Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with Film, Teaching with Objects

Janine Antoni, "Saddle", 2000

Janine Antoni, "Saddle," 2000

Last week, it was my pleasure to begin working with the CCS Bard Hessel Museum at Bard College to initiate a three-part workshop series for teachers titled, Teaching and Learning with Contemporary Art. We got off to a fantastic start, beginning with some wonderful discussion about what contemporary art is (and can be), as well as the roles contemporary artists play, the skills they possess, and the roles viewers play interacting with today’s art. We then moved into how teachers can utilize film in the classroom meaningfully, incorporating the Art21 Educator’s Guide and Janine Antoni’s segment from Season 2 as an example. Teachers had a chance to participate in discussions that demonstrated how to build pre- and post-viewing questions into their lessons, as well as how active viewing (vs. passive watching) plays a part in successfully integrating film.

After a short break, we then had the opportunity to transition into the museum and actually work with one of the objects in the Antoni segment, Saddle. Participants were able to juxtapose how their reaction to the work on film was different to their reaction in person. Sitting around the sculpture and taking the time to not just look, but really see it from a variety of perspectives and hear different viewpoints led to a deeper understanding of the work. Before returning to the classroom where our workshop started, we engaged in a partnered activity and discussion, focusing on ways to actively involve students in meaningful conversation during gallery and museum visits.

Teachers discussing Janine Antoni's work on March 25 at CCS Bard

Teachers discussing Janine Antoni's work on March 25 at CCS Bard

Over the next two months,  teachers will continue to be engaged in specific workshops focusing on ways to explore contemporary art, strategies for utilizing web and video content in the classroom, and options for creating content-driven curricula that addresses big ideas and themes.

Stay tuned for further reports on this exciting series!

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.
  1. Nate Morgan says:

    This was terrific Joe!!! I had a lot of fun with the other teachers and the Hessel Museum is a great space. I am looking forward to the next meeting!!

    Reply

  2. Stephen Rose says:

    Are these workshops still open?

    Reply

    Joe Fusaro Reply:

    Stephen and Nate,

    This series got off to a fantastic start. Thanks, Nate!

    Stephen, I am sorry to say that the workshops are offered as a series, but I would be in touch with Bard about the possibility of the school offering the same series next year. Thank you for your interest. You may also contact me at Art21 (joe@art21.org) about other professional development offerings.

    Reply

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