Teaching with Contemporary Art

Art-21-6

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Lingering

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Lingering

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about lingering with images and ways I can get my students to stay with works of art long enough to see and investigate what …

The application window for Art21 Educators is now OPEN

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Join Us for Year Five of Art21 Educators

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Join Us for Year Five of Art21 Educators

Are you a teacher interested in learning more about utilizing contemporary art in your classroom? Does spending a week in New York City this summer collaborating with other educators and …

Art21 season 6 educator guide

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Questions, Questions, Questions

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Questions, Questions, Questions

During a recent conversation I was asked, “Where do you come up with the questions featured in the Art21 educator guides?” I didn’t know what to say. The “Before Viewing” …

Einstein courtesy of hetemeel.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Creative Killing?

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Creative Killing?

While the NRA is quick to blame video games for violent behavior because they would much rather talk about something else besides banning assault weapons and ammunition (thank you, Governor Cuomo), I think that organizations like the International Game Developers Association could have a dramatic impact on the future of video games worldwide if the “creative” end of gaming wasn’t so consistently connected to killing people on a video screen.

A scene from My Name is Asher Lev with Ari Brand and Mark Nelson. Image: broadway.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

When Works of Literature Make The Leap

Teaching with Contemporary Art

When Works of Literature Make The Leap

Contemporary artists and performers offer pathways into literature for the hard-to-inspire. Artists such as Glenn Ligon, Jenny Holzer, and even performances like the off-Broadway production of My Name is Asher Lev offer students ways to get inspired and involved with literature from different starting points.

Xbox image: 360.mmgn.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

More Moments, More Dialogue

Teaching with Contemporary Art

More Moments, More Dialogue

This week I want to follow up on the two most recent posts, Speak About What’s Unspeakable and Teachable Moments in 2012, because there are some loose ends to attend to.

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Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teachable Moments in 2012

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teachable Moments in 2012

Before we continue talking about last week’s “Speak About What’s Unspeakable,” I thought it might be good idea to end the year on a constructive note by looking back at some of the most teachable moments- events, exhibits, chance happenings and other opportunities – that made for uncanny entry points in the classroom…

Painting by Samantha Clowes, Nyack High School, NY 2011

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Speak About What’s Unspeakable

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Speak About What’s Unspeakable

In the contemporary art classroom, perhaps there is an opening to deconstruct what’s really behind our love of guns, the obsession with “killing”, and “hunting down” characters in things like video games? Can we make spaces where these things are discussed and responses are shared in order to educate a broader audience that really affects change?

potions

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with Lynda Benglis in the Elementary Classroom

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with Lynda Benglis in the Elementary Classroom

Sharing contemporary art is a wonderful way to generate questions and discussions about art, and in turn, motivate young artists to take risks with their own art making.

MJcabinet

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Guest Bloggers This Week: Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Guest Bloggers This Week: Teaching with Contemporary Art

This week I am pleased to say that the Teaching with Contemporary Art column some guest bloggers…
Julia CopperSmith and Maureen Hergott are both alumni of the Art21 Educators program and teach elementary art education at Scott and Westdale Elementary Schools in Melrose Park and Northlake near Chicago. Their work has been inspiring to all of us here at Art21 for the past two years, especially since they are finding ways to work with contemporary art and engage some very young students in the process.

Check out samizdat drafting company’s Fuguestate, a project that’s a brilliant introduction to the math behind music theory through a simple visualization of  Bach’s “Little Fugue” on a player piano type roll. This project takes a complex amount of data and makes it simple and beautiful – and by the time you’ve finished watching the animation, you’ll have a much better idea of how for Bach, math is music. Image: channingrodman.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Combining (Complicating?) Ideas

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Combining (Complicating?) Ideas

Years ago I had a professor who was a bit cruel when it came to giving feedback. But one piece of feedback he gave me has influenced my teaching, especially in units like this one. He once said, exasperated over my inability to get to the next step on a piece, “Joe, you call these ideas?? Put them together and make one good one!”
In the spirit of this advice which has resonated with me for years I have asked my own students to begin combining ideas in order to more fully explore and depict the theme and subject they have chosen.

Ed Rischa, "The Act of Letting a Person Into Your Home", 1983. Image: whitney.org

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Reflecting on Visual Conversations

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Reflecting on Visual Conversations

In my previous post two weeks ago I said that I was interested in encouraging students to draw relationships between works of art and to think about how context affects what we see. Can works of art “speak” to the viewer or have “conversations” with other works? If so, how? Today was the day, after a long Thanksgiving weekend, for the group to share works in progress and get some feedback from one another.

Spotlight

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Spotlight Conversations

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Spotlight Conversations

During Art21’s yearlong professional development initiative, Art21 Educators, we ask that teachers coordinate a one-on-one or group conversation that allows them to reflect on and explore major successes and challenges …

Installation view, Visual Conversations at the Fisher Landau Center for Art.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Getting Set for Visual Conversations

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Getting Set for Visual Conversations

If you haven’t visited already, the Fisher Landau Center for Art is a wonderful oasis to add to the list of places you can see exciting work in Long Island City. This week, I am taking one of my classes to visit the current show, Visual Conversations. Through the visit I am interested in encouraging my students to draw relationships between works of art and to think about how context affects how we perceive what we see.

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.

pressPLAY

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.

art21-educators-lead

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.

art21-educators-imageLORES

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 …