Remixing Art Education Symposium · April 11-12, 2014, Teachers College, Columbia University


Symposium Outline

Teaching and learning art in higher education has become the institutional topic of a number of conferences in recent years, as it has gone through significant cultural, technological and economic changes. The Remixing Art Education Symposium will focus on these changes; explore their antecedents and search for meaningful responses, as they are relevant to teaching and learning studio art at the college level today.

Art education as a field encompasses a rich and sophisticated history of instructional models and pedagogies, many of which have been implemented and tested. The recent discussions in mind, it is time to re-evaluate, critically explore, re-assess and revitalize some of the many models that have been so valuable and often forgotten.

The overarching question will be: How do we mash-up and remix art education in light of changing student experiences and aspirations in order to educate artists to actualize imaginative, socially responsible, and meaningful art practices rife with experimentation, collaboration and intellectual exchange?

The symposium will be a multi-faceted exchange of ideas with short presentations and workshops; it will examine and further develop creative and critical pedagogies for learning and teaching studio art in the 21st century. It will reflect on the critical role of the artist in today’s society, the necessity for new strategies of teaching and learning, including ways to start afresh, un-teach and un-learn, and explore in which way education can exceed the prevalent brief of skill-training and career-preparation in rapidly changing creative industries and technologically saturated knowledge-societies. Higher education is in search and urgent need for new models to sustain itself, let alone innovate.

Guiding Questions:

What is the role of the artist in today’s society and what is his/her extended role as an educator?

What are the issues that higher art education faces today?

What does it mean to teach and what do teachers need to learn?

How can we develop and implement critical and creative pedagogies meaningfully?

In which way can we best nurture teachers, students and collaboration in learning?

As collaboration and communities gain increasing importance, how do we break boundaries of institutional teaching?

The symposium is organized by the Art and Art Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University, in conjunction with the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria, and will take place at Teachers College, 525 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027, from April 11 to April 12, 2014.

Contributions by artists, artist-teachers, and educators will respond to the guiding questions and include short presentations and workshops to provoke conversation. Student voices will be an integral part of the symposium so as to provide a deeper understanding of their needs and expectations for learning and teaching in the arts.


April 10, 2014, Arrival, Pre-registration and Informal Dinner

Session 1 · Friday, April 11, 2014, Theme: What does it mean to be an artist in our society? What do students need to learn and know in order to be successful in their artistic lives?

The first unit discusses the theme: What do artists need to know in order to succeed in today’s society? It will lay the ground to explore changes in the artistic production process and resulting needs. Presentations will respond to the following: What does the learning landscape look like today, particularly in a time of post-studio practices? What are the influences of hybrid media and digital technology inside and outside the classroom? And where does this leave the fine arts? This unit will focus on critical pedagogies.

8:00 am: Registration and breakfast.

9:00 am – 9:30 am: Opening remarks.

9:30 am – 11:00 am: Short presentations, 10 minutes each.

11:00 am – 11:15 am: Coffee break.

11:15 am – 12:15 pm: Responses with break-out groups.

12:15 pm – 2:00 pm: Lunch break.

Session 2 · Friday, April 11, 2014, Theme: What does it mean to teach? 

This session will address the questions: How do teachers learn to teach? Where do teachers learn to teach? Contributions should respond to what teachers need to know, how programs can best support their faculty in their growth and what teaching does to teachers. How do student-needs form a teacher? How do we assess learning outcomes and success? Is studio critique and portfolio review a sufficient model for assessment in the arts? What makes a good student? The presentations are complemented by short workshops that will engender ideas for creative pedagogies.

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm: Short presentations, 10 minutes each.

3:30 pm – 3:45 pm: Coffee break.

3:45 pm – 4:15 pm: Short workshops: Learning Something in Ten Minutes.

4:15-5:15 pm: Responses and break-out groups.

Reception, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Macy Gallery, Artists As Educators. An exhibition of exemplary collaborations between teaching artists and their students, responding to the questions: What does it mean to be an artist-teacher? How can teaching and art-practice instigate each other and co-exist?

Session 3 · Saturday, April 12, 2014, Theme: What are the questions we are all thinking about as we are looking to the next 3, 5, 10 years of preparing artists (at the college level)?

The third session will be dedicated to imagining the future learning and teaching landscape. Participants are encouraged to explore today’s best practices. A student panel will encourage the participants to rethink the role of art schools and art programs.

9:00 am – 10:30 am: Short presentations, 10 minutes each.

10:30 am -10:45 am: Coffee break

10:45 am – 11:45 am: Responses and break-out groups.

11:45 am -12:30 pm: Student panel, Educating Artists.

12:30 pm – 1:00 pm: Wrap up session.


A publication of proceedings coming out of the symposium is planned for 2015.

Registration fees for presenter participation $200. Presenters will in return receive a honorarium of $400. Student, and low-income admission (non-presenting artists and educators) $30. Half-day admissions for artists and educators $10.

For questions, inquiries, or if you are interested in participating/presenting, please contact Ms. Geraldine Fabris,

To RSVP and to pre-register, please go to (registration-site).