The Art21 Blog is turning four! From our very first post in July 2007, we have grown to a site that houses 2,100 posts and essays by nearly 200 writers, read by over 880,000 fans in over 210 countries and territories. Help us celebrate!
In preparation for the site’s fourth birthday party, we are taking the next six weeks to raise funds and reach the goal of compensating all of our writers. We hope that you will be able to contribute with gifts of any amount.
How can my donation make a difference?
- 10 people giving $5 will pay for 1 blog post
- 10 people giving $10 will pay for a guest blogger’s honorarium
- 50 people giving $25 will pay for a full issue of our topical Flash Points series (3 months)
- 100 people giving $25 will pay for a year of guest blogging
- 100 people giving $25 will pay for a year of the Lives and Works in Berlin column
- 100 people giving $50 will pay for a year’s worth of Open Enrollment posts written by graduate students
- A single donation of $600 underwrites an entire column for a year!
Can my donation go to a particular column?
Yes! Whether your favorite posts are published in the Open Enrollment or Teaching with Contemporary Art series or in the columns on the art of London and Los Angeles, your contribution can be tagged for that content area. You may select a specific column upon making your donation.
Thank you for supporting Art21!
I know you receive many requests for support at this time of year. Here is the reason you should respond generously to this one – stated quite elegantly in a recent email from New York-based South African teacher, poet, and novelist Yvette Christensë:
…. the Art21 broadcasts and podcasts enable my classrooms. They help me teach students about different ways of seeing, and they help underscore for students the fact that art is inseparable from our lives, from our daily, our political, our psychic lives. Which is to say that art is inseparable from our membership in what we hope is a just society.
I founded Art21 in order to provide a forum for artists’ voices to be heard by the broadest possible audience via television, the Internet, and an assortment of publications. Since its premiere on PBS in 2001, our ongoing series Art in the Twenty-First Century has showcased 86 artists at work and in their own words, presenting the artists themselves as role models for creative thinking. In a brief ten years, Art21’s accomplishments, among others, include:
- The Peabody Award for Art in the Twenty-First Century, “a unique forum for the display, analysis and appreciation of myriad forms of contemporary visual art”
- Education and public programs that annually reach over 1.8 million people in more than 200 countries
- A growing national educator network – graduates of Art21’s Teachers’ Institute
- The Art21 Blog – to date, nearly 2,000 posts focused on contemporary art and its social impact; over 36,000 readers per month hailing from 206 countries; in 2010, a total of over half a million visitors
- A collaboration with PBS to produce an Art21-hosted live-streamed conversation about performance in contemporary art, with local, national, and international viewer participation
- William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible, an in-depth feature film on the creative process, political and artistic philosophies, and personal background of one of the most dynamic artists working today, premiered on PBS October 21, 2010
A donation to the Annual Fund – in any amount – contributes directly to Art21’s programs, ensuring that resources on contemporary art are available free around the globe.
Your gift today helps us share countless examples of why art is inseparable from the daily act of living. Thank you for your support.
With heartfelt thanks,
New Kentridge Resources for Educators
With the release of our new film, William Kentridge: Anything is Possible, those of us involved in developing the educational resources presented in tandem with our films suddenly had a new kind of resource with which to work. This hour-long study of Kentridge’s work provided an opportunity to delve deeper into the motivations, intentions, considerations, and machinations of an artist working in many media, with many collaborators, and on a wide range of visual and performance-based projects. We spent some time thinking about the most suggestive and useful ways to inspire teachers to use the film.
In addition to producing the Educators’ Guide and Screening Companion that looks at the 10 individual chapters of the film as unique opportunities for dialogue and exploration, we wanted to utilize the amazing collection of related media being presented on the companion website. We wanted to capitalize on the unique opportunity to connect video, images, and quotes with compelling questions and projects that would help teachers explore some of the themes that are central to Kentridge’s work with students.
Art21 announces our new William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible Back to School Campaign, designed to raise funds to support free resources for educators. By giving as little as $5, $15, or $25, you can support the delivery of education resources to teachers around the world as part of our eight-week focus on education programs accompanying the release of William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible, our new feature film.
Since 2001, Art21 has explored innovative ways to bring contemporary art into the classroom, providing tools and resources for educators, and public programs for students of all ages. These efforts have led to the development of numerous projects including free screenings across the U.S., a national institute for educators, professional development workshops, and the distribution of over 150,000 free Art21 Educators’ Guides to teachers worldwide.
For William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible, Art21 is developing new workshops, an Educators’ Guide and Screening Guide, as well as web-based resources including short-format online films. These resources offer support for teachers covering multiple themes and humanities subjects, including materials that focus on the literary and musical aspects of Kentridge’s work and process.
