SchoolArts Magazine

April 2016

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 7 of 58

Visit Follow me on O ne of the most rewarding parts of being the editor of SchoolArts is that I am constantly learning—learning from art teachers around the globe, learning their ideas and best practices, and learning how they teach about art and artists, especially from a contemporary perspective. W hy, you may ask, should we include con- temporary art in schools? As art reflects the times in which it was created, contemporary art may not always be "attractive" in a conven- tional sense, but it expresses current events, ideas, issues, and concerns of present-day life that are likely to engage students. Contempo- rary art may also use emerging technologies that reflect students' interests. T he Web has been extremely useful regarding contemporary art, providing immediate access to contemporary museum and gallery exhibi- tions, artists' personal websites, videos, inter- views, and more. Artists' personal websites also open the possibility of dialogue between artists and students. H ow do you go about finding contemporary artists to share with students? How do you choose them? Do you only share work that you like? I encourage you to go outside your comfort zone; you are likely to learn just as much as—or even more than—your students. W hat are some valuable resources for con- temporary art? Every month SchoolArts has a Looking and Learning feature that is most often based on contemporary art and artists, and includes beginning, intermediate, and advanced activities for students. One of the best resources for contemporary art is Art:21 from PBS ( Art:21 is a nonprofit organization dedicated to engaging audiences with contemporary visual art, inspiring creative thinking, and educating students of all ages about today's artists. One of its most useful features is its artist video series, which features conversations with contemporary artists. (Pre - screen these before sharing them with students.) Websites, blogs, social media pages, and the like abound for contemporary art and ideas. I personally follow Colossal (, My Modern Metropolis (, Artsy (, ArtFix (, and Juxtapoz ( There are plenty of others to discover. E D I T O R ' S L E T T E R Have you had success introducing contem- porary art to your students? Please share your experience with SchoolArts for possible future publication. You can find our writer's guidelines at Nancy at the world-renowned contemporary art exhibition, the Venice Biennale. This photo was taken in 2011 at the American Pavilion. Nancy is observing a functional pipe organ ATM that plays music while it dispenses money, which was created by Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla.

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