Teaching with Contemporary Art

Thoughts from the classroom on the intersection of art and education

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Assessment as Dialogue: Shifting Power Dynamics in the Classroom

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Assessment as Dialogue: Shifting Power Dynamics in the Classroom

Educator-in-Residence Todd Elkin explains the origins of his experimental curriculum “Assessment as Dialogue,” which upends the traditional power dynamics in a classroom and asks students and teachers to collaborate on the most effective methods of learning.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Seven Strategies for the Studio Art Class

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Seven Strategies for the Studio Art Class

Art21 Senior Education Advisor Joe Fusaro offers seven tips for keeping projects and curriculum fresh in studio art classes.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Inside, Outside, Online: Dissecting social media, escape and identity

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Inside, Outside, Online: Dissecting social media, escape and identity

Educator-in-Residence Stacey Abramson relates the experience of art-making to that of constructing an identity online—both are a means of self-presentation and escape.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Rust, Decay and Decomposition: Four Artists to Teach With

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Rust, Decay and Decomposition: Four Artists to Teach With

Art21 Senior Education Advisor Joe Fusaro shares four artists who use rust and decay to tell stories, illuminate histories, and prompt us to think about beauty in new ways.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with Nick Cave’s Until, Until Conversations Emerge

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with Nick Cave’s Until, Until Conversations Emerge

Art21 Senior Education Advisor Joe Fusaro discusses how Nick Cave’s immersive installation “Until” can serve as a conversation starter for difficult subjects like racism and violence.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Why Contemporary Art? Art21 & The Value of Inspiration

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Why Contemporary Art? Art21 & The Value of Inspiration

This Giving Tuesday, four Art21 Educators share how Art21’s films and programs have opened their students’ eyes to new possibilities.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

On Not Feeling Powerless: How Youth Activists and Art21 Artists Can Model Proactive Social Engagement

Teaching with Contemporary Art

On Not Feeling Powerless: How Youth Activists and Art21 Artists Can Model Proactive Social Engagement

Art21 Educator Todd Elkin discusses his students’ reactions to the 2016 presidential election, and how Art21 artists can serve as a model for constructive social engagement.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Finding Community: Art21 Educators and Contemporary Art in the Classroom

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Finding Community: Art21 Educators and Contemporary Art in the Classroom

Art21 Educator Jeannine Bardo shares how using Art21 films and resources in the classroom has expanded her teaching practice.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Art + Action: Creating a Platform for Social Justice

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Art + Action: Creating a Platform for Social Justice

Art21 Educator Jack Watson shares his recent experience with launching a social justice collective at his high school in Durham, North Carolina.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

ART21 Educators Institute: Laylah Ali on Process and “John Brown Song!”

Teaching with Contemporary Art

ART21 Educators Institute: Laylah Ali on Process and “John Brown Song!”

Artist Laylah Ali shares her thoughts on ‘process’ at July’s ART21 Educators Institute in New York City.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Classroom Catalysts: Enabling Personal Revolutions Through Art

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Classroom Catalysts: Enabling Personal Revolutions Through Art

“What is art but a way of seeing?” —Thomas Berger Sometimes the most significant revolutions make no noise at all, happening completely within someone’s frame of mind. These individual transformations might …

"Areas for Action," an experiment facilitated by artist Oliver Herring and ART21 Educator Jethro Gillespie at "Creative Chemistries," Park Avenue Armory, New York, 2015.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Generating Creative Chemistries

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Generating Creative Chemistries

An overview of the inaugural “Creative Chemistries”—an experimental platform bringing artists and educators together to explore innovative practices for art and education.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Creative Chemistries

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Creative Chemistries

When artists and educators get together, extraordinary things can happen.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

How Can Small Gestures Provoke Big Change?

Teaching with Contemporary Art

How Can Small Gestures Provoke Big Change?

Little changes in art classrooms can have a big impact. Revolutions come in all sizes.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Revamping Art Education for the Twenty-First Century

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Revamping Art Education for the Twenty-First Century

Do the new National Standards for Art Education support dynamic learning and twenty-first century artistic methods?

Teaching with Contemporary Art

What does it mean to be a responsible global citizen?

Teaching with Contemporary Art

What does it mean to be a responsible global citizen?