“William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible provides an incredible opportunity to delve deeper into the methods and motivations that drive artists today. The breadth of Kentridge’s artistic practice, the scope of the footage included in the film, and the complementary resources we have developed to further illuminate his work and process will support teachers working not only in the visual arts, theater and music, but also the humanities, language arts and social studies.” – Jessica Hamlin, Director of Education and Public Programs
A little goes a long way with your BACK TO SCHOOL donation.
- $5 will help cover the costs of supporting Art21′s free screening programs in cities nationwide.
- $15 will contribute to the editing and design costs of the William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible Educators’ Guide
- $25 will help send a DVD of William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible to a deserving teacher, to complement the Educators’ Guide.
Thank you for supporting Art21! The film premieres nationally on PBS October 21, 2010 at 10 p.m. ET (check local listings).
SUPPORT ART21: In the next 15 days Art21 seeks 34 new donors to add to its list of 100 x 100 Exclusive campaign contributors. With 66 donors leading the way, we are on our final push and countdown! Whether you give $1, $10 or $100, your donation goes directly to the Exclusive series. Help keep these videos coming! Our goal is to have a list of 100 supporters by July 16th! Donate now!
Episode #112: Jeff Koons describes how he likes to “communicate with other artists” by making art historical references — from Classical to Modern — in his sculptures and paintings.
Jeff Koons plucks images and objects from popular culture, framing questions about taste and pleasure. His contextual sleight-of-hand, which transforms banal items into sumptuous icons, takes on a psychological dimension through dramatic shifts in scale, spectacularly engineered surfaces, and subliminal allegories of animals, humans, and anthropomorphized objects. The subject of art history is a constant undercurrent, whether Koons elevates kitsch to the level of Classical art, produces photos in the manner of Baroque paintings, or develops public works that borrow techniques and elements of seventeenth-century French garden design. Organizing his own studio production in a manner that rivals a Renaissance workshop, Koons makes computer-assisted, handcrafted works that communicate through their meticulous attention to detail.
The 100 x 100 Exclusive campaign has only 18 days left! Since last week we’ve added five new donors, leaving us 36 spaces to fill on our 100-name donor list. You can help us out by adding your name to those below:
100 x 100 Exclusive contributors (as of Friday, June 25, 2010): Continue reading »
As you know, Art21 is dedicated to fostering creativity and innovation by engaging students, teachers, and the general public with contemporary visual art, and presenting artists as role models for creative thinking and problem-solving.
Over the past decade, Art21 has introduced millions to 86 of the most innovative artists working today through our Peabody Award-winning television series, as well as our extensive education, public programs, and ever-growing Web presence. This October alone, over 4 million people nationwide watched the primetime broadcast of our fifth season on PBS. During the same month, more than 30,000 people attended 640 Art21 preview screenings at 440 museums, schools, and other venues in all 50 U.S. states and 24 foreign countries.
A gift today will help to underwrite:
- Art21 Educators, a year-long curriculum development and teacher training program, currently in the midst of its first year;
- Art:21–Exclusives (our short-format web video series), educational programs, and expanded content on the newly launched Art21.org site;
- A Fall 2010 Art21 hour-long film for PBS national primetime broadcast: William Kentridge: Anything is Possible, featuring Kentridge’s staging of the Shostakovich opera The Nose at the Metropolitan Opera;
- Filming for Season 6 of Art:21, beginning in early 2010.
Art21’s ability to provide free programs and resources to students, educators, and audiences around the world depends on the support of individuals like you. Please join us in introducing contemporary art to audiences across the country—and around the world—by making a contribution to the 2009 Annual Fund today.
With many thanks in advance for your continued support,
Season 4 artist Laurie Simmons recently sat down with Art21′s Executive Director Susan Sollins to uncover the story of how Art21 began and the experience of filming 86 of today’s most thought-provoking artists.
LAURIE SIMMONS: I am Laurie Simmons with Founder and Executive Director of Art21, Susan Sollins. It is Summer 2009.
SUSAN SOLLINS: You are such a pro.
LS: Well, you trained me, right?
After 20 years of working with art and artists, what made you think artists themselves would make for interesting TV?
SS: In general, when artists are interviewed in public settings or on film, I would find the result stiff, academic, or too theoretical. Sometimes these situations are more about the interviewer than the artist. I always had all sorts of questions that were never asked—or answered—unless I happened to be talking with an artist directly—like with you, Laurie, right now. This is a moment when things can be revealed. Most people don’t get a chance to talk with artists. You might see the work, but you’re remote from the person. I wanted to bring these experiences together. I thought it could be possible to make something for television that would provide people with a more complete understanding of artists’ methods and thinking.
