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Some of us feel a surge of creativity at the moment. Others have entered a state of pure ennui.
I’ve observed that the artists with whom we collaborate at Art21 have a range of responses to this polarizing time. The need to do something is as real as the need to not do something. For some of us, it’s enough to just be.
I am reminded that none of us in the cultural sphere would have purpose without the work of artists. We at Art21 give a platform to artists and their ideas. We need these voices now, and for reasons well known, they are in peril.
Ironically, we are inundated with quick options for distraction—and the displacement from the streets have caused a great noise across digital spaces. At Art21, we are fortunate that digital has long been the bedrock of our programming. We recognize that our audiences’ needs at this moment are quite different—amplified on the one hand, attenuated at the other—yet we remain consistent in our program.
An upturned world presents real dilemmas at the same time that it offers distinct opportunities. One particular opportunity that we see in clear view is one that has always been an Art21 guidepost: to listen.
We encourage you, right now and always, to listen to an artist. We have many options for that, delivered in countless forms, but also respect that you might be enjoying the silence, too.
Executive Director and Chief Curator
April 1, 2020
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When do you feel the most like you?
Through a recent interview conducted during the artist’s Tulsa Artist Fellowship, Kalup Linzy recalls his journey towards finding freedom in character.
Link roundup of artist projects
Though there is an incredible volume of new and exciting digital content competing for our attention, we are glad to see so many Art21-featured artists doing their part to surround us with their creativity during these times.
Here are a few projects on our radars:
- Stephanie Syjuco’s hand-sewn face masks distributed to frontline workers and caregivers
- Chris Ware’s recent comic and cover for the The New Yorker
- The online exhibition, Art at a Time Like This, featuring work by Ai Weiwei, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Jacolby Satterwhite, and Meriem Bennani, among others
- Videos from Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley, free to view in full
- Kalup Linzy’s weekly rollout of full videos from throughout his career
Staff picks for things to watch, read, and hear
Listen: Love Will Find A Way Home by PAT (Jacolby Satterwhite and Nick Weiss)
Read: Shrill by Lindy West
Shared by Lauren Barnett, Director of Development; Available now from your retailer of choice
Watch: Blast from the Past
Shared by Danielle Brock, Assistant Curator; Available now from your retailer of choice
Watch/Listen: Sleaford Mods perform “Jobseeker” on Later… with Jools Holland
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.