Playlists

Art21 Educator Ty Talbot created a playlist of films that explore notions of love and loss for his high school classroom.

Teaching with Love and Loss

“The relationship doesn’t really end; it just changes,” says Bryan Zanisnik, as he recalls his mother’s passing and the connection he still feels with her. For millennia, artists have explored notions of love and loss, and contemporary artists translate experiences of human connection through complex personal and social lenses. Exploring the emotional glue that binds the broken pieces of ourselves together, these artists investigate how intimacy and human bonds reveal the best of human nature, even in the face of heartbreak and change.

For example, in the Extended Play episode, “Rubbing/Loving,” Do Ho Suh uses performance-based visual art as an entry point to exploring place, memory, and the loving relationship forged between friends. In my classes, I use this video to inspire students to not only think more broadly about drawing and sculpture but also consider how interior, emotional spaces can be manifested in what they make. Near the end of the semester, I use this video, as well as the one featuring the Creative Growth Art Center, as a jumping-off point for a larger unit about love. In this unit, students can choose from a wide range of tasks directed toward inspiring empathy and caring. One student, Karsyn, painted a portrait of a family member facing Alzheimer’s disease; another, Eleanor, created a loving portrait of her sister while a third student tried to capture a friend’s sense of loss when her brother left home for the first time.

This playlist features several of the artists who I use as exemplars not just for making beautiful art but also for addressing love and loss through vulnerability, connection, and self-discovery. I tell my students repeatedly, “What you make is a direct manifestation of who you are.” The videos in this playlist show artists of all kinds manifesting themselves through expressions of love and loss.

 

Read how Ty teaches with this playlist in his classroom.

by Ty TalbotFebruary 12, 2020 10 videos • 1:34:30 total runtime

Art21 Educator Miranda Best shares a playlist of films that informed her unit on “Community,” inspiring student’s artwork and representing the strength and significance of group bonds.

Teaching with Community

Artists are often portrayed as solitary creators, working in the isolation of their studios. While independent work and reflective thought are vital to many artists’ work, collaboration, connection, and community are essential to most artists’ practices. Sometimes community inspires the work, other times community is created through the work itself. Often the work is a result of both.

As a high school art teacher, helping my students recognize, reflect upon, and celebrate the circles of support that surround them can be affirming. I started our “Community” unit by viewing several examples of artwork by Judith Scott and Dan Miller, who are a part of the Creative Growth Art Center. Then students watched films about Robin Rhode and Kerry James Marshall. Upon viewing the different Art21 films, engaging in dialogue with their classmates, and collecting images and photographs from the communities of their choosing, students set out to make their original community paintings. Each student chose to represent the sense of belonging in their own way. Maddie focused on her awakening political engagement, Emmy depicted an early-morning workout with the swim team, and Jeannie painted a celebration of her cultural heritage. Within the community of our classroom, each student was able to create a painting about the importance of belonging to something bigger than themselves.

This playlist incorporates many of the videos I presented to my students to inform our “Community” unit and inspire their artwork. The artists in this playlist find inspiration through their connections with communities, give their experiences shape and form, and imagine new possibilities of rehabilitation and growth. Working with groups that have been traditionally underrepresented, misrepresented, or ignored completely, the videos in this playlist remind us of the strength and significance of group bonds.

Read how Miranda teaches with this playlist in her classroom.

by Miranda BestJanuary 15, 2020 10 videos • 1:55:03 total runtime

Protesting policy, war, or social norms, the artists in this playlist challenge the status quo and give voice to a movement. From documentary photography illustrating the contradictions of American life to the theatrical retelling of world history, these artists create works that provide urgent points of reflection.

Taking a Stand

In tumultuous times, art can serve as a bridge for understanding, while also providing tools for dissent. “Think like us. Hate like us. Fear like us.” These are some of the slogans featured in the work of Barbara Kruger, who is known for making bold statements. “I want my work to create commentary,” she explains. While some artists may intentionally create works that respond to political circumstances, others may do so by default. “What I’m doing is absorbing and processing the world around me and it’s becoming political,” reflects Stephanie Syjuco. “I don’t think I have a choice anymore. It’s just my reality.”

Protesting policy, war, or social norms, the artists in this playlist challenge the status quo and give voice to a movement. From documentary photography illustrating the contradictions of American life to the theatrical retelling of world history, these artists create works that provide urgent points of reflection.

by Art21January 9, 2020 12 videos • 1:32:36 total runtime

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