Art Works Blog

“Art is always visionary. Art always disturbs present realities, however satisfactory they may seem to the rest of the world.” —Visual artist Ben Shahn While it may be true that all art is visionary, some visions are more expansive than others—pushing the boundaries of what’s seemingly possible,...
"Advice is like snow--the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind." -- Samuel Taylor Coleridge What's the best art-full advice you've received in 2018? What's the best art-full advice you have for others as we head into 2019? Tell us over on the National...
In a recent post on this blog, Patricia Shaffer, PhD, the deputy director of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Office of Research & Analysis, upheld the need for more rigorous research in the field of arts education. Dr. Shaffer based her conclusions in part on a report released last year by...
My favorite menorah growing up was the smallest and shabbiest one we owned. But it was also the most special. It was made in Palestine and purchased by my great-great-grandfather in Austria, an object that he considered so precious that it became one of the few items he brought to the U.S. as he...
U.S. museums have only recently started to grapple with the idea that art by Native Americans is, in fact, American art. At Crystal Bridges Museum of Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, however, it’s not a question that’s up for debate. Crystal Bridges Curator Mindy N. Besaw—one of three co-curators of...
If you were only to look at statistics, you’d get a grim picture of South Dakota’s Cheyenne River Reservation. The Cheyenne River Sioux have an 88 percent unemployment rate. Nearly 60 percent of children on the reservation live in poverty, and suicide and drug use run high. But as Julie Garreau...
“What… is an old black doctor doing wheatpasting images of Navajo people along the roadside on the reservation?” According to a blog post Dr. Chip Thomas wrote last year, that’s the question he is asked most frequently. To be fair, it’s a valid question. The answer, in many ways, revolves around...
In the middle of the hustle and bustle of the Thanksgiving holiday, we offer you a moment (well, six moments, actually) of reflection on gratitude. Click on the poem's title to read the full text. "Give praise with the immense and peaceful sigh/ Of the wind in the pinewoods,/ At night give praise...
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Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga) first began seriously making films when he was living in Portland, Oregon, and learning Chinuk Wawa, a language native to the Columbia River Basin. So perhaps it is inevitable that he sees similarities between language and film—the structural requirements inherent to...

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