Creative Chemistries reflects ART21’s commitment to introducing broad public audiences to today’s visual artists—stimulating critical reflection as well as conversation and fostering new approaches for teaching and learning about the creative process. Inspired by the artists featured in ART21 films and the educators involved in the ART21 Educators program, this event included a series of exchanges, dialogues, and experiments between artists and educators that explore how we might shift the paradigm of education in and through visual art to better reflect contemporary artistic practices, motivations, and curiosities.

How can the exchange between contemporary artists and educators inspire visionary educational practices, reframe the work of artists, and further the promise of both fields? How can we ensure that art is core to education in the twenty-first century? What can artists and educators learn from each other?

We are all here to enact creative chemistries together. Sessions were organized around conversations and questions that don’t have singular answers or tidy endpoints in the hopes of initiating new ways of talking about the work of artists and the importance of contemporary artistic strategies in education. As the result of our collective contributions, we hope to inspire new ideas, generate new knowledge, spark creative possibilities, and foster dynamic networks and radical possibilities.

There are many to thank for their contributions and support toward making this event happen. These include our lead funder The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, as well as additional supporters including the National Endowment for the Arts, Brenda Potter, the Lambent Foundation, the Rolin Foundation USA, the Park Avenue Armory, Dick Blick Art Materials, and individual donors to ART21’s annual fund. We are also grateful to all of the artists, educators, public advocates, and administrators, as well as ART21 staff and interns who are bringing their ideas and expertise to this space.


About ART21 Education

The ART21 Michael C. Sandler Education Program engages audiences in dialogue about contemporary art and the artists featured in ART21 films. Programs and projects include the ART21 Educators program and learning community, interpretive resources, professional development workshops and lectures, ​participatory ​events, and screenings.

ART21’s educational initiatives are based on the organization’s belief that the art and ideas of contemporary visual artists are powerful models for creative and critical thinking across subjects and disciplines. Inspired by our films, in which contemporary artists talk about their motivations and methods, ART21 encourages educators and their students to think and work like artists using inquiry-driven, process-oriented, collaborative, and interdisciplinary strategies that reflect how artists think and make today.