Making Art: Making an Art Life

An independent study workshop with Nato Thompson

In this 5 month independent workshop, we are encouraging artists to sign up who want a course that operates in parallel to their artistic practice. This course will offer feedback and workshops on your art and offer a variety of methods to consider where it could lead to. In addition to both peer to peer and instructor-led feedback, the workshop will also consider a variety of methods for getting your art in front of a variety of audiences. And finally, we will consider the spiritual and mindful techniques available for artists to allow themselves to be both vulnerable and resilient as they pursue the magical, but difficult, life of an artist.

Our Independent Study Program consists of Five Class Sessions (Always recorded), Five Peer to Peer Feedback Sessions (30-40 mins per student, per session), Three 1-1 Mentoring Sessions (30-40 mins each), & One Culminating Showcase (Public Facing)
Session Type Descriptions:

Lecture / Discussion - 2 hrs
Once a month, these group gatherings will tackle information that applies to the group as a whole. Topics for these lectures will be based on foundational TAAS theories and tailored to the cohort through the specific needs and interests you share through your intake form. Monthly lectures will include presentations, special guests, breakout discussions, and exercises.

Cohort Feedback Sessions - 2.5 hrs
Once a month, you will meet in smaller groups of 4. Within these sessions, you will use compassionate critique strategies to help clarify, problem solve, and brainstorm your projects forward. Each month, you will have 30-40 minutes of direct feedback from your peer artists. Peer artists groupings will be constructed from the information you share on your intake form.

1-1 Mentor Meetings - .5 hrs
You will have three 1-1 mentoring sessions for 30-40 minutes each. During this time, you can ask questions, get feedback & personalized coaching advice. During your enrollment period you will select your 1-1 mentoring sessions times.

Culminating Showcase - Public facing & shared across our social networks
At the end of the Independent Study Program, TAAS will host a virtual showcase of the work and projects completed. At the beginning of the program, you will be asked to set your goals for this showcase. The showcase can include but is not limited to, online exhibits, virtual performances, video/ film screenings, artist talks, performative lectures, or other alternative strategies for digital showcasing. The showcase will be open to the public, shared on social media and through our newsletter.

Monthly Lectures & Feedback Sessions: Wednesdays 12 - 2pm
Mentor 1-1 Sessions: TBD (this will be scheduled with you during enrollment)

ISP Payment Requirements: Students must pay first and last month to enroll and have a card on file for autopay.

Enrollment deadline: July 3, 2024

July 10th - November 20th

12 - 2pm ET

Students Max

$300 per month
with a 5-month commitment* & Autopay

Nato Thompson is an author, curator, and what he describes as “cultural infrastructure builder”. He has worked as Artistic Director at Philadelphia Contemporary, and Creative Time as Artistic Director and Curator at MASS MoCA.

Thompson organized major Creative Time projects including The Creative Time Summit (2009–2015), Pedro Reyes’ Doomocracy (2016), Kara Walker’s A Subtlety (2014), Living as Form (2011), Trevor Paglen’s The Last Pictures (2012), Paul Ramírez Jonas’s Key to the City (2010), Jeremy Deller’s It is What it is (2009, with New Museum curators Laura Hoptman and Amy Mackie), Democracy in America: The National Campaign (2008), and Paul Chan’s Waiting for Godot in New Orleans (2007), among others.

He has written two books of cultural criticism, Seeing Power: Art and Activism in the 21st Century (2015) and Culture as Weapon: The Art of Influence in Everyday Life (2017). He founded the Alternative Art School in 2020.

Since January 2007, Nato Thompson has organized major projects for Creative Time including the annual Creative Time Summit, Living as Form (2011), Paul Ramirez Jonas’s Key to the City (2010), Jeremy Deller’s It is What it is with New Museum curators Laura Hoptman and Amy Mackie (2009), Democracy in America: The National Campaign (2008), Paul Chan’s acclaimed Waiting for Godot in New Orleans (2007) and Mike Nelson’s A Psychic Vacuum with curator Peter Eleey. Previously, he worked as Curator at MASS MoCA where he completed numerous large-scale exhibitions including The Interventionists: Art in the Social Sphere (2004) with a catalogue distributed by MIT Press. His writings have appeared in numerous publications including BookForum, Frieze, Art Journal, Art Forum, Parkett, Cabinetand The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest. The College Art Association awarded him for distinguished writing in Art Journal in 2004. He curated the exhibition for Independent Curators International titled Experimental Geography with a book available by Melville House Publishing. His book Seeing Power: Socially Engaged Art in the Age of Cultural Production was published by Melville House in January 2012.

Living As Form, 2011, With Creative Time.
Kara Walker, A Subtlety, 2014, with Nato Thompson and Creative Time.
Drifting in Daylight, 2015, Collaboration with Central Park Conservancy.
Chto Delat, A Monument to the Century of Revolutions, 2017 Creative Time Summit, Toronto, Curated by Nato Thompson.

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