Park Avenue Armory, 2015

FEBRUARY 20th–21st

Creative Chemistries was a two day public forum and experimental platform that brought artists and educators together to explore innovative practices for art and education. Involving a wide spectrum of stakeholders from diverse organizational contexts, the event served as a catalyst for shifting the paradigm of education in and through visual art.

see what happened




Social shares


from the contributors who helped facilitate Creative Chemistries

“It was the tip of the ice burg. It was wonderful to be part of a conversation with artists and educators with such a varied range of practices. The dialogues touched on key issues and opened a whole bunch of doors, but I longed for more depth and dialogue with the various participants. Longer conversations are needed.”

“The social justice conversation was SO powerful, and so real. I have been to every public art-and-social-justice conversation in Chicago in the past four years and I can say with confidence that #CreativeChem was honest and unflinching and hopeful.”

“The work of contemporary artists has an important place in education and not just arts education. And the creative thinking that artists have is an important tool to instill in students for 21st century success no matter what field they go into and also in just 21st century living.”

“The interdisciplinary potential of this experience is immense. I see this benefiting not just art educators, but those who are interested in arts integration, 21st century learning, or really any contemporary pedagogy.”

I LOVED everything about Creative Chemistries. It gave me so much to think about and motivated me to make some radical decisions.”



Screening & Discussion

A series of ART21 clips kicked off this discussion on the functions and fallibilities of art in education and education in art.

ART21’s Director of Educational Initiatives Jess Hamlin moderated the discussion by artist Luis Camnitzer, art educator Rebecca Belleville, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chairman of Education, Sandra Jackson-Dumont.

learn more

Exchanges: Art + Education

Exchange, Part 1: Advocating for a New Paradigm

In the first Exchange, the Executive Director at the Center for Arts Education, Eric Pryor sat down with artist Mark Bradford.

Exchange, Part 2: Expanding Access & Equity

In the second Exchange, photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier engaged in a spirited discussion with John Abodeely, the Deputy Director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

learn more


The Dialogues consisted of four simultaneous conversations, each designed as an open platform for a moderator, discussants and audience members to exchange ideas and develop new questions around art and education.

The four topics investigated were:

  • Twenty-First Century Citizens
  • Classroom as Community / Community as Classroom
  • The Intersections of Artistic and Educational Practices
  • Toward Equity, Access, and Social Justice
learn more


Five group experiments focusing on strategies for thinking, making, and performing through art and education were facilitated by pairs of artists and educators.

Experiments included:

  • Areas for Action: Jethro Gillespie & Oliver Herring
  • Performing Objects: Mary Mattingly & Tricia Fitzpatrick
  • Postcard Parlor Games: Don Ball & Mark Dion
  • Media Remix: Jack Watson & Mark Bradford
  • The Language Gap: Nick Kozak & Paul Pfeiffer
learn more

I expected intelligent conversation, innovation and networking to happen, but it ended up being so much more. It left us with a challenge.

Jeannine Bardo

Visual Art Teacher, St. Ephrem’s School | Brooklyn, NY