Art21 News
April 19, 2012

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 "I'm interested in art because that's always dealing with new possibilities." --Ai Weiwei in the Season 6 episode, Change

Sometimes, the right mix of events comes together all at once. While we were gearing up for the Season 6 premiere of Art in the Twenty-First Century last week, we learned that our online series, New York Close Up, was nominated for a Webby Award! Read on for more information about that, or, if you are already keen on what the Webby's are about, then please send your vote our way for the People's Voice Award.

Also highlighted in this issue are the latest materials for Season 6, including information about how to watch the first episode online right now.

Between Season 6 and the Webbys, April is already a memorable month for Art21. From everyone at Art21, we thank you all--educators, students, artists, and art lovers--for your incredible support throughout the years!

topIn this issue:  

Vote for Art21 at the 16th Annual Webby Awards 

Season 6 Airing Now on PBS 

Season 6 Resources for Educators 

Access '12: Screenings in Your Community 

Support Art21 and Receive a Special Gift 

New Videos 

Highlights from the Art21 Blog 

The Art21 Salon Series 

Shop Art21 

Banner: David Almejd in his studio, New York, NY, 2011. Production still from the series Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 6; Episode, Boundaries; Segment: David Almejd. Art21, Inc. 2012. Left: Tabaimo, teleco-soup, at the 54th International Art Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy, 2011. Production still from the series Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 6; Episode, Boundaries; Segment: Tabaimo. Art21, Inc. 2012.
webbyVote for Art21 at the 16th Annual Webby Awards
Vote for Art21 at the 16th Annual Webby Awards
Art21 received its first ever Webby Award nomination for the online series New York Close Up...and we couldn't be more excited! The series is among the nominees in the Best Documentary Series for Online Film & Video category.

"We are deeply honored to have such rapid and major recognition for New York Close Up so soon after its creation," said series creators Wesley Miller and Nick Ravich. Participating New York Close Up artist LaToya Ruby Frazier added: "My experience with Art21 New York Close Up has been invaluable, enabling me to challenge misconceptions of my artwork. It has created a framework of social dialogue for all viewers that has never before existed."

Read the full press release on and watch films from the entire series at the New York Close Up website.

But wait, there's more. Please help Art21 take home the People's Voice award: cast your vote for New York Close Up today!

seasonsixSeason 6 Airing Now on PBS
Production still from Season 6 of Art in the Twenty-First Century, 2012.
The latest season of Art in the Twenty-First Century has arrived! Season 6 of the Peabody Award-winning series premiered last Friday on PBS with Change, featuring artists Catherine Opie, El Anatsui, and Ai Weiwei.

In case you missed the broadcast, you may watch the full Change episode online right now.

The season continues over the next three Fridays with the following episodes:

Boundaries -- April 20, 9:00 p.m. ET
Featuring David Altmejd, Tabaimo, assume vivid astro focus, and Lynda Benglis

History -- April 27, 9:00 p.m. ET
Featuring Glenn Ligon, Mary Reid Kelley, and Marina Abramovic

Balance -- May 4, 9:00 p.m. ET
Featuring Rackstraw Downes, Robert Mangold, and Sarah Sze

Broadcast times vary by region, so please be sure to check your local listings in advance of broadcast.

Visit the Art21 website to watch the Season Six trailer, preview individual artist segments, and browse images of artwork and production stills.

IMAGE: Artist El Anatsui installing work for exhibition, When I Last Wrote to You about Africa at the Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College, MA, 2011. Production still from the series Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 6; Episode, Change; Segment: El Anatsui. Art21, Inc. 2012.

eduSeason 6 Resources for Educators
Season 6 Materials for Teaching
The Season 6 Educators' Guide and Screening Guide are available to download now in PDF format.

Educators' Guides, Screening Guides, and extended lesson ideas suggest a wide range of ways to teach with Art21. Find these and other resources in the Materials for Teaching area of

accessAccess '12: Screenings in Your Community
April 5 screening at the Woodbury Art Museum, Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah. Photo: James Rees.
Access '12 screenings are taking place worldwide now in hundreds of diverse venues including Ada Community Library in Boise, Idaho; the YMCA of Schilling Farms in Collierville, TN; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; the First Floor Gallery Harare in Harare, Zimbabwe; and many, many more. Art21 welcomes all venues, large and small, to join us for free screenings of the latest Art in the Twenty-First Century season.

Over 365 venues have joined Access '12 so far, and we hope you will too!
"It is very valuable because it allows the public or students to connect the concepts with different themes, experiences, and learning that make your relationship with the series really significant."
--Ana Aguilar, Access '12 partner, San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico
Help Art21 celebrate contemporary art and artists in your local communities today. All Access partners receive a free screening kit, which includes a DVD, press materials, and screening guide.

Find a screening near you; or, if you are interested in hosting a screening, sign up on or by contacting the Access Coordinator at access [AT]

IMAGE: April 5 screening at the Woodbury Art Museum, Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah. Photo: James Rees.

supportart21Support Art21 and Receive a Special Gift
Support Art21
Six Seasons. 100 Artists. 20+ million viewers.

