Friday, March 8, 2013


I spent last Sunday afternoon at MoMA. They had an exhibit called "Inventing Abstraction" which chronicled the development of abstract art. Outside the galleries they had a huge diagram (it covered the entire wall) detailing the connections between different artists.

You can see an interactive version of the connections on MoMA website.
The names in red are the artists who had more connections. And you'll notice (particularly if you look at the diagram on the website) that the names in red are well-known names--artists who are particularly prolific, or influential, or have stood the test of time.

As I looked at this diagram (and I spent a long time looking at it, and even longer thinking about it), I wondered--does being connected make you more creative, or does being creative lead you to form more connections? The answer is, I think, both.

I know the opportunity to connect with people online and in person has fueled my work in many ways--I gather ideas and inspiration when other people share their passions with me. And I also know that when I have an idea or project I'm excited about, I'm more likely to reach out to people to share those ideas--whether it's sharing the idea with a colleague over lunch, or using this blog or Twitter or any of my other networks in order to share with a wider audience.

The interconnectedness of creativity and connections has implications not only for our own work as educators, but also for our students. Are we providing opportunities for students to connect with each other and with a wider audience in order to be inspired? Do we create avenues for them to share their ideas and what they're learning? These connections--and the creativity they inspire--are, I believe, inextricably connected.


  1. Connections certainly inspire my creativity. Particularly connections who give me fantastic ideas to use because they know they'll never do anything with 'em themselves... Captain?!

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