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Best of the Art21 Blog, 2008 edition

With our blog’s redesign in February, we hoped to see the site take off this year with a slew of new features. Following are some of our favorites, all of which are here to stay.

NEW WRITERS | Trong Gia Nguyen and Nicole Caruth kept our calendars full every week with up-to-the-minute posts on every exhibition, prize, talk, and happening involving our featured artists. We soon brought additional writers into the mix, including Seth Curcio and Hrag Vartanian. Check out: Isaac and Ellen, I Left My Heart in New Orleans, Iceland of Fire, Water & Light, Pound for Pound, Inspired to Dance by Kara Walker

NEW WEEKLY COLUMNS | Letter from London – museum educator, schoolteacher, art critic, and man about town Ben Street brightened our Monday mornings and always inspired lots of viewer comments with his entertaining and perceptive column about the London art scene, from Protest Too Much to The Turbine Hall.

Teaching with Contemporary Art – Senior Education Advisor Joe Fusaro chronicles his experiences teaching contemporary art to high school students every Wednesday. In 2009, we’ll see even more of our blog real estate dedicated to contemporary art education. Recurrent themes of “finding a balance” (parts 1 and 2) and sketchbooking got the conversation going.

THE GUEST BLOG | One of our biggest new features this year. Read all about our twenty-four writers-in-residence at
Must-read posts: Bedding Down at the Guggenheim, A Cult, Some Vegans, A Ballet, Oh My!, CarbSmart, Bantamweight Flickr Battle!

NEW VIDEO | You’ve probably noticed by now that Art21 produces more video than our PBS series Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century. Now you can catch new exclusive short videos every Thursday. Find them all here. Top viewed videos: Elegy for Robert Rauschenberg, Kerry James Marshall | “Black Romantic”, Gabriel Orozco | On Photography

FLASH POINTS | Flash Points is an extended conversation about various charged topics in contemporary art. What better way to kick things off than with the art of controversy? Guest writers Jennifer Doyle, Catherine Wagley, and C-Monster, along with our regular bloggers, got things hopping. Check out Doyle’s thoughtful series of posts on difficulty and artists as “blood criminals” here.

MEL CHIN’S FUNDRED DOLLAR BILL PROJECT | We’ve worked with Season 1 artist Mel Chin for years, from 2004’s S.O.S.: Moment video to his ongoing Fundred Dollar Bill/Paydirt project. Earlier this year, we made a series of videos with Mel, regularly following his progress. Check out “Fundred” at George Jackson Academy and Paydirt, for starters.

HELP MAKE THIS ALL POSSIBLE! | While we wish it did, our blog does not run on sheer talent alone. Help us to continue this work and grow the site with a 100% tax-deductible gift to the Art21 Annual Fund.

WE WANT YOUR FEEDBACK | What would you like to see on the Art21 Blog in 2009? Let us know by leaving a comment below. Interested in joining our team as a guest blogger? Email a letter of interest, 2 writing samples, and relevant links by January 16, 2009 to blog [at] art21 [dot] org.

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