Articles by Joe Fusaro

Tim Hawkinson, "Sherpa". Image: booooooom.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Transformation and Distortion

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Transformation and Distortion

Two of my classes begin a new unit where students are asked to work with the themes of distortion and transformation. Especially for teens, the idea of transformation- of the self, objects, symbols, even the meaning of words- is an attractive proposal. Add the multiple implications associated with distortion and it becomes the kind of field day you really want in a classroom.

Students in Maureen Hergott's class transform the space

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with Contemporary Art in the Elementary Classroom

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with Contemporary Art in the Elementary Classroom

Julia CopperSmith and Maureen Hergott made some important points in last week’s interview and this week we take the opportunity to point out two of them regarding how teachers construct elementary art-making experiences and use documentation to influence their work.

Julia and Maureen in the classroom

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Talking with Art21 Educators: Julia CopperSmith and Maureen Hergott

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Talking with Art21 Educators: Julia CopperSmith and Maureen Hergott

This week I want to share a conversation that took place between myself and two of our current, amazing Art21 Educators. Julia CopperSmith and Maureen Hergott teach elementary art education for the Scott and Westdale Elementary Schools in Melrose Park near Chicago. Their work has been inspiring to all of us here at Art21, especially since they are finding ways to work with contemporary art and engage some very young students in the process.

Ai Weiwei, "Sunflower Seeds", 2010 installation view. Image: dezeen.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Join Us

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Join Us

Besides kicking off season 6 of Art in the Twenty-First Century in just a few months, Art21 Educators is gearing up for year 4, which starts this July in New York City.

Paul McCarthy, "White Snow and Dopey, Wood", 2011. Image: artobserved.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Working with Memory

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Working with Memory

Working with memory presents challenges, like many themes and ideas we choose to teach with, that are terribly difficult to get rolling without an organized, broad and juicy introduction. This week’s column explores how looking back can help with planning forward for better introductions to thematic units.

Katharina Grosse, installation view of One Floor Up More Highly at Mass MoCA. Image: ContemporaryArtDaily.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Under the Radar: Best of 2011, Part 2

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Under the Radar: Best of 2011, Part 2

Following up on last week’s post, here are a few more shows that flew under the radar in 2011, including Dana Schutz at the Neuberger and Katharina Grosse at Mass MoCA.

George Condo, "Jesus", 2002. Collection of Nancy and Robert Magoon.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Under the Radar: Best of 2011

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Under the Radar: Best of 2011

Some excellent shows from 2011 flew a little under the radar, even a few housed in major museums, and they had plenty to offer when it comes to inspiring students and teachers. Part 1 of 2.

This work is about the way light shapes things when “cut” by physical obstructions.- Isadora Rosenbloom

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Getting Schooled at Hopper House

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Getting Schooled at Hopper House

A few weeks ago I wrote a post (public therapy, actually) about my anxiety as I organized a student exhibit at Hopper House here in New York. The seventeen artists …

Pierre Huyghe, "Timekeeper", 1999   image courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery

Teaching with Contemporary Art

But Wait, There’s More

Teaching with Contemporary Art

But Wait, There’s More

Feeling a little under the weather this week, so as a pick-me-up I decided to write about some of the phenomenal stuff happening at Art21. Kind of like an education …

Jeff Koons, "Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (Two Dr J Silver Series, Spalding NBA Tip-Off)", 1985   Image: themainevent.us

Teaching with Contemporary Art

How Much Is That?

Teaching with Contemporary Art

How Much Is That?

“How much is that?” or “How much is that worth?” are popular questions students ask, especially when teaching with contemporary art. Often I find myself embarrassed having to admit that …

Ai Weiwei, "Study of Perspective- White House", 1999.  Source: artlog.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Occupy This

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Occupy This

Yinka Shonibare MBE says in his season 5 segment that he would like to have the “trappings of wealth” himself, even though he may be criticizing it. And being made …

Johnny Hardstaff, "Sketchbook 3, Page 23". Image: johnnyhardstaff.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Taking Note

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Taking Note

This week I want to share what seems like a simple idea… While many of us insist that students keep sketchbooks or journals in our classes, it isn’t as popular …

Edward Hopper, "New York Movie", 1939   Image: heaviestcorner.org

Teaching with Contemporary Art

It’s OK to Make Art…

Teaching with Contemporary Art

It’s OK to Make Art…

It’s amazing… After over twenty years teaching I still get nervous. And I’m not thinking about the first day of classes (everyone gets nervous then), I was actually thinking about …

Drawing for "Neukom Vivarium," 2006

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Thinking About Interdisciplinary Teaching with Mark Dion’s Neukom Vivarium

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Thinking About Interdisciplinary Teaching with Mark Dion’s Neukom Vivarium

This past spring at the National Art Education Association’s annual conference in Seattle, Art21 brought Mark Dion not only as a keynote speaker, but also to explore his work and …

Blood cells. Image: mrbarlow.files.wordpress.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Interdisciplinary Is Not a One-Way Street

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Interdisciplinary Is Not a One-Way Street

What makes a good interdisciplinary lesson?

ferris-portrait-540x303

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with New York Close Up: Keltie Ferris Spray Paints in Solitude

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with New York Close Up: Keltie Ferris Spray Paints in Solitude

While watching Keltie Ferris Spray Paints in Solitude, I kept wondering to myself… What can students and teachers learn from engaging with this five minutes of film? I wanted a …

John Chamberlain, "King King Minor", 1982   Image: artinfo.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Getting Set for PS1′s “September 11″

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Getting Set for PS1′s “September 11″

In two weeks I am taking a group of students to visit the September 11 exhibition at PS1. Most of the high school students in these two classes have some …

Jenny Saville: Continuum, installation view at Gagosian Gallery

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Whiplash

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Whiplash

Last week, I had the displeasure of experiencing exhibition whiplash at Gagosian Gallery on Madison Avenue. On one side of the building, “Continuum”- an exquisite show by Jenny Saville and …

Amy Sillman, Untitled (object on table), 2007; courtesy the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Taking the Long Way Home: Working With a Theme in a Series

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Taking the Long Way Home: Working With a Theme in a Series

One of the students in my advanced classes is taking on the theme of “looking vs. seeing” for her first semester portfolio. She wants to explore the things people tend …

Illustration by Deirdre O'Sullivan

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Document.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Document.

