Monthly Mentor

Natalie C. Jones (February)
Each month, a different member is the guest writer for the NAEA Monthly Mentor Blog. Natalie C. Jones is an artist, small business owner, and the director of education at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. She has 10 years of experience working as an art teacher and teaching artist throughout the east coast and the Midwest. Click "GO" to read her full bio.



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August 01, 2016

Artist of the Day Videos - Technology for Student Engagement

From: Christine Miller


The Artist of the Day video is my FAVORITE tool to play with in my teaching practice. Videos allow students to hear contemporary artists talk about their process and work. Using video technology enables my students to have a clearer understanding about how and why art is created. Our students are demanding that there be relevancy to what they are learning and that they be connected to the real world. Artist of the Day videos are compelling informational vehicles that tap into the contemporary art world.

This daily video acts as a bell ringer and helps students focus and get settled into art class. It is a tool that exposes students to a variety of formally trained and self-taught contemporary artists using a variety of mediums and styles of art making. The Artist of the Day video facilitates dialogue in the classroom about contemporary art and artists. We question their motivations and speculate about technical details they use to produce their work. We talk about the aesthetics of an artist’s work and how it might be addressing social issues. Ultimately, the videos give students the chance to see art they probably wouldn’t see anywhere else.

You can read an article I wrote for Trends, the Journal of the Texas Art Education Association published November 2013 Trends Article – Artist of the Day Video. It goes into detail about how artist videos can be used in the classroom, as well as suggestions for organizing your own video library. There are a variety of ways to use the videos to connect students to making and appreciating art. Watching the Artist of the Day video is like riding a magic carpet - we discover the wonders of the art world while we are in our classroom, but are transported to a vast world of art and artists – every day!

Christine Miller
Team Lead Visual Arts
Student Council Sponsor
Williams High School


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