Sotheby’s Institute: Art and Activism

    Sotheby’s Institute: Art and Activism


    • Listing Type: Summer Programs
    • Program Delivery: Day
    • Provided By: Independent Provider
    • Session Start: July
    • Session Length: Two Weeks
    • Entering Grade: 10th, 11th, 12th
    • Gender: Coed
    • Category: Academic
    • Sub-Categories: Social Justice, Writing, Arts, Art History
    • Selective: No
    • Ages: 15, 16, 17, 18
    • Minimum Cost: > $3,000
    • Call: +1 (646) 665-1861
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    Learn about cutting-edge contemporary artists operating at the forefront of social change and explore how artists confront social and political issues, shaping their work as a form of activism, criticism, or inspiration to transform the world we live in.

    What role do artists play as activists? This course examines artists’ relationships with the world around them, focusing on artists who blur the line between art and activism, and whose work awakens viewers and readers to injustices and inequalities. Students will explore how artists address the injustices they see, how they employ art as a powerful tool for communication, and how they use their creativity to challenge established thought in order to create a more equitable culture.


    The course will examine the history of art and activism by looking at work inspired by events such as the Vietnam War, 9/11, immigration, and the Black Lives Matter movement. Students will also learn about cutting-edge contemporary artists who are at the forefront of social change, such as Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei; interdisciplinary social activist Theaster Gates; and legendary feminist critics The Guerrilla Girls. By looking at diverse examples of activist art, students will see how artists respond directly to the needs of local communities through a variety of media. At the heart of this course lies the belief that artists can play a profound role in transforming our time and shaping the future.

    Cost and Session Information

    Day Program: $5325

    Residential Program: $5925

    *Listed program costs do not include course-specific lab and materials fees. Learn more on our website.

    Term 1: June 5-June 17

    Term 2: June 19-July 1

    Term 3: July 3-July 15

    Term 4: July 17-July 29