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From the Executive Director: Dispatches from Digital

I’m taking a break from this month’s newsletter, but am happy to welcome our director of digital, Jonathan Munar, to pen this month’s edition. —Tina

Art saves lives. Many non-believers all too readily put on the gloves to challenge this notion. Sure, you can’t resuscitate someone by administering a shocking dose of Ofili. But there are deep, life changing connections to be made through and with art. I see this everyday from the front lines of Art21’s crusades. Let me step back a moment.

We’ve met before. In your Instagram feeds. Your Twitter timelines. Your (many!) visits to Art21.org. This very newsletter. If you’ve engaged with Art21 on a digital space, then you are familiar with my team’s work. Year round, Art21 is digital. We keep our digital galleries well stocked with fresh work, and we bring the good word of today’s great artists to spaces across the digital spectrum.

It sometimes feels like a thankless pursuit. But, if the digital team’s hand is invisible to you en route to making connections with the artists in our films, then I take that as a job well done.

There’s an incredible satisfaction in seeing our films spread across social media. Or, to see an artist quote make its way from film to fan art.

It is our duty to inspire you wherever you happen to be seeking inspiration. If even a hint of “man, I gotta make something” comes over you after encountering Art21 on digital, then we’ll chalk that up as a success.

That said, we are in the midst of a six-film wave of premieres that continues today with a new release featuring Stephanie Syjuco. In it, we see Syjuco draw both practical and topical connections between gardening and her studio practice. “Nothing is really a waste of time,” she says, referencing her activities both in and out of the studio. Amen.

How do extracurricular activities feed your professional practice? Please share your thoughts with us at [email protected] and we’ll share highlights next month.

With that, I am signing off from my guest writer duties. But don’t worry, I’ll still be around…in the digital world!

Jonathan Munar
Director of Digital
October 2, 2019

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Stephanie Syjuco

An artist walks into a bar (redux)

We are absolutely floored by the response to our latest New York Close Up film featuring Aki Sasamoto. The style of the film is a little different for us, blending documentary and fiction. Mixed with the artist’s own playful sensibilities, it all turned out to be a winning combination.

The viewership boom started with a Vimeo staff pick. Then continued with an actual boom…that is, on Booooooom TV. And then just today, with a pick by the team at Nowness.

We are so pleased that so many people are making a connection with the artist’s work through this film.

ICYMI, An Artist Walks into a Bar

Horror, contemporary art, and film with Dan Herschlein

October gets us feeling a little spooky. Later this month, we’re bringing the horror to the big screen.

If you’re in NYC on October 28, join us for a special screening and conversation featuring artist Dan Herschlein. The artist put together a selection of films exploring the intersection of contemporary art, film, and horror. He’ll also be joined by art historian and horror film expert, Chad Laird. Should be a real…treat!

Admission is free, but advance registration is required.

Watch these films, then visit the shows

Ah, fall is here! We didn’t quite have fall-like weather in NYC today, but I can comfortably say that the fall exhibition season is nice and healthy nationwide.

In our weekly collaboration with artnet News, we’ve gathered some highlights for you, including: a collection of…er, collections…by Theaster Gates at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; a powerful exhibition of photographs by LaToya Ruby Frazier at the Renaissance Society in Chicago; a pair of exhibitions by Jacolby Satterwhite at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn and the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia; and the largest retrospective to date of work by Lari Pittman at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

Thank you for supporting our work

As a non-profit organization, we rely on the generosity of viewers like you to help us continue to produce engaging films and educational resources on contemporary artists and art. If you’ve felt inspired by Art21 films, please consider donating today. Your gift will ensure the stories, art, and ideas of the most innovative artists of our time continue to inspire audiences around the world. Thank you for supporting our work.