Art School Pedagogy 2.0


The global COVID-19 pandemic has led to a widespread shift to online learning and a renewed appreciation for the value of education. In this crucial moment, studio art teachers have had to do what many previously thought was close to impossible: teach studio art online. Art School Pedagogy 2.0 seeks to address the pedagogical challenges of studio art teaching pre- and post- pandemic through a sequence of online panels and collaborative workshops. Organized into three sections, “Teaching Studio Online,” “Pedagogy as Mentorship,” and "Learning Cultures", the Zoomposium focuses on a diversity of learning environments including higher education, public schools, and community art spaces.

Sponsored by The Art and Art Education Program, Teachers College, Columbia University and MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art)


Guiding Questions:

  • What have we learned by teaching art online so far during this public health crisis? In what ways, if any, has teaching art online been a catalyst for the artistic development of students? If there are distinct benefits to online teaching, how do we merge these assets with our practices once we return to the physical studio?
  • How have the mentoring relationships between art teachers and individual students been altered by distance learning? What is the difference between an art educator and a teaching artist? Do these labels suggest different pedagogical approaches, and if so, is one more effective than the other in certain environments?

  • How have studio learning communities (K -12 classrooms, undergraduate and graduate programs, museum education departments) adapted from in-person physical spaces to online virtual spaces? What does this shift tell us about learning cultures? How do art school cultures differ from one another? What can we learn by comparing teaching practices and learning experiences across different academic environments?

This symposium will be the fifth in a series of conferences on teaching and learning studio art in the 21st century organized by the Art and Art Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Acknowledging the need for professional development of artist-teachers, we will emphasize conversations rather than lectures, following an understanding of pedagogy as a practical concern. To break through categorical barriers, we are broadening the scope of this year’s symposium to address studio teaching across multiple educational environments, including primary and secondary education, undergraduate education, and graduate education.

TC faculty invite submissions for panel presentations, papers, “Reports from the Field,” and an online exhibition from artists, artist-teachers, and educators. We seek a wide range of contributions from across all areas of studio art teaching. Student voices will be an integral part of all online events to provide a deeper understanding of their current needs and expectations for learning and teaching at this critical moment.

To be considered for a session, please submit a blurb of 150-250 words that addresses your ideas and how you would like to present them in an online format, be it a short presentation, a short video, or a paper. As well, please indicate which subsection would be most appropriate for your work: “Teaching Studio Online,” “Pedagogy as Mentorship,” or “Learning Cultures.” If you are interested in presenting a research article, keep in mind that we are planning a post-symposium publication.


Art School 2.0 Zoomposium speakers and panelists are currently being confirmed and will be announced on a rolling basis.


Midway through the 2020 spring semester artists, students, and educators faced the unprecedented challenge of a global Covid pandemic. In this new environment, teaching studio classes online changed from an option to a necessity. One year into this digital experiment, we propose taking a collective moment to pause and reflect: What have we learned about studio teaching and learning online? What have been the unexpected successes of this format, and what have been the consistent challenges? What aspects of successful face-to-face instruction got lost in the shift? And how might we use this experience to alter future in- person studio classes for the better?

This session will look at ways in which teaching art online has been both beneficial and challenging for the development of student art practices. We will share innovative approaches in online studio teaching and models for online exhibitions going forward.

  • 10:00 am - 10:30 am: Welcoming remarks & keynote address
  • 10:30 am - 11:15 am: Panel presentations
  • 11:15 am - 11:45 am: Discussions in break-out groups on selected topics with presenters
  • 11:45 am - 12:00 pm: Reports from the Field.

The intellectual and creative discourse between art teacher and art student anchors every form of art education. To understand how to go about the creative work of making art, students first look to the artists they know best, their own teachers, to model that inquiry. This is increasingly true in higher education. With media specificity on the decline and interdisciplinary cross-media art practices in demand, mentorship models have become a cornerstone of contemporary art school pedagogy. “Pedagogy as Mentorship” raises questions about the role of mentorship in art pedagogy. What type of support structure does an instructor need to be a good mentor? How does mentoring nurture student-driven artwork that doesn’t duplicate the professor’s own unique aesthetic? In what ways has the pandemic altered or complicated mentoring? How does necessary social distancing and communicating through digital tools effect the mentor-mentee relationship? How do we mentor at a time when art making and art consumption have been radically complicated by a public health emergency?

