Teaching with Contemporary Art

All I Want For Christmas

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All I want for Christmas is to catch up.

The break between Christmas and the New Year provides teachers a time for catching up with family and friends, but also time to reassess how the year is going and plan important next steps for our classes. At this point, I’m in the midst of some great work with the students I teach, including a unit that asks students to create paintings interpreting the theme of power, one that asks students to visually define SELF in a variety of ways and a new unit called OTHERS where AP Studio Art students work one-on-one with models (inspired by an ongoing conversation I’m having with Eleanor Antin, which will be published here on the blog in January). Taking the time over the break to do some purposeful wandering is also a great way to refresh planning and get ready for the second semester. Get out to the exhibit you’ve been wanting to see. Get into the studio (or wherever you make your art) for a little extra time. Catch up on the Artforum, Bomb Magazine, Art in America, Aperture and Art on Paper issues that have been waiting in a neat pile. Make notes. Scribble ideas for big ideas and plans. Lay them all out a few days before going back to teach and begin to plug in artists, art, and maybe even plans for a field trip or two.

Happy Holidays!

Pictured above: Jenny Holzer’s “Truisms”, 1977–79
Spectacolor electronic sign. Times Square, New York, 1986.

Contributor
Joe Fusaro is the senior education advisor for Art21, and has written Art21’s “Teaching with Contemporary Art” column since 2008. He is an exhibiting artist and visual arts chair for the Nyack Public Schools in New York; and an adjunct instructor for New York University’s Graduate Program in Art and Arts Professions.

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