Do yourself a big favor by documenting your work with students.

Ambrose at work...

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Joy and Revolution: Talking with Adam Weiler of Ambrose, Part 2

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Joy and Revolution: Talking with Adam Weiler of Ambrose, Part 2

This week’s column follows up on last week’s post and features part two of my interview with Adam Weiler of Ambrose, an atypical after school club in Holland, Michigan. If …

Ambrose-Script1

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Joy and Revolution: Talking with Adam Weiler of Ambrose

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Joy and Revolution: Talking with Adam Weiler of Ambrose

If you’re not familiar with Ambrose, well…. you should be. A few months ago on a trip to work with teachers at the Holland Area Arts Council in Michigan I …

A shot of the studio that I hope will still be there when we return

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Just When We Think It’s Safe…

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Just When We Think It’s Safe…

For the last seven years I have abandoned (mostly) Friday afternoon happy hours in favor of driving north and spending the late afternoons and nights in my studio. For anywhere …

Lucas Blalock, untitled (crystalline screw), 2009

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with New York Close Up: Lucas Blalock’s 99¢ Store Still Lifes

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with New York Close Up: Lucas Blalock’s 99¢ Store Still Lifes

Lucas Blalock’s only plan is to work… preferably in the evenings. He deals with a set of parameters that his tools provide and brings things he purchases at local discount …

Image: saintsbaseball.org

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Getting Around

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Getting Around

Contemporary art education often asks teachers to be in many places and stages at once. This is just part of the deal if you’re going to teach with and about …

Nancy Grossman, "T.Y.V.L.", 1970  Image: PS1.org

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Three Ways of Seeing

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Three Ways of Seeing

Nancy Grossman, “T.Y.V.L.”, 1970 Image: PS1.org On a recent trip to PS1, I had the unique opportunity to compare a few different approaches to visiting (and hopefully, seeing) exhibitions. Back …

Laurel Nakadate's "Only the Lonely"- installation view. Image: ps1.org

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Fruits of Summer

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Fruits of Summer

Summer offers fantastic opportunities for educators of all kinds to catch interesting group shows and special exhibitions that are happening before we start up the engines again in the fall. …

Alias Restaurant at the corner of Clinton and Rivington

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Outside Alias

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Outside Alias

On July 13th, after a full week of the Art21 Educators summer institute, I took the opportunity to interview teachers about their experiences attending workshops, meeting Art21 artists, and beginning …

James Rees creates a tape drawing during the opening TASK event

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Looking Back on an Inspiring Art21 Educators Institute

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Looking Back on an Inspiring Art21 Educators Institute

From July 6th through the 13th Art21 hosted our third annual Art21 Educators summer institute, which kicks off a year-long professional development initiative between the organization and 16 teachers from …

Art21 Educators TASK 7-11

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Art21 Educators in Full Swing

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Art21 Educators in Full Swing

Art21 Educators has been in full swing over the past week with professional development workshops, curriculum planning, artist talks, studio visits, special events, museum programs and lots of soul-searching. Tune …

Participants at Ursula von Rydingsvard's studio last summer

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Art21 Educators: Year 3!

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Art21 Educators: Year 3!

We are very, very excited to be starting up YEAR 3 of Art21 Educators today. Sixteen teachers from a variety of disciplines and from across the country will join us …

Anthony Hernandez, from "Landscapes for the Homeless". Image: cgrimes-news.blogspot.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching About Poverty and Homelessness

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching About Poverty and Homelessness

This past Saturday, New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow wrote an op-ed piece called Them That’s Not Shall Lose which highlighted, as James Baldwin put it, how expensive it …

Atsuko Tanaka (1932-2005), "Round on Sand", 1968

Teaching with Contemporary Art

It’s a Wrap: Looking Backward and Thinking Forward

Teaching with Contemporary Art

It’s a Wrap: Looking Backward and Thinking Forward

Atsuko Tanaka (1932-2005), “Round on Sand”, 1968 Right around this time I usually write a post that relates to things we as art educators often think about at the end …

Carrie Mae Weems, "The Kitchen Table Series", 1990

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Using Art21 Video Exclusives

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Using Art21 Video Exclusives

If you follow the Art21 blog and work with Art21 materials you know full well there are plenty of opportunities to see and share a huge variety of video about …

William Kentridge, "Felix in Exile," 1994. Production stills; 35mm animated film transferred to video. Copyright and courtesy of William Kentridge.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Reflecting on Teaching with William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Reflecting on Teaching with William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible

This past Saturday I sat down with a small group of wonderful teachers at the Jacob Burns Film Center’s Media Arts Lab for the second part of a two-part workshop …

Doug and Mike Starn, "Big Bambú" (detail). Image: cubeme.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Installation in Installments

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Installation in Installments

Each year the graduates and upperclassmen I work with look forward to their final project as a way of leaving a stamp on the school itself. Students are asked to …