Teaching with Contemporary Art

Hans-Peter Feldman, "Lips". Image: qompendium.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Now See This: Teaching with Hans-Peter Feldmann and John Baldessari

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Now See This: Teaching with Hans-Peter Feldmann and John Baldessari

I have always been interested in the way certain artists, more so than others, have the ability to take us by the hand (or the eye) and walk us through works of art very deliberately. Because the “subject” is often about the whole work and not a single focal point, these artists persuade us to compare and contrast, and see the small differences as well as the commonalities.

Image: toneworld.co.uk

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Feedback Control

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Feedback Control

Giving good quality feedback can sometimes make the difference between students completing mediocre assignments and high quality works of art. This week I want to offer some suggestions for what to do when students are “done” but we know they aren’t.

Photo by Dana Swann, Nyack High School, New York.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Exploding a Theme

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Exploding a Theme

This week began with one of my advanced classes looking into the paintings of season 6 artist, Rackstraw Downes. As students start up a thematic series of their own work I wanted to see if we could “explode a theme” and “frame” Downes’ paintings in three different ways- as a topic, a theme, and as a question.

Image: newspaper.li

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Visionary Studios: Getting Started

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Visionary Studios: Getting Started

Anyone who knows me often asks about how I coordinate three jobs. I teach two high school classes and serve as department chair in my school district, work as Art21’s …

Image: creationbaumann.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Test This

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Test This

This school year has started out like none other in recent memory. The fascination to quantify practically everything in education has now moved steadily into art education, as discussed in last week’s interview with Jessica Hoffmann Davis. Here in New York and across the entire country art educators (well, all educators, actually) are being forced to administer pre-assessment tests that “establish a baseline” of “what students know and are able to do” at the beginning of a course.

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Teaching with Contemporary Art

An Interview with Jessica Hoffmann Davis, Part Two

Teaching with Contemporary Art

An Interview with Jessica Hoffmann Davis, Part Two

This week it’s my pleasure to share part two of our interview with Jessica Hoffmann Davis. Many, many thanks to those who sent along such positive e-mails and messages saying they enjoyed the first half last week. I have a feeling you will also find part two inspirational…

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Teaching with Contemporary Art

An Interview with Jessica Hoffmann Davis, Part One

Teaching with Contemporary Art

An Interview with Jessica Hoffmann Davis, Part One

This week it’s my pleasure to kick off a two-part interview with one of my favorite authors in the field of education, Jessica Hoffmann Davis.

Jessica Hoffmann Davis has published and lectured extensively on the role and promise of arts learning, drawing not only on her own and other current research, but also on personal experience as a visual artist, writer, and educator. While her popular book, Why Our Schools Need the Arts (Teachers College Press, 2008), proposes a “new and unapologetic approach to advocacy for the arts in education”, I originally came to admire her work through reading (and re-reading!) Framing Education as Art: The Octopus has a Good Day (Teachers College Press, 2005), where she challenges non-arts education to be more connected to and like the arts.

Arturo Herrera, "Untitled", 2002. Courtesy Sikkema, Jenkins & Co., New York

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Uncovering Works of Art

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Uncovering Works of Art

Monday evening I had the pleasure of participating in a dynamite online conversation with our current group of Art21 Educators. We decided, based on some requests we received recently, to spend a little time actually looking at art together.

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Teaching with Contemporary Art

Building Trust On The Way In

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Building Trust On The Way In

Starting off each new school year, one of my biggest concerns in the first few weeks is getting to know my students better in order to build trust. Without trust students will not take the risks necessary to break free from the habitual and try new things, which teaching with contemporary art will ultimately call for.

Sandy Skoglund, Cats in Paris, 1990. Image: flatrock.org.nz

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Ideas With Legs

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Ideas With Legs

Because I so love questions and quotes, and use them in my own teaching to get students thinking about process, predetermined notions about contemporary art and even prejudices, this week I wanted to offer three dynamite thoughts to get students thinking out of the gate…

David Brooks' "Desert Rooftops" in progress. Image: huffingtonpost.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

And furthermore…

Teaching with Contemporary Art

And furthermore…

One of my students read last week’s post and was interested in playing devil’s advocate by asking a few more questions about the recent New York Close Up segment, David …

David Brooks, "Desert Rooftops", 2011. Source: Art Production Fund

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with New York Close Up: David Brooks Tears The Roof Off

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with New York Close Up: David Brooks Tears The Roof Off

David Brooks Tears The Roof Off is an apt title for one of our most recent New York Close Up films this summer. Within the first 60 seconds of a …

Rineke Dijkstra, "Kolobrzeg, Poland, July 26, 1992". Source: Guggenheim.org. Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York and Paris. © Rineke Dijkstra

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Kids on the Beach?

