Teaching with Contemporary Art

Anything Can Happen

Image courtesy gnurf.net

Outside of Tyler Green (Modern Art Notes), I am not sure how many contemporary art-lover hockey fans are out there. There may be more, but down deep I think we’re two of just a few.

As I was watching the Devils-Rangers game last night and lamenting over the fact that my interview with Abbe Futterman wasn’t ready to post yet (Abbe gave me so many great photos that I’m still choosing and editing them), it suddenly dawned on me: being a Ranger fan is a lot like teaching with contemporary art. For example….

  • Anything can happen, and it will.
  • Being prepared is half the battle.
  • You’re often anxious.
  • People make fun of you, but once in a while you get to laugh back.
  • Practically every game (class) is exciting, no matter how much the last one sucked.
  • You’re always looking to try something a little different, a little better.
  • Carefully timed risks make all the difference.

Maybe being a Ranger fan is a lot like teaching in general?

Tune in next week for my interview with Abbe Futterman, an inspiring teacher at The Earth School in New York who creatively combines the teaching of science and art in her elementary classroom.


  1. Zeke says:


    Blake Gopnik, his brother Adam,
    All the writers here: http://www.canadianart.ca
    Most of the people who work here: http://cca.qc.ca/ and here: http://www.macm.org/ and obviously
    http://viewoncanadianart.com/ then if you looking further afield… I’ve heard that there are lots of folk interested in Russian art, and Baltic art both of which are hotbeds of hockey as well, and, and, and. If you tried just slightly and looked beyond the borders of the USA, I’m certain you could find lots more…

  2. Joe Fusaro says:

    Duly noted. Yikes.

  3. Well, People make fun of you, but once in a while you get to laugh back.

  4. Joyce Owens says:

    Taking this one to first day of Drawing I class next week. I’d add 2 words to item 2 “SHOWING UP” and being prepared is half the battle…
    This should break the ice!

  5. Zeke says:


    Apologies if my bark seemed excessively loud. It wasn’t intended to be any louder than that of one of Jeff Koons’ poodles. I promise I am house trained and don’t bite.

  6. Joe Fusaro says:

    I appreciate all the kinds words and even the ribbing. Truly!

  7. Zeke says:


    And it also looks like Christopher Knight is a hockey fan, according to this:
    http://coagula.com/2010/01/christopher-knight-la-times-has-a-mullet/ He’s got a mullet, and as far as I know everyone with a mullet is a hockey fan

  8. Catherine says:

    If only there was more checking and teeth-breaking in the art making process… Although, some students would say that crit is a similar experience!

  9. I grew up in Detroit. Mom grew up as a Ranger fan. But I was their when Brad Park was my idol and Yzerman was rookie of the year… Yes they have com a long way! I feel you and I love the blog… I paint oils on canvas aggressively with allot of colors. I co-own and co-teach with my wife at Flying Machine Art Academy here in San Francisco and yes it is hit or miss with contemporary but give them history, give them tools, give them inspiration, demos and no matter what the rest is up to them… Ultimately I just wanted to say I play hockey still once a week and still make art! Eh!

  10. Joe Fusaro says:

    You all inspire me! I’m glad Tyler and I aren’t alone.

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