Accessible art appreciation resources at your fingertips
When it comes to building a greater appreciation of art where do you even start? The ideas and concepts of contemporary and traditional art can at times feel overwhelming and out of reach.
One way to expand your understanding and appreciation of art is to increase your exposure to all kinds of it.
More Exposure to Art = Increased Appreciation
The more art you see and experience the greater your inquiry, acknowledgment, connection, and response to it becomes.
If your experience at art museums and galleries leaves you feeling frustrated, read my piece on how to improve that: 5 Ways to Improve your Next Museum or Gallery Experience
Whether you use your commute or downtime to read, watch, listen or pin, there is an art resource out there you could incorporate into your day. Finding the right, helpful resources is time-consuming and daunting. In the past year of writing about art appreciation, I have amassed a foundational though in no way an exhausted list of accessible resources across a range of platforms. Use these suggestions as a jumping off point to bring more art into your life and find yourself more comfortable and open to understanding and appreciating the art around us.
Video – Art21
Art21 is one of the best resources I can ever recommend. Art21 is a non-profit organization that takes you behind the scenes of today’s contemporary artists. Through short video documentation and interviews with a diverse range of artists, the viewer gets a rare insight into artists’ creative process and them speaking directly to their work. You may not have heard of many of these artists and that’s ok you will likely come out with some new favorites. These videos are broadcasted on PBS as well.
Check it out one of my favorites, Nick Cave
Youtube channel – Smarthistory
Art’s history is vast. Smarthistory videos break it down without talking down to you. These videos are an excellent way to learn about the historical context of a work of art. The excitement of the well-informed narrators, usually two of them that play off each other, makes learning the history of artworks an enjoyable one. There are hours of videos to get yourself lost.
Where to start? Maybe the most iconic American painting, American Gothic by Grant Wood
or maybe the most controversial, Fountain by Marcel Duchamp
Netflix – Artist is Present, Artist Documentary
There are many well-done art documentaries out there. This one is arguably one of the most fascinating. This film followed the artist, Marina Abramovic as she prepares for what became a polarizing retrospective of her work at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City. It stands apart for its look at the performance art genre, the intimate details of an artist’s’ life and the documentation of the public response to her work.
Podcast – “Piece of Work”
Actress, comedian, and artist, Abbi Jacobson of Comedy Central’s Broad City fame, talks about art in a relatable and straightforward way. This lighthearted 10 episode podcast is in partnership with Museum of Modern Art, (MOMA) in New York City. Jacobson talks to a cast of characters; curators, her preschool niece, and celebrities like RuPaul. MOMA has a treasure trove of art resources, from curator talks to a catalog of online courses, one is likely to get overwhelmed. This podcast is a great place to start.
E-newsletter – Artsy
There are a lot of art newsletters out there but Artsy’s e-newsletter is both informative and engaging with accessible writing on interesting art topics. This is an easy way to get a daily dose of art knowledge right in your inbox. They have an active presence in media so if the e-newsletter not your thing connect with them on their other platforms – Instagram, Twitter, etc..
If you want more specific art news and information in your area, search out local and regional art organizations that compile and share art news and happenings. Interested in the South art scene check out: Burnaway http://burnaway.org/
Book – ‘Who’s Afraid of Contemporary Art’
You may not actually be afraid of contemporary art but rather some burning questions about it. Curators, Jessica Cerasi and Kyung An, were inspired by conversations with family and friends to address the many common questions of the art world. This book is compact, approachable and a quick, helpful read. A real bonus is an index in the back filled with additional resources for more learning on topics covered in the book.
If Pinterest is your source of inspiration why not have art be a part of it. Build your visual exposure to emerging artists by following The Jealous Curator on Pinterest. Her Daily Gems board features a wonderful collection of creative, diverse works. For the most eye-catching works click through to her website for more images, content, and interviews with artists.
Instagram – @streetartglobe and @designboom
It’s easy to build your exposure to art using Instagram by following artists, museums, and art publications. Consider adding amazing and weird to your scroll. Designboom’s mix of architecture, art, and technology features unbelievable design from around the world that will broaden your idea of what’s possible. Streetartglobe is often weird but in a good way. Here art is entertainment and interaction. These two may seem like an odd mix but together are a necessary reminder that art doesn’t fit into any one box and its potential is limitless.
* I want to hear from you! What have you found particularly interesting or helpful in your appreciation of art? Share with the community in comments or send me a message.