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Contemporary Art goes hand-in-hand with art-based inquiry for the following reasons:

New Models of Art

Contemporary art breaks out of conventional rules and genres to open art up to different ways to make art and think about art. Artists are free to use any methods and materials that work for them. Also, the very notion of what art is is changing. One strong current in contemporary art is the concept that art is an area of inquiry—a way of learning, discovering and interpreting the world. This contemporary art-notion is the foundation of our art-based inquiry approach. 



Contemporary art poses questions; it “troubles." That means it challenges us to think and it can generate conversations about significant ideas and realities.  It can jump-start an inquiry or deepen and broaden an inquiry by provoking new ways to look at the topic at hand.



Contemporary art is a natural vehicle for art integration. Many artists explore and interpret themes that connect to concepts in the sciences, social studies, humanities and mathematics. They also use the methods and forms of these disciplines. Art is not just another avenue for academic exploration, however, but a generative medium that opens up academic study to student inquiry, expansive and deeper thinking, and imaginative responses.


Models of Creative Strategies for Meaning-Making

Contemporary art provides clear, concrete methods artists employ to convey meaning. These “creative conceptual strategies” are simple ways artists make complex meaning.  When given a variety of creative strategies taken from contemporary art, students can play with them to express their ideas in their own art. This means that the strategies belong, for the most part, in the ideation stage of the research cycle. 

Using Contemporary Art in an Inquiry-Based Classroom  

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