Introduction to Reading Resources: Studio K.O.S.

Reading Resources: Studio K.O.S. was developed through a unique collaboration between A.R.T., the Walker Art Center, and the artists themselves in September 2020.

This collaboration invited Studio K.O.S. to be virtual artists-in-residence at the Walker Art Center. At the core of the residency was a series of online workshops for Minneapolis-based educators and students on the Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council (WACTAC), based on Studio K.O.S.'s distinctive method of jamming.

Studio K.O.S. introduced jamming to educators and teens by working with Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man (1952). This text has remained an early and important influence throughout the collective’s practice, and held new resonances during the 2020 protests for racial justice. During two workshops—held online due to the ongoing pandemic—Studio K.O.S. invited educators and students to collectively read and discuss a passage of Invisible Man, before producing digital artworks directly on scanned images of the book’s pages.

To learn about the workshop and adapt it to your classroom, read the online instruction guide by Walker Youth Programs Coordinator Simona Zappas here.

Several months later, A.R.T.’s Education Advisor Wendy Tronrud met with WACTAC again to collectively read Martin Luther King Jr.’s sermon “Transformed Nonconformist” (1954). In this session, they expanded Studio K.O.S.’s jamming method from a visual to question-based exercise.

To adapt WACTAC’s collective reading of King Jr.’s sermon to your classroom, view the activity guide here.

During Studio K.O.S.'s residency, the group also interviewed Attorney General Keith Ellison, a prominent civil rights advocate and arts supporter. The group discussed multi-generational community building, the impact of public protest, and the roles that art and artists play in the fight for racial justice.

A recording of the interview is available for viewing here.

The project concluded with a public Post-Workshop Dialog in which Studio K.O.S. joined A.R.T.’s Wendy Tronrud and the Walker’s Nisa Mackie, Head of Public Engagement, Learning, and Impact.

This Reading Resources guide took shape through the ideas, conversations, and art-works generated by this rich collaborative process. By expanding the jamming method to a wider range of texts and topics, this guide enables educators to activate the transformative potentials of art-making and critical literacy.

Colophon

Reading Resources: Studio K.O.S. was produced by Wendy Tronrud (A. R. T. Education Advisor) in collaboration with Art Resources Transfer (A.R.T.) and the Walker Art Center in 2020-21.

In memory of Tim Rollins.

A.R.T. would like to thank the Walker Art Center; in particular Nisa Mackie (Head of Public Engagement, Learning, and Impact), Simona Zappas (Youth Programs Coordinator), and Sara Shives (Production Manager).

We are grateful for the financial support of our generous funders. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

Additional support was granted by:
National Endowment for the Arts
H.W. Wilson Foundation
Wilhelm Family Foundation
Maureen Paley
A.R.T. Board of Directors
A.R.T. Advisory Board
Most specially, we thank Studio K.O.S.: Angel Abreu, Jorge Abreu, Robert Branch, and Ricardo Savinon.

Web programming by Document Services.
Copyright © Art Resources Transfer, Inc 2021.

All images are protected under copyright by the original rights holders.

A.R.T. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

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