  • 10:00 am - 11:00 am: Short presentations
  • 11:00 am - 11:30 am: Panel, "Mentorship Models: What makes a Good Mentor?"
  • 11:30 am - 12:00 pm: Discussions in break-out groups on selected topics with presenters.

As artists and educators, we spend much of our time exploring and negotiating shared social and aesthetic experiences. Over the past year, many of us have felt isolated or compelled to use our time in isolation to make work that specifically addresses the challenges, possibilities, and contradictions of the inverse: solitary experience in the current cultural moment.

We invite artists to submit work for an open call, virtual gallery exhibition, “Art in Isolation”. Submissions should address the contemporary Covid 19 quarantine experience or related social and psychological issues.

  • 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm: Virtual Reception & Gallery Tour

Studio art instruction takes place in a wide range of creative communities and spaces. These studios and the cultures that grow around them echo the larger academic cultures and social structures in which they are sited. A smaller Art Department at a liberal arts college operates in ways both similar and distinctly different from a School of Fine Art at a larger research university. Both strive to create successful studio programs for their students, yet each may be challenged by factors unique to that space, including student body makeup, faculty mindset, logistical and physical constraints, and abundance or lack of exterior cultural resources. If the art of teaching is an individualized practice shaped to the students’ needs and the circumstances at hand, what pedagogical frameworks might apply to multiple learning environments? How can we change our art school cultures to be more inclusive, to prioritize accessibility for a wider range of students despite logistical limitations? What does that increased accessibility actually look like, for art teachers and art students, in lived experience? This session will explore the dynamics of teaching and learning studio art through the lens of the particular art school cultures through which we all operate. We will address the commonalities and differences between types of schools and the potential for larger pedagogical frameworks to span the divide. We will also pay special attention to how the disruption of the pandemic has revealed the deepest truths of our collective teaching practice, who we really are and what we really do.

  • 10:00 am - 10:30 am: Keynote
  • 10:30 am - 11:30 am: Panel Presentations
  • 11:30 am -12:00 pm: Wrap up session. Final observations and closing remarks.

Getting Involved

Open Call:

  • Call for presenters: Please submit your proposal for a presentation containing title and abstract by January 31, 2021. A publication of proceedings from the symposium is planned for Fall 2021. Apart from individual presenters who can address any one of our three sessions, we are looking for studio art instructors who would like to pair up with others in advance for either collaborative teaching, guest-visits, or observations and then share their experiences as “Reports From the Field.”

Deadline: January 31, 2021

  • Call for artwork: Submission details for “Art in Isolation” can be found here. This exhibition will be held jointly with Macy Art Gallery and CPI- VRP.

Deadline: March 1, 2021

  • Call for papers: We plan to publish an anthology on pedagogical challenges in studio-art teaching in sync with the symposium and are looking for contributions that address any one of the three main subject areas (Teaching Studio Online, Pedagogy as Mentorship, and Learning Cultures). Please submit a short paper (1,500 words) that can be extended to a full article.

Deadline: March 1, 2021

  • Call for videos | posters: In addition to panel presentations and papers, we invite short videos or posters that highlight specific instances of studio pedagogy in action. The submission may take the form of a PDF-poster or a short video (up to 5 minutes) and may be generated from scratch or include snippets from already existing Zoom recordings. Please include a brief written description (up to 250 words) that provides context.

Deadline: March 1, 2020

Please submit your proposal for a presentation, paper, poster, or video here.


Registration is free, but RSVP is mandatory:




For questions, inquiries, or if you are interested in participating/presenting, please contact Jason Watson at


We are now accepting submissions for our online exhibition "Art in Isolation" through the Google form below:

"Art in Isolation" Submission Form (click here)

Please keep in mind requirements for submission:

  • Each artist can submit up to two individual artworks or one series. Please identify your file appropriately, including name, date, title, size, and medium.
  • Your media files should be no larger than 4 MB each.

Artwork is limited to the following media/formats:

  • Images: JPG, PNG, GIF

  • Audio: MP3, WAV, OGG
  • Videos: MP4, WEBM, OGG
  • Objects: GLB, GLTF, OBJ (with MTL and any texture file).


Course: (Conversations Across Cultures)

Art School Pedagogy 2.0 is a Zoomposium that is open for public participation. However, it is also part of an online course A&HA Conversations Across Cultures that students at Teachers College, Columbia University, can enroll in. Links to TC Canvas page with instructional resources and course content.


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