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DIY Gallery: A Deeper Look into the 365 Artists 365 Days Project

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

In 2014, I created a project called the 365 Artists 365 Days Project. The project highlights contemporary artists from across the globe through an online interview platform. Since its inception in 2014, it has introduced an artist on a daily basis through online and social media. To date, it has featured over 700 artists working in various media, processes, and studio practices. What originally started as a one-year project, grew into a two-year commitment.

As an art teacher, I am constantly looking for innovative ways to increase visual and textual literacy within my curriculum. Through this project, I found the perfect source to expose, educate, and engage my students to living artists. Throughout the school year I introduced students to artists working in the same genre or medium - a great way to reinforce content. 

In 2015, I presented the 365 Artists 365 Days Project Wisconsin art Education Association conference. One of the attendees was Elyse Lucas, a high school art teacher in Appleton. When asked to reflect on her presence at the conference, she wrote, “I first heard of Frank’s 365 Artists 365 Days project at the 2015 WAEA Fall Conference. Frank spoke of the project’s backstory and his success with integrating literacy in his classroom. His presentation inspired me to integrate contemporary art more so into my curriculum as well as to question this platform for exhibiting artists. So often, I feel students are unaware of the current art world and trends in contemporary art production. The 365 Artists 365 Days Project website, www.365artists365days.com, proved to be the perfect list of the ‘now’ from across the world and across multiple mediums.

With a focus on career and life skills in mind, I began contemplating what role curators play in shaping the art world and what would happen if we gave that same power to a high school student...I sought to present that same challenge to my students: create a pop up gallery of contemporary artists’ work with a gallery space and exhibition guide to that work to express a common motif.”

As the founder of this project, it was exciting to see another colleague get excited about the project. Her vision brought life back into the project and it became a guiding star we placed our focus on for the 365 Artists 365 Days.

The concept led to a roster of Wisconsin artists that are a part of this unique art experience. These artists attend the reception, allowing the students to interact with the artists who created the works that they selected for their student led exhibition.

Luckily, we were chosen to present at the Wisconsin Art Education Association conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin on October 20, 2016, as well as at the National Art Education Association Convention in New York, from March 2-4, 2017.

To date, we have created a How To Guide to Organizing Your Very Own Art Exhibition inspired by the DIY Gallery: A Deeper Look into the 365 Artists 365 Days Project. This guide shows art educators how to incorporate Contemporary Art into their curriculum.

For more information on the 365 Artists in 365 Days project please visit https://365artists365days.com/.

Subscriber Submission: Written by Frank Juarez