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Kids on the Beach?

There are times when you just have to sit for a while in order to experience a show… and sometimes you get lucky and there are also benches in the picture. I got lucky on steamy summer day and both elements came together for a recent visit to Rineke Dijkstra’s retrospective at the Guggenheim, on view through October 8th.

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Teaching with Contemporary Art

Summer Talk

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Summer Talk

For as long as I can remember, interviews like those featured in Bomb, Harpers and Art in America have inspired me to reevaluate the kinds of things I assume in my own teaching and art making. Divergent perspectives, or perspectives that are close to my own but unfamiliar in some ways, have provided me with more than just stunning quotes to share with my students and ideas to meditate on in the studio. I find myself underlining, highlighting, bookmarking pages and sticking post-its all over the place (a well-loved book in my library looks like it’s been through hell and back).

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Teaching with Contemporary Art

Still Fishing

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Still Fishing

Teaching with Contemporary Art is off this week for some necessary vacation through Wednesday, August 1st. See you then!

gone-fishing

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Gone Fishing

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Gone Fishing

Teaching with Contemporary Art is off this week for some necessary vacation through Wednesday, August 1st. See you then!

Oliver Herring gets our version of TASK Unplugged started

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Reflecting on the Art21 Educators Summer Institute

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Reflecting on the Art21 Educators Summer Institute

This past Art21 Educators summer institute, which was recently held from July 2-10 here in NYC, just FLEW. Sixteen art, science, Spanish, English, special education, language arts and social studies teachers came together with us for eight days of workshops, conversations, artist visits, studio visits and museum visits in order to explore ways of utilizing contemporary art to foster student learning.

Image: resourcesystemsconsulting.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

TASK Unplugged

Teaching with Contemporary Art

TASK Unplugged

This year, to begin the fourth annual Art21 Educators Institute, we will start our nine days with Oliver Herring and TASK at Luhring Augustine Gallery in Brooklyn. In a year that has in some ways been about “restraints” inspired by Matthew Barney, we will be running TASK with three materials: pencil, paper and string.

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Teaching with Contemporary Art

A Year of Contemporary Art in (and out of) Contemporary Classrooms

Teaching with Contemporary Art

A Year of Contemporary Art in (and out of) Contemporary Classrooms

This is part two of a three part series that will share the experiences of three Art21 Education staff members (Jessica Hamlin, Joe Fusaro, and Flossie Chua) after spending a year with a group of 16 incredible teachers. Each of us has a unique perspective on the past twelve months and this series will ruminate on what it means to teach with contemporary art, specifically contextualized by our experiences this year working with the Art21 Educators program.

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Teaching with Contemporary Art

A Year of Contemporary Art in Contemporary Classrooms

Teaching with Contemporary Art

A Year of Contemporary Art in Contemporary Classrooms

Jessica Hamlin kicks off a three-part series sharing the experiences of three Art21 Education staff members who spent a year with a group of sixteen incredible teachers.

Sarah Sze, "Second Means of Egress (Orange)", 2004. Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Kickstarters, Part 1

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Kickstarters, Part 1

In each of our new season 6 episodes, not to mention throughout the entire Art21 series, there are superb quotes to share with students, colleagues and friends as kickstarters for …

Image: bigactivities.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Things To Do On The Way Out

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Things To Do On The Way Out

Inspired recently by the quirky and often humorous Draw it with your eyes closed: the art of the art assignment, edited by Paper Monument, I asked one of my advanced …

Tosa Mitsuoki, "Autumn Maples with Poem Slips", c.1675. Image: artic.edu

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Home Away

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Home Away

I wonder what it means when you feel at home somewhere else? Six years ago I spent a few weeks during the month of July at the School of the …

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Teaching with Contemporary Art

Year Four Art21 Educators | Carl Andersen and Craig Newsom

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Year Four Art21 Educators | Carl Andersen and Craig Newsom

Next up in our Year Four Art21 Educators series, we introduce Carl Anderson and Craig Newsom, who teach in Minneapolis and Carlinville, Illinois, respectively.

