Art Works Blog

Valentine’s Day is a time when love and admiration are at the forefront of our minds, much like when we see a truly inspiring work of art. Below are a series of valentines, or love-themed pieces drawn from the collections of several museum and library collections. As you look at these images and...
"The arts are not a frill. The arts are a response to our individuality and our nature, and help to shape our identity. What is there that can transcend deep difference and stubborn divisions? The arts. They have a wonderful universality. Art has the potential to unify. It can speak in many...
Can one man be responsible for a city’s character? If you’re 1982 NEA National Heritage Fellow Philip Simmons , that answer is yes. If you’ve been to Charleston, or even just seen pictures of the South Carolina city, chances are you’ve seen Simmons’ work. Thanks to “the poet of ironwork,” as he’s...
The National Endowment for the Arts is on the verge of releasing an omnibus research report on artists and other cultural workers, based on statistics from various federal data sources. Readers familiar with U.S. stats on artists will appreciate that, whether from choice or need, these workers are...
As an actor with autism, Mickey Rowe knows that performers with disabilities have to work harder because they have more to prove. “You are used to going above and beyond, overcompensating, and doing ten times more work just to show people that you are professional and capable,” he said. Which is...
"Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create." — Oprah Winfrey What new story are you art-fully creating this year? Let us know on the National Endowment for the Arts Facebook page .
While art museums can be wonderful places for sparking our imaginations, they can also be, well, a little intimidating. For one thing, it’s sometimes hard to see them as places of fun when you think you’re going to spend most of the time telling your kids, “No, don’t touch that!” And then, of...
“Don't worry about what a poem means,” says poet Joy Harjo. “Do you ask what a song means before you listen? Just listen.” Harjo’s book of selected poems, How We Became Human , is one of the recent additions to the NEA Big Read library , along with two other books of poetry: Citizen by Claudia...
“If you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in...
If a story seems like it cannot be turned into a film, Richard Linklater is the one to attempt to do just that. A coming-of-age film shot over the course of 12 years? Try Boyhood . A Philip K. Dick sci-fi novel adapted to surreal animation? A Scanner Darkly . A plotless, 90-minute conversation...

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