An eighth grade language arts class learns about personal and social responsibility through contemporary art.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Reflecting on the National Art Education Association’s Annual Conference

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Reflecting on the National Art Education Association’s Annual Conference

Art21 Senior Education Advisor and columnist Joe Fusaro summarizes the 2014 NAEA conference.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Getting Beyond Good and Bad

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Getting Beyond Good and Bad

Art21 Educator Jack Watson on teaching students to delay judgement, and the “balancing act” involved in evaluating art.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Redefining Portraiture

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Redefining Portraiture

Art21 Senior Education Advisor Joe Fusaro visits the “Eye to I” exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art with his high school class.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

What It Takes

Teaching with Contemporary Art

What It Takes

What does it take to become an artist? K-12 students respond.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Works Well With Others

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Works Well With Others

Guest blogger Jack Watson asks what would happen if art teachers stopped showing students “how to work and started modeling how to work with others?”

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Making the Circle Bigger

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Making the Circle Bigger

“After my last post I got to thinking about the kinds of networks teachers create in order to stimulate thinking and their own practice.”

Teaching with Contemporary Art

An Expanding Network

Teaching with Contemporary Art

An Expanding Network

Perhaps one of the most exciting things about our network of Art21 Educators so far has to do with those teachers who are building momentum and reaching out to other cohorts in order to collaborate. Over time, I can see this network of teachers not only influencing each others practice but also contributing to new national arts standards, helping others to understand the importance of contemporary art in the curriculum, and continuing to facilitate workshops at national and statewide conferences in order to spread the love.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

You Say You Want Evolution: Looking Backward and Forward with Portfolios

Teaching with Contemporary Art

You Say You Want Evolution: Looking Backward and Forward with Portfolios

Similar to in-progress critiques, portfolio reflections and evaluations do not have to arrive at the end of things. Utilized during the course, it allows for both looking back and looking forward.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Size Matters

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Size Matters

Teaching students about scale in a work of art is “a tricky thing for art educators.”

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Year Five of Art21 Educators: Lynn Grimes and Carol Barker

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Year Five of Art21 Educators: Lynn Grimes and Carol Barker

This week, we are pleased to spotlight the first of this year’s selected educators.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

The Changing Shape of Teamwork

Teaching with Contemporary Art

The Changing Shape of Teamwork

Back in October, 2009 I wrote a post called Teamwork which focused on the fact that, as educators, we often have to work creatively with others in order to construct meaningful, age-appropriate and fun lessons. The best lessons and units of study are often the product of people working together, including educators, community members, parents, and of course students. When I look back just four years ago I realize that my experience with collaboration has changed and evolved into other forms.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Five Years of Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Five Years of Teaching with Contemporary Art

When I go back to my first post, I had only a vague idea about how I was going to write on teaching with contemporary art.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Drawing with the Lights Out

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Drawing with the Lights Out

For the longest time I had assumed, wrongly, that students should view a series of images before trying to make sketches inspired by those images.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Aperture Makes a Great Magazine Even Better

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Aperture Makes a Great Magazine Even Better

Aperture has re-envisioned what was already a high quality magazine and made some beautiful and exciting changes.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Bringing Them Back Home

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Bringing Them Back Home

Who are some of your standout students from previous years? Where are they today?

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Zarina’s Paper Like Skin

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Zarina’s Paper Like Skin

If you teach about and with paper, don’t miss “Zarina: Paper Like Skin,” on view through April 21 at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Well Beyond Everyday

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Well Beyond Everyday

If you are interested in how everyday materials can become bizarre and (sometimes) brilliant sculpture, there are three shows ready and waiting for you in Chelsea: Nayland Blake’s What Wont Wrong at Matthew Marks; B. Wurtz’s Recent Works at Metro Pictures; and Mark Dion’s two-floor delight titled Drawings, Prints, Multiples and Sculptures at Tanya Bonakdar.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Home and (or) Away

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Home and (or) Away

Teachers can take trips with their classes to local cultural institutions but sometimes it is beneficial to plan a trip to our own classroom.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Art21 New York Close Up

Teaching with New York Close Up | Liz Magic Laser and David Brooks

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Art21 New York Close Up

Teaching with New York Close Up | Liz Magic Laser and David Brooks

Two recent New York Close Up films featuring artists Liz Magic Laser and David Brooks exemplify how the film series “can make strong interdisciplinary connections.”

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with El Anatsui

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with El Anatsui

El Anastui, one of my favorite artists from season 6, is in some ways an educator’s dream. His sculptures and installations reference history, culture and memory while simultaneously exploring the possibilities of found materials and different processes for making art. And while Anatsui is best known for his stunning, draped metal sculptures, there is more to the work with than meets the eye… and that’s quite a bit to begin with.