Art School

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Art School is a KQED web video series that introduces contemporary artists who discuss their careers and intentions, then demonstrate hands-on techniques or concepts. Art School provides resources for learning how to break dance, draw comic strips, create animations, and much more. Empower folks of all ages to engage with contemporary art, and discover new ideas for creativity from a variety of professional artists through this fun and engaging series.

  • Multimedia Performance with Lenora Lee

    In this episode of Art School, tag along as Lenora and her dancers prepare for a series of performances at Asia Society in New York City. Hear about the genesis of her current multimedia performances and the impact the local Chinese community has had on her artistic practice. Then follow Lenora Lee as she leads you through some of the choreography from her performance The Escape. She developed this series of movements in collaboration with her dancers.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • App Art with Franky Aguilar

    Oakland’s Franky Aguilar is the artist behind the wildly popular mobile art apps CatWang, Snoopify, Ima Unicorn, and GifYogurt, to name a few. Inspired by street culture, candy colors, and Internet iconography like cats and pizza, Aguilar works with artists to create a user experience that is equally fun and creative.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Know Your Graffiti Vocab

    You may be well-versed in graffiti formats, but for those curious about the difference between a tag and a piece, or what it takes to make an enormous spray can painting, we asked graffiti artist Neon to describe the five different types of graff on the streets. Knowing these terms can help you evaluate, critique and appreciate the graffiti in your neighborhood.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Bay Area Graffiti: The Early Days

    In this video learn about the pioneers of Bay Area graffiti, the most popular places to paint, and the styles that originated locally. Also learn about the PBS film Style Wars, which had a big impact on artists around the country.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Experimental Animation and Abstraction with Jodie Mack

    Jodie Mack is an experimental animator who makes colorful, abstract films with a vintage Bolex film camera. Tag along as she works on a new project in San Francisco and talks about her process.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Olek Covers the World in Crochet

    Go behind the scenes with Olek as she crochets an entire room - floor to ceiling - for her exhibit at White Walls Gallery and discusses her artistic path, process and intentions.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Gifs + Videos = Zeega

    Zeega is a new platform for organizing media from around the Internet to create interactive stories about anything in the world. From crazy cats to remixed popular film clips, Zeega enables users to practice craft of storytelling in a new, dynamic, digital way. In the latest episode of Art School, Zeega's creators talk about this new tool and the inspiration behind its name, then demonstrate how create your own Zeega using GIFs from the Internet, original content, music and text.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Drawing From American Hip-Hop and Iranian Culture with Ala Ebtekar

    Ala Ebtekar experiments with different art forms and has been inspired by literary narratives since he was very young. He grew up as a graffiti writer and DJ, and later pursued painting studies in Iran. Working with both a Persian miniature painter who created illuminated manuscripts, as well as an Iranian coffee house painter, he was influenced by these distinct styles.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Americana Music with American Nomad

    American Nomad is a band that keeps Americana music alive by mixing contemporary and traditional approaches. Join them as they share their approach to songwriting, recording and performing.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Music for Social Justice with Aisha Fukushima

    In these Art School videos meet "Raptivist" Aisha Fukushima, who creates music that promotes social justice and travels the world, collaborating with a global network of hip hop artists. Artist Aisha Fukushima then demonstrates basic stomp rhythms, showing how she integrates that style of percussion with her vocals to create a spoken word performance.

    Grades: K-13+
  • Stencils on the Street with Mike Shine

    Mike Shine’s interests range from surfing to carnivals, and his dynamic approach to art making manifests as immersive installations, which he’s created throughout the Bay Area at local museums, galleries, and even at his home in Bolinas, “The Shine Shack.” In this media gallery, visit the Shine Shack and get a primer on stencil-making, and learn about Shine's style, and his history of working with stencils, which are one of the most accessible tools for creating a message and spreading it (or spray painting it) widely.

    Grades: K-13+
  • All About Opera with Jennifer Cherest

    In this media gallery of videos meet opera singer Jennifer Cherest, an award-winning soprano who has performed at an international array of opera companies. Jennifer discusses her approach to singing, and her connection to pop singers like Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey. Jennifer is part of the San Francisco Opera's Adler Fellowship program, which is a two-year artist residency for the most advanced young artists. Jennifer demonstrates how she warms up her voice for a day of rehearsals or performances.

    Grades: K-13+
  • Animated Filmmaker Kirsten Lepore

    Kirsten Lepore is an artist and filmmaker who works with different animation techniques, including stop-motion animation and claymation. With these videos, learn more about the intentions behind her food-focused film, the unusual materials she works with to create her projects, and why she loves the laborious process of stop-motion animation. Lepore also demonstrates the basics of shooting a stop-motion animation film.

    Grades: K-13+
  • Illustrating Personal Stories with Wendy Macnaughton

    Wendy MacNaughton is an illustrator from San Francisco who works on a variety of projects, including her "drawn journalism" publications, which she creates by spending a few weeks interacting with different communities. She draws people, interviews them, and listens to their stories, then compiles the information into a book or collection of drawings. One of her recent books is about the people of San Francisco Public Library's main branch. Her illustrations have been published in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and her newest project is a book called Lost Cat. She also demonstrates how to draw coffee cups and wine glasses. 

    Grades: K-13+
  • Museums Rule! Why do Art Museum Rules Exist?

    Before heading out on a museum field trip, check out this superhero-style Art School video produced by KQED, about museum rules and why they exist, which will help prepare anyone for a museum visit.

    Grades: K-13+
  • Cartoon Style with Sirron Norris

    Murals by Sirron Norris can be found throughout San Francisco. Whether inside of restaurants, on roll-up doors of local businesses, or on the walls of The City's famed Balmy Alley, his cartoon-style artwork is instantly recognizable and enjoyed by children of all ages. Norris discussed his influences, cartooning, teaching, and the business of commercial art. He also took some time to teach the basics of cartooning. 

    Grades: K-13+
  • Rashidi Omari: Breakdancing and Beatboxing

    Rashidi Omari is a performance artist, writer and educator at Destiny Arts Center, a violence prevention and arts education organization in Oakland. Art School stopped by his dance studio to learn more about this dynamic Oakland artist, and find what hip-hop means to him and his students. Omari teaches the basics of beatboxing and demonstrates basic breakdancing moves. 

    Grades: K-13+
  • Graphic Novels with Thien Pham

    Thien Pham is an Oakland artist and educator. His new book, Sumo, is a graphic novel about an aspiring Sumo wrestler. It's a quiet and meaningful story, written and illustrated by Pham, who is one of the funniest and most dedicated comic artists in the Bay Area. Pham shows how to draw a four-panel comic and demonstrates ideas for character development.

    Grades: K-13+
  • West African Music and Dance with Kwesi Anku

    Kwesi Anku, Kwaku Manu, and Selasi Morgan are performing artists who teach at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts in Richmond, CA and are members of the Bay Area's West African Music and Dance Ensemble. Originally from Ghana, they came to the US to study dance with their professor at UC Berkeley, Dr. CK Ladzekpo. They stayed in the Bay Area to spread their love of music and dance and to provide opportunities for young people in their community to express themselves, using music and dance as tools for positive change.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Painting Portraits with Jeremy Sutton

    Meet San Francisco portrait artist, Jeremy Sutton, who pays tribute to creative luminaries in San Francisco and beyond. In this video watch him create a portrait of San Francisco musician, Danny Armstrong. He also discussed his connection to Renaissance painters, and demonstrated how mimicking old masters’ works helps him get ideas for his own contemporary portraits. Jeremy works with a variety of mediums, both digital and traditional. This video addresses connections between historical and contemporary paintings.

    Grades: K-13+

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