Contemporary Voices and Issues Teacher Resources
Integrate the voices and works of contemporary artists into your classroom
Artists Respond to Pivotal Events
Lava Thomas on Requiem for Charleston
Nick Cave on Soundsuit
Alfredo Jaar on Life Magazine, April 19, 1968
Eric Fischl on Ten Breaths: Tumbling Woman II
Shifting States: Iraq by Luis Cruz Azaceta
Lalo Alcaraz’s I Stand with Emma
Artist Lalo Alcaraz created the striking digital portrait I Stand with Emma of Emma González after watching the high school senior advocate for stronger gun control in an impassioned speech days after surviving the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Learn how I Stand with Emma, an artwork that was created and distributed within the digital sphere, honors the traditions of Chicanx artists while also embracing new digital landscapes for printmaking.
Native Artists Creating during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Watch experts from across the Smithsonian come together to look at protective masks made by Native artists during the COVID-19 pandemic, including three masks acquired by the Smithsonian American Art Museum: Katrina Mitten's MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women), Vicki Lee Soboleff's Yellow Cedar Face Mask, and Marlana Thompson's Ononkwashon: a/Medicine Plants.
Artists Explore Identity and Representation
Mickalene Thomas on Her Materials and Artistic Influences
Kerry James Marshall on SOB, SOB
Ginny Ruffner on Her Work as an Invitation to Think
Jaune Quick-To-See Smith on Maps as Storytellers
Liz Larner on Bird in Space
Tom Nakashima on Sanctuary at Western Sunset
Mark Bradford on Amendment #8
Mark Bradford creates abstract work that engages with questions of race, class, culture, and politics. Amendment #8 comes from a series of works inspired by the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, known collectively as the Bill of Rights.