Art21's Power of Six campaign celebrates our latest milestone: the PBS broadcast premiere of Art in the Twenty-First Century. A contribution of $6, $36, or $216--anything to the Power of Six--makes a difference!

  • $6 will pay for shipping free screening materials to an Access '12 partner
  • $36 will pay for printed Educators' Guides delivered to teachers and classrooms
  • $216 will pay for sending Season Six companion books to libraries and institutions across the country
During the month of April, supporters of the Power of Six campaign will receive Art in the Twenty-First Century Season Six gifts, along with your name listed on Art21's website.

We hope that you will consider making a donation to Art21 today. We want to thank all of the Art21 fans whose contributions over the years have made all six seasons of Art in the Twenty-First Century possible!

videoNew Videos
Full Season 6 Episode:
 Full Season 6 Episode: "Change"
How do artists respond to a world in flux? In what ways do artists act as agents of change, and what kinds of aesthetic choices do they make to express it? Artists Ai Weiwei, Catherine Opie, and El Anatsui bear witness, through their work, to transformation--cultural, material, and aesthetic--and actively engage communities as collaborators and subjects.

William Kentridge: Meaning
 William Kentridge: Meaning
Exclusive Episode #154: Filmed at his Johannesburg studio in 2008, William Kentridge discusses how the physical activities of cutting, tearing and collaging generate ideas and infuse his work with meaning. Rather than starting with an idea that is then executed, Kentridge relies on these freeform processes and the resulting juxtapositions to find connections and raise questions. Finished works are shown at the Annandale Galleries in Sydney, Australia.
Keep up with the New York Close Up series at the project website. Keep up with the Exclusive series on, or subscribe to the series via RSS or iTunes (note: link opens in iTunes).

 Highlights from the Art21 Blog
Bean Gilsdorf of HELP DESK; Photo courtesy Bean Gilsdorf.
 From Our Columns
Looking at Los Angeles columnist Catherine Wagley remembers controversial "painter of light" Thomas Kinkade, who died this month; Jacquelyn Gleisner of Praxis Makes Perfect talks to artist Bean Gilsdorf about her artist advice column HELP DESK, which appears on the Daily Serving website; and Ink's Sarah Kirk Hanley looks at Dana Schutz's recent series of large watercolor monotypes created at Two Palms, New York.

Guest blogger Jamilee Polson Lacy, Independent Curator
 Guest Bloggers
Artist, writer, and Chicago cabbie Dmitry Samarov takes readers on a tour of websites devoted to vintage images of the Windy City, and shares what it's like to have a fictionalized version of your life provide the basis for a TV series; independent curator Jamilee Polson Lacy explores the intrinsic relationship of words and images in the writings of Italo Calvino and in the large-scale figurative murals of Clare E. Rojas.

Want to write for the Art21 Blog? We're looking for guest bloggers with interesting professional backgrounds in the arts, excellent writing skills, and strong points of view. Email interest and writing samples to blog [at] art21 [dot] org.

IMAGES (from top): Bean Gilsdorf of HELP DESK; Photo courtesy Bean Gilsdorf. Jamilee Polson Lacy, Independent Curator.

art21salonThe Art21 Salon Series
Artists El Anatsui and Catherine Opie at Art21 Salon, March 12, 2012.
Art21 Salon is a series of intimate screening events with Art in the Twenty-First Century featured artists. Hosted in New York City, these annual fundraising evenings raise critical funds that support Art21 films and educational programs.

This year, Art21 Salon presents premiere/preview screenings for Season Six and features discussions with the featured artists and filmmakers.

We invite you to join us for the last of these very special celebrations on April 30. Reserve your seats today, as tickets are selling quickly.

IMAGE: Artists El Anatsui and Catherine Opie at the Art21 Salon premiere of Change, March 12, 2012, New York. Photo: Andy Matias. Art21, Inc. 2012.

shopShop Art21 
Shop Art21
Art in the Twenty-First Century
The latest season of Art in the Twenty-First Century will be available on DVD in May. Pre-order your copy of the Season 6 DVD today. Miss a season? Looking for a particular artist's segment? All five previous seasons of the broadcast series are available on DVD and digital download, giving you first-hand access to today's most compelling artists and thought-provoking themes. (Season 5 is also available in high-definition Blu-ray.)

William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible
Art21's Peabody Award-winning feature film provides an in-depth portrait of South African artist William Kentridge as he creates a series of new works, including a staging of Shostakovich's The Nose at The Metropolitan Opera in New York City. William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible is available on DVD from ShopPBS and other retailers.

Companion books
Spanning all five seasons, the Art in the Twenty-First Century companion books feature in-depth interviews with all 86 series-featured artists, high-quality images, and essays from Art21 Executive Director Susan Sollins.

Visit to view all available products from Art21.


Want to do more?

Art21 videos, images, texts, and educational materials:
Daily writings, features, and updates: Art21 Blog
The PBS television series: Art21 on PBS
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