Richard Long, "A LIne Made By Walking", 1967. Image: nationalgalleries.org

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Long Walk

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Long Walk

I see Richard Long’s “A Line Made By Walking” as a metaphor for teaching. He makes visible his process, which is quietly relentless. He creates order through a meditative act. He provides focus. He makes us see something quite simple in a completely new way.

Ai Weiwei, Surveillance Camera, 2006. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with Change

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with Change

Last week I presented a Season 6 Access screening of the Change episode featuring Catherine Opie, El Anatsui and Ai Weiwei. During the screening I made some notes to share …

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Teaching with Contemporary Art

Test Driving the New Season 6 Educators’ Guide

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Test Driving the New Season 6 Educators’ Guide

The new Season 6 educators’ guide is now available as a quick and easy downloadable PDF. As we celebrate the broadcast of our new season, I thought this week might be a good time to highlight some of what the new guide has to offer educators interested in teaching with contemporary art.

Celebrating persistence... Image: bleachereport.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Persistence and Patience Paying Off

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Persistence and Patience Paying Off

It’s probably a good time for our semi-annual hockey post that highlights some bizarre (or perhaps, pertinent?) parallel between the New York Rangers and teaching with contemporary art. This post is devoted to persistence.

The four Marx Bros... Image: noodleinahaystack.blogspot.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with Contemporary Art Turns Four

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with Contemporary Art Turns Four

No sooner are we celebrating our upcoming fourth year with Art21 Educators as I am reminded that the Teaching with Contemporary Art column also turns four this week. Looks like I’ll be playing the fourth horse in the fourth race this weekend. Last year I celebrated by looking back over the first three years but today I’d like to just look back over the past twelve months because it’s been quite a ride. Here are some highlights since last spring.

Zoe Strauss, "Mattress Flip", 2001. Image: pdnphotooftheday.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Ten Years…… Right Between the Eyes: Zoe Strauss at the Philadelphia Museum

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Ten Years…… Right Between the Eyes: Zoe Strauss at the Philadelphia Museum

Every once in a blue moon you get surprised by an exhibit that takes your breath away. Kiki Smith did it to me in 2006 and last year Glenn Ligon …

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Teaching with Contemporary Art

Year 4 Art21 Educators Announced!

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Year 4 Art21 Educators Announced!

First of all, I cannot believe that we are approaching year FOUR of the Art21 Educators program. It seems like a very short time ago we were just hatching this …

Robert Adams, "Adams County, Colorado," 1973  Courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco and Matthew Marks Gallery, New York

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Ambiguity and Teaching with the Photography Robert Adams

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Ambiguity and Teaching with the Photography Robert Adams

Teaching with and sharing Robert Adams’ photography with students can allow for a broader understanding of what makes a great picture.

“Sky Laun­dry” by Ge­of­frey Hen­dricks   Image: dartbeat.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Art21 Meets Fluxus

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Art21 Meets Fluxus

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of working with the University of Michigan Museum of Art to present “Art21 Meets Fluxus”. Over thirty teachers from a variety of disciplines came together to learn more about working with Art21 education materials and to brainstorm ways of bringing this smart and provocative exhibition, titled Fluxus and the Essential Questions of Life, into their classrooms.

Cai Guo-Qiang, "Drawing for Transient Rainbow," 2003 Collection Museum of Modern Art, New York

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Words and Art

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Words and Art

I had no idea what to write about this week, so I asked my son, Paul…. He’s six. “Write about words and art,” he said. “Why?” I asked. “Because words …

Jimmy Fallon as Neil and Bruce as Bruce circa 1985

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Sexy and I Know It

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Sexy and I Know It

Jimmy Fallon, in case you haven’t already seen this, does one hell of a Neil Young impression.

assume vivid astro focus, "assume vivid astro focus VII", 2003. Courtesy Deitch Projects, New York

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Balancing Skill-Building and the Formation of Ideas

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Balancing Skill-Building and the Formation of Ideas

Finding a balance between teaching specific skills and techniques with teaching about how to explore process in order to form and pursue ideas is not easy. If you teach in a culture (or department, or school, or district, or university…) that emphasizes skills and techniques as the “meat” of the curriculum, it’s probably a good idea to begin talking about the kinds of skills that everyone really considers “essential”.