Fall 2018 Issue
“Being an Artist”


Family Business

I grew up hearing the music of La Gran Manzana (The Big Apple) blaring from bodegas, six-floor walk-ups, and taxicabs. Henry Hierro, my father, is the singer/songwriter for the group, a fixture in the merengue movement popular in New York City in the 1980s. Raised in Manhattan at Dyckman and Riverside, aka Little Dominican Republic, music and creativity was all around me.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Agency in the Classroom: Who Makes the Decisions?

The word agency describes the capacity of a person to act in a given environment. By analogy, it could be the capacity of a student artist to create in the art classroom. But who makes the art-making decisions in that environment? Is it my job, as the teacher, to decide what will get made and how, or do I hand over some decisions to my students and guide them in the process?

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Making Important Choices

At various times during the school year, my students often ask the same question: How can the choices that artists make affect others? They want to know how artists—beyond providing aesthetic pleasure or provoking viewers—can make a difference.

Waiting To See What I Would Become

Sharing stories of growing up in South Africa, William Kentridge reveals how early experiences influenced his drawing style and describes similarities and differences between South African and North American histories.

Biography is Complicated

The abstract sculpture that Judith Scott crafted over the course of her fifteen-year career in the studios of Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, California, are composed of found materials encased and interwoven, in yarn and other fibers, most commonly.

The Issue Of Perspective

Lerato Dumse is a journalist and director of Du Love Media. She focuses her reporting on political realities facing Black lesbians in South Africa. Dumse is a co-facilitator of the 2017–18 Photo XP, training fellow Black lesbians from various townships in writing and photography.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching as a Collaborator

Artists learn from each other. This idea is what unites my teaching practice, my art practice, and the world of contemporary art. In establishing the culture of my classroom, my goal is to create a space for dialogue, one that doesn’t require words but rather creates an awareness of interconnectedness and interdependence.

Letter from the Editor

How to Choose

Back in March 2018, Lizzie Fortin, a public high school art teacher in Worcester, Massachusetts posted a tweet that caught the attention of the Art21 offices. Lizzie posted the kind of classroom picture expected of a teacher on a Monday morning: a simple cell phone snapshot of one of her students, a young Black woman, watching an iPad in a classroom. What was special about this picture was the story that accompanied it.