Research Guides

Go Deeper with Fresh Art International’s Thematic Research Guides

The vibrant voices of Fresh Art take on new life in our Research Guide series. Perfect for classrooms, remote teaching, or solo learning, these guides explore relevant and timely themes in contemporary creativity. Animated by the original conversations of the Fresh Art podcast, this richly-illustrated series fuses active listening, visual engagement, and cultural literacy. Creative activities, discussion questions, and reading lists invite users to dive deep into our featured topics. 



Fresh Art International, Issue 1, Cover, New Centers of Critical Gravity

Issue 1 / New Centers of Critical Gravity: Art Biennials in North America 

Originally published 2015, and refreshed in 2020, this issue includes conversations with curators, artists, and communities involved in contemporary art biennials in Santa Fe, New Orleans, and Montreal. Join us to consider the future of biennial-style exhibitions. Features: Andrea Bowers, Chas Jamison Banks, Sylvie Fortin, Gianfranco Foschino, Remy Jungerman, Irene Hofmann, Glenda León, Jillian Mayer, Jason Middlebrook, Gary Simmons, Franklin Sirmans, Melanie Smith, Tavares Strachan, Margaret Thomas                                                                                                

Fresh Art International, Issue 2, Cover, Site SensitiveIssue 2 / Site Sensitive: Contemporary Art With a Sense of Place

Contemporary artists and curators reveal how context influences content in international projects featuring photography, video, installation, sound, and performance. Features: Janet Biggs, Tania Bruguera, Louis Grachos, Sarah Hobbs, Joan Jonas, Jason Moran, Tameka Norris, Adam Schreiber, Stephen Vitiello, Agustina Woodgate


Fresh Art International, Issue 3, Cover, Spatial Interventions

Issue 3 / Spatial Interventions: Experimental Projects in the Public Sphere

Contemporary artists, curators, architects, and filmmakers talk about projects that transform the individual experience of communities, institutions, and environments around the world. Features: Cesar Cornejo, Joanna Malinowska, Mary Mattingly, Agnes Meyer-Brandis, Sarah Oppenheimer, William Pope.L, Helena Reckitt, Jack Sanders, Marinella Senatore, Scott Stulen and Katie Hill, Naama Tsabar and Mindy Abovitz


Fresh Art International, Issue 4, Cover, Creating Connection, Sparking Engagement

Issue 4 / Creating Connections: Sparking Engagement

In São Paulo, North Adams, Chicago, and Richmond, the works and exhibitions in Issue 4 invite you to consider how artists and curators pose enduring questions about the meaning of art as a social practice. Features: Jochen Volz, William Pope.L, Anawana Haloba, Donna Kukama, Rick Lowe, Susan Cross, James Voorhies, Stephanie Smith, Theaster Gates, Allison Knowles, Marinella Senatore


Fresh Art International, Issue 5, Cover, The Art of Capitalism

Issue 5 / The Art of Capitalism

Online, in museums, galleries, and out on the streets, we consider the relationship between art and global capitalism. Features: Occupy Museums, The Tower of David, The Bank Job, Museums of Capitalism in Oakland, California, Berlin and Brussels, Reverend Billy, Stop Shopping Choir


Issue 6 / Where Art Meets Activism

In 2020, artists are highly visible on cultural and literal frontlines at protests and rallies. This year, the latest police killings of unarmed Black civilians, the COVID-19 epidemic, and the divisive presidential election have thrown into sharp relief the engrained systemic social, legal, employment, education, and health care inequities that persist in this country. During this fraught moment, we look to creative activists around the world for inspiration. Their work is not only relevant, but also vital to causes with evolving urgency. Based on the original 45-minute podcast episode “Where Art Meets Activism” (published 2018). Features: Ralph Rugoff, Catherine Morris, Andrea Bowers, Tania Bruguera, Maria Alyokhina


Issue 7 / Black in America

The perspectives of Black artists and curators brought together in this research guide are as varied and complicated as the Black experience in the United States. With consulting curator Allison Glenn, we illuminate the histories, issues, and ideas they voiced in our 2018 episode Black in America. The issue expands learning opportunities with a timeline of landmark exhibitions and a select bibliography. Features: Sanford Biggers, Theaster Gates, Thelma Golden, Fahamu Pecou, Jefferson Pinder, Johanne Rahaman, Deborah Roberts, Amy Sherald, Hamza Walker




In every guide, you will:

  • Learn about the background and art historical context of the Fresh Voices featured in our conversation.
  • Take Note of other concepts, people, and institutions that we introduce.
  • Dive into a rich Conversation between Fresh Art Founder Cathy Byrd and creatives from around the globe.
  • Dig Deeper with thoughtfully curated reading lists of quality content from across the internet.
  • Spark Discussion with provocative questions that challenge assumptions and elicit creative solutions
  • Reflect and Write On prompts that invite users to connect Guide content with their own background, history, and experience.
  • Make It Your Own with creative projects for groups and individuals that synthesize Guide themes with original artistic expression.
  • Get Inspired by other international students and makers who are using art to make change, raise awareness, and express their identities.

About Our Podcast: A resource for individuals, communities and schools since 2001, our art and culture podcast combines interviews with field recordings. Rich sound effects inform and inspire each conversation. Keeping in mind both the curious and the cognoscenti, we promote and support public access and awareness of the arts through our free digital archive nearing 300 episodes. We are committed to telling inspiring research-based stories through the lens of today’s art, film and architecture.

About Our Research Guides: In 2015, we launched our Research Guides with Volume 1 (Issues, 1, 2, and 3). In 2020, we will publish Volume 2 of our guides (Issues 4, 5, 6, and 7) and refresh Volume 1, updating graphics and content to address the unique concerns of this moment in history. 

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