How to Talk About Art: A Beginner's Guide

Artsy's Learning Team and Jordana Zeldin

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6 Videos (30m)
    • Introduction

    • What Is Art?

    • Asking Questions: What We Can See

    • Asking Questions: What We Can't See

    • Finding Art in the World

    • Final Thoughts


About This Class

If you're new to art, where do you start?

Join Artsy’s Learning Team and Jordana Zeldin for an inviting, 30-minute class on the fundamentals of defining, discussing, and finding contemporary art. This is "Art 101" for our era, opting for straightforward language that everyone — even those who have felt lost or skeptical about contemporary art — can use in their search to engage with art.

Each lesson brings ideas to life with examples from museums, galleries, and even public spaces. You'll learn how to:

  • Identify types of art
  • Look closely, ask questions, and discuss specific works of art
  • Approach art shows in different spaces

Plus, the class resources include additional reading on the artists mentioned in each lesson as well as a downloadable PDF pocket guide of questions to jumpstart your discussion when encountering art in the world.

The goal of this class is to empower you to approach works that may seem intimidating, or to experience art you love in a thoughtful and satisfying way. From sculpture and paintings to performances and film, this class will give you approaches to explain why, enriching your experience of making meaning in art everywhere.


This class is presented in partnership with Artsy, a resource for art collecting and education. Artsy’s mission is to make all the world’s art accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.

287 of 291 students recommendSee All

Played this for a foreign language class, some members of which said art is an essential part of their lives, some who said art is fine if you like that sort of thing, and some who said, "Who cares?" The reaction was unanimous, though-- oh, I still like what I like, but now I understand better. Success.
Nice little intro to some basic knowledge regarding contemporary art. Well done.
This course was throughly taught. A little fast paced buy covered the basics without being overwhelming.





Jordana Zeldin is an independent artists' representative, a docent at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Gallery Partnerships Manager at Artsy. Prior to her work with Artsy, she served as Director and Curator at ArtBridge, a nonprofit organization committed to providing emerging artists with large-scale public exhibition opportunities throughout NYC and beyond. She lives in Brooklyn.