Mark agreed to consider the invitation, but wanted to discuss it. I knew of Mark’s engagement with community and his interest in opportunities for teens, so I was surprised when he announced that he’d identified his audience of interest as K–12 teachers. As he explained, after speaking at a conference of art educators in 2009 he’d been thinking about his own experience in grade school and then in art school. He wondered how to provide the art-making experiences he’d had at CalArts to younger students earlier in their education.
With Mark, the Museum asked some of the world’s most noted contemporary artists to share art-making activities based on their own inspirations or approaches: Kerry James Marshall, Xu Bing, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Jon Cattapan, Catherine Opie, Amy Sillman, Graciela Iturbide, Kara Walker, Michael Joo, and Carrie Mae Weems all contributed to the collection. The activities are as diverse as the artists who developed them; some are more like suggestions, others offer detailed instructions.
Open Studio complements the materials the Museum currently offers online to teachers, all of which are aligned to national and California state standards. Those curricula, in-depth and sequential, focus on objects in the Getty’s collection. The materials in Open Studio, inspired by the artists’ own practices, create a dynamic balance in the free resources we offer to educators across the country and around the world.