Make Art Indispensable

Art holds a unique place. It is a space that allows for experimentation and exploring ideas that otherwise might be deemed unrealistic or out of reach. That’s why I think art is essential. Art can integrate everything from literature and history to math and science.

Unfortunately, the arts tend to be viewed as some fluffy add-on and not “core” to education. Like a rabbit tail on a garbage truck, art is viewed as extraneous and superfluous. When I mention art in this article, I’m talking about all the arts — music, dance, painting, sculpting, everything. I have had the pleasure and privilege of working with Karen Palmer, the artist in residence at my day job, on her immersive film experience, RIOT. We’ve had some terrific discussions around the current status and future of art. Because of my work in the tech industry, I’ve been primarily exposed to work that integrates art and tech. I don’t know that I would have sought out or happened upon the projects to which I’ve been introduced though. I thought it would be worth sharing these resources with enterprising and evolving art teachers out there so they could then share with their students or maybe get some inspiration for their own projects.

Columbia University’s Digital Dozen

Field Trip to Mars

Creating art with Excel

Art exhibits that talk to you (Flinck)

Documentary filmmaking with a mobile phone

My plan is to follow this up with a more practical guide that includes tools you can use to augment what you’re already doing in class…stay tuned.