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Questions for Artist-Educators


Last week’s column reflected on the different ways to pair and juxtapose Art21 photographers and/or artists that use photography as a tool in their work. Throughout the conversations that inspired my last column I also had the experience of often using and discussing the term, “artist-educator.”

The term itself implies that an artist is one thing and an artist-educator is another, not better or worse, just different, or perhaps something more? Lari Pittman, whose painting Once a Noun, Now a Verb #3 is pictured above, is an artist who also teaches at the University of California. Other Art21 artists also spend time teaching in various settings, including Kiki Smith and Mike Kelley.

There are many points of view around whether or not “those who can… can teach.” So here are two questions to stimulate thinking and discussion this week:

Can an artist effectively teach without any kind of educational background or experience?

Can someone successfully teach art, specifically art production, without being an artist themselves?

Please share your thoughts and post a comment…

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