LS: Well, toss me a question, one of those burning questions you wanted to ask with this idea of revealing something.
SS: Well, something simple—are you interested in beauty? Is beauty important to you? Do you ever think about or play with beauty? Is it a factor in what you do? For years beauty is a topic that has not been talked about. What is beauty for you—if it interests you at all? And what is beauty today?
LS: And yet that’s just a fraction of the way that you divided up the segments of Art21 series and the subjects that you’ve touched on. Beauty is…
SS: Well, it’s a subtext.
LS: A subtext, one of the many.
SS: I’m interested in the real voice of the artist. I want the artists to tell their stories.
LS: So you’re looking for the real story?
SS: I am looking for the real story.
LS: Walk me through the steps toward the creation of Art21.
Wow! We can’t believe Season 5 of Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century is over. Hopefully you joined the over 4 million viewers who watched Season 5 on PBS during October, or were able to go to one of the more than 600 screenings nation-wide and in 24 foreign countries as part of Art21 Access ’09. Additional thousands followed Art21 on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms to catch all the Season 5 news.
You can also join the many others who are recognizing this moment in Art21’s history by making a donation today.
Please consider supporting Art21 with a donation of as little as $5 in honor of our fifth season. Your contribution would help underwrite Art21’s activities and programs in the coming year.
Thank you for supporting Art21 and for watching Season 5!
With our blog’s redesign in February, we hoped to see the site take off this year with a slew of new features. Following are some of our favorites, all of which are here to stay.
NEW WRITERS | Trong Gia Nguyen and Nicole Caruth kept our calendars full every week with up-to-the-minute posts on every exhibition, prize, talk, and happening involving our featured artists. We soon brought additional writers into the mix, including Seth Curcio and Hrag Vartanian. Check out: Isaac and Ellen, I Left My Heart in New Orleans, Iceland of Fire, Water & Light, Pound for Pound, Inspired to Dance by Kara Walker
NEW WEEKLY COLUMNS | Letter from London – museum educator, schoolteacher, art critic, and man about town Ben Street brightened our Monday mornings and always inspired lots of viewer comments with his entertaining and perceptive column about the London art scene, from Protest Too Much to The Turbine Hall.
Teaching with Contemporary Art – Senior Education Advisor Joe Fusaro chronicles his experiences teaching contemporary art to high school students every Wednesday. In 2009, we’ll see even more of our blog real estate dedicated to contemporary art education. Recurrent themes of “finding a balance” (parts 1 and 2) and sketchbooking got the conversation going.
THE GUEST BLOG | One of our biggest new features this year. Read all about our twenty-four writers-in-residence at http://blog.art21.org/2008/12/22/art21-guest-blog-year-1/
Must-read posts: Bedding Down at the Guggenheim, A Cult, Some Vegans, A Ballet, Oh My!, CarbSmart, Bantamweight Flickr Battle!
NEW VIDEO | You’ve probably noticed by now that Art21 produces more video than our PBS series Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century. Now you can catch new exclusive short videos every Thursday. Find them all here. Top viewed videos: Elegy for Robert Rauschenberg, Kerry James Marshall | “Black Romantic”, Gabriel Orozco | On Photography
FLASH POINTS | Flash Points is an extended conversation about various charged topics in contemporary art. What better way to kick things off than with the art of controversy? Guest writers Jennifer Doyle, Catherine Wagley, and C-Monster, along with our regular bloggers, got things hopping. Check out Doyle’s thoughtful series of posts on difficulty and artists as “blood criminals” here.
MEL CHIN’S FUNDRED DOLLAR BILL PROJECT | We’ve worked with Season 1 artist Mel Chin for years, from 2004’s S.O.S.: Moment video to his ongoing Fundred Dollar Bill/Paydirt project. Earlier this year, we made a series of videos with Mel, regularly following his progress. Check out “Fundred” at George Jackson Academy and Paydirt, for starters.
HELP MAKE THIS ALL POSSIBLE! | While we wish it did, our blog does not run on sheer talent alone. Help us to continue this work and grow the site with a 100% tax-deductible gift to the Art21 Annual Fund.
WE WANT YOUR FEEDBACK | What would you like to see on the Art21 Blog in 2009? Let us know by leaving a comment below. Interested in joining our team as a guest blogger? Email a letter of interest, 2 writing samples, and relevant links by January 16, 2009 to blog [at] art21 [dot] org.