Under the Influence Highlights | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios | Summary and Q&A

November 20, 2014
The Art Assignment
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Under the Influence Highlights | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios


The hosts review and discuss various creative and innovative art responses to the "Under the Influence" assignment, showcasing the diversity and inspiration found in different mediums and influences.

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Key Insights

  • 💦 Artists' willingness to share their work and process without concerns about ownership can inspire others and create a collaborative environment.
  • 🖐️ The "Under the Influence" assignment provided an opportunity for artists to explore and experiment with different mediums and techniques, giving them the freedom to copy and play.
  • 🥺 Giving oneself permission to explore influences, even when unsure of their source, can lead to sincere and beautiful creations.
  • 🧑‍🎨 Nostalgic influences, such as childhood memories of art-related advertisements, can have a lasting impact on artists' creative journeys.
  • 🥰 The importance of approaching art with playfulness and not taking oneself too seriously was highlighted.
  • 😒 The use of different mediums and techniques, such as ceramics, photography, and music composition, showcased the breadth of creativity inspired by the assignment.
  • 🧑‍🎨 Art has the power to evoke strong emotions and provoke thoughts about the body, presentation, and the boundaries artists are willing to push.


Hi, Peggy Nola. My name's Gary Nola. And I'm Sarah Urist Green. And today, we're here to discuss your responses to the "Art Assignment" episode Under the Influence. Peggy and Gary Nolan have generously agreed to review your responses and talk to us from Kansas City. We all really enjoyed your contributions. And if we talked about them all, it would... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What impressed the hosts about Spencer Welch's "Pong Shirt" contribution?

The hosts were impressed by Welch's innovative take on technology and nostalgia for the game Pong. They found his sharing of the code for the shirt design to be incredibly generous and inspiring.

Q: How did Cortlandt Matthews approach the "Under the Influence" assignment with music composition?

Matthews experimented with techniques used by renowned composers such as Lamont Young and Philip Glass. The hosts appreciated how this assignment gave Matthews the freedom to play and copy, which can be rare due to copyright restrictions.

Q: What did the hosts find inspiring about Tania Drewitt's video painting Picasso's "Two Women Running on the Beach" with Adventure Time characters?

The hosts found it inspiring that Drewitt gave herself permission to explore her influences, even if she was unsure of their source. They praised the beauty and sincerity of her creation, which reflected her personal stories and experiences.

Q: How did My Year By Design's submission evoke nostalgia for the hosts?

My Year By Design mentioned the drawing lessons advertised in bubble gum wrappers, which made the hosts recall their first realization that art could be an occupation. This nostalgic connection resonated with them.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The hosts review and discuss selected art responses that stood out to them from the "Under the Influence" assignment, highlighting their unique qualities and inspirations.

  • Various mediums and techniques are showcased, including Pong shirt design, music composition, painting, photography, ceramics, and more.

  • The importance of giving oneself permission to explore and be influenced by other artists is emphasized, as it can lead to innovative and beautiful creations.

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