Do you enjoy art? Are you a student or an educator? The Art Assignment is part of the PBS Digital Studios suite of educational short-form programs made for YouTube. The Art Assignment is hosted by creator and curator Sarah Urist Green along with award-winning, No.1 best-selling author John Green. The channel includes many educational series such as “Art Cooking,” “Art Trip” and “Five Favorite Works of Art.” There are seriously so many diverse ways of looking at art and artists on the channel that I could probably write an entire article just on that.
But I’d like to focus on the series that is the namesake for the channel: The Art Assignment. This is a series in which a plethora of artists – whose work can be found in galleries across the U.S. – will take a video to teach particular technique or idea that they use in their own work to the audience through prompt. The series works as a spark for experimentation. Students and teachers alike may find themselves using the assignments not only as ways to create but as new ways to view the world around them.
The styles and methods of the more than 60 artists that participate in the series range drastically and provide many ideas students and educators can find very useful. The finished works by audience members, in a few cases, have been assembled in highlight videos. For assignments that do not have a highlight video, you can find some of the art pieces by looking up #THEARTASSIGHNENT on Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr.
I have found that this style of teaching can be very effective and fruitful through my experiences as a student of writing. Hopefully, more instructors in a variety of artistic fields will find this type of prompt based learning to be beneficial to their students’ experiences.
Watch assignment episodes of The Art Assignment series here.
Jacob Levy is a junior at Hendrix College, a DJ at KHDX 93.1, an artist and a poet. He loves learning and helping people find new ways to connect to the human experience through art. He is very happy to be interning in the AETN marketing and outreach department for the summer.