting Set for PS1’s “September 11”

In two weeks I am taking a group of students to visit the September 11 exhibition at PS1. Most of the high school students in these two classes have some …

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Whiplash

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Whiplash

Last week, I had the displeasure of experiencing exhibition whiplash at Gagosian Gallery on Madison Avenue. On one side of the building, “Continuum”- an exquisite show by Jenny Saville and …

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Taking the Long Way Home: Working With a Theme in a Series

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Taking the Long Way Home: Working With a Theme in a Series

One of the students in my advanced classes is taking on the theme of “looking vs. seeing” for her first semester portfolio. She wants to explore the things people tend …

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Document.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Document.

Do yourself a big favor by documenting your work with students.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Joy and Revolution: Talking with Adam Weiler of Ambrose, Part 2

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Joy and Revolution: Talking with Adam Weiler of Ambrose, Part 2

This week’s column follows up on last week’s post and features part two of my interview with Adam Weiler of Ambrose, an atypical after school club in Holland, Michigan. If …

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Joy and Revolution: Talking with Adam Weiler of Ambrose

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Joy and Revolution: Talking with Adam Weiler of Ambrose

If you’re not familiar with Ambrose, well…. you should be. A few months ago on a trip to work with teachers at the Holland Area Arts Council in Michigan I …

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Just When We Think It’s Safe…

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Just When We Think It’s Safe…

For the last seven years I have abandoned (mostly) Friday afternoon happy hours in favor of driving north and spending the late afternoons and nights in my studio. For anywhere …

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Art21 New York Close Up

Teaching with New York Close Up: Lucas Blalock’s 99¢ Store Still Lifes

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Art21 New York Close Up

Teaching with New York Close Up: Lucas Blalock’s 99¢ Store Still Lifes

Lucas Blalock’s only plan is to work… preferably in the evenings. He deals with a set of parameters that his tools provide and brings things he purchases at local discount …

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Getting Around

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Getting Around

Contemporary art education often asks teachers to be in many places and stages at once. This is just part of the deal if you’re going to teach with and about …

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Three Ways of Seeing

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Three Ways of Seeing

Nancy Grossman, “T.Y.V.L.”, 1970 Image: PS1.org On a recent trip to PS1, I had the unique opportunity to compare a few different approaches to visiting (and hopefully, seeing) exhibitions. Back …

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Fruits of Summer

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Fruits of Summer

Summer offers fantastic opportunities for educators of all kinds to catch interesting group shows and special exhibitions that are happening before we start up the engines again in the fall. …

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Outside Alias

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Outside Alias

On July 13th, after a full week of the Art21 Educators summer institute, I took the opportunity to interview teachers about their experiences attending workshops, meeting Art21 artists, and beginning …

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Looking Back on an Inspiring Art21 Educators Institute

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Looking Back on an Inspiring Art21 Educators Institute

From July 6th through the 13th Art21 hosted our third annual Art21 Educators summer institute, which kicks off a year-long professional development initiative between the organization and 16 teachers from …

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Art21 Educators in Full Swing

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Art21 Educators in Full Swing

Art21 Educators has been in full swing over the past week with professional development workshops, curriculum planning, artist talks, studio visits, special events, museum programs and lots of soul-searching. Tune …