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Art:21 -- Art in the Twenty-First Century

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Title: Art:21 -- Art in the Twenty-First Century  
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Art:21 -- Art in the Twenty-First Century

Art:21 - Art in the 21st Century is a PBS series, educational resource, archive, and history of contemporary art. It premiered in 2001, and is now broadcast in over 50 countries worldwide. Premiering a new season every two years, Art:21 is the only series on United States television to focus exclusively on contemporary visual art and artists. It is a nonprofit organization founded in 1997 to make contemporary art more accessible to the public, and to document 21st-century art and artists from the artists' own perspectives. Their overall goal is to raise the profile of major players in the world of contemporary art and to encourage creativity. The main office is located in New York City.


The Art21 organization's current projects include their PBS television series, education, public programs & outreach, online resources (including Art21 Blog), and the publishing of books.

Art21 Blog is written by writers and contributors and since 2008, has featured posts written by guest writers.

Season synopsis

Each season is separated into episodes by themes. Each theme showcases artists that fit into that niche in some fashion.

Season one (2001):

Season two (2003):

Season three (2005):

Season four (2007):

Season five (2009):

Season six (2012):

Season seven (2014):

  • Investigation (10/24) - Featured artists are Thomas Hirschhorn, Graciela Iturbide, Leonardo Drew.
  • Secrets (10/31) - Featured artists are Elliott Hundley, Arlene Shechet, Trevor Paglen.
  • Legacy (11/7) - Featured artists are Tania Bruguera, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Wolfgang Laib.
  • Fiction (11/14) - Featured artists are Katharina Grosse, Joan Jonas, Omer Fast.



  • George Foster Peabody Award
  • Platinum Best in Show from the Aurora Awards
  • Gold Remi from the 41st WorldFest Independent Film Festival
  • Silver Hugo from the 44th Hugo Television Awards
  • Silver Screen from the 41st U.S. International Film and Video Festival
  • Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Artistic and Cultural Programming
  • Gold Hugo Award from the Chicago International Television Competition
  • CINE Golden Eagle Award
  • Gold Award from Aurora Film Festival
  • Bronze Remi Award from World Fest Houston International Film Festival


  • Festival International du Film Sur L'Art (FIFA)
  • Arte Cinema: Festival Internationale di Film sull' Arte Contemporanea


  • National Arts Education Association (NAEA) Annual Convention: 2011 keynote presentation with Janine Antoni and Oliver Herring; 2009 keynote presentation with Mark Bradford; 2007 presentation of the Youth Engagement initiative; 2006 keynote speech by artist Krzysztof Wodiczko, all-day screening salon, and super session panel presentation showcasing Art21 in the classroom; 2005 screening event in collaboration with The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston.
  • National Center for Outreach (NCO) Conference: Annual PBS Pipeline presentation: 2004 panel session explored using the arts to address community issues.
  • Grant-makers in the Art Annual Conference: Armchair discussion with artists and educators about Art21, education, and new media.
  • Arts Education Partnership(AEP) Professional Development Forum: Workshop presented Art21 and opportunities to support professional development in arts education.

Additional conferences: New York City Art Teachers Association/United Federation of Teachers (NYCATA/UFT) Annual Conference Colorado Art Education Association (CAEA) Annual Conference Art Educators of New Jersey (AENJ) Annual Conference New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) National Education Telecommunications Association

Advisory councils

Art21 has 4 advisory councils that specialize in different aspects, but who all work to further the aspirations of the organization.

  • The Curatorial Council A nationally based group that helps to set the basis for each of the "Art:21 - Art in the 21st Century" seasons.
  • Education Advisory Council A group of nationally recognized educators in K-12, higher education and museum education that contribute insight in strategic planning to support Art21's core education mission.
  • The Humanities Advisory Council A group of Humanities scholars who aim to help establish a relationship between visual art and humanities disciplines.
  • The International Council An international group of scholars, arts professionals, museum directors, critics and curators that supports Art21's global commitment to education and access.


  1. ^ "Celebrating the World Preview of ART21 Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 7". Art:21. 2014-06-16. 


  • Art21's Official Organization Website
  • PBS "Art:21 - Art in the 21st Century" Page
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