East Meets West: Visual Arts in Action
About ''Arts in Action'' Project Gallery Resources Toolkit
These PBS programs, Web sites and print materials will motivate your creativity. Dig into these resources because they are sure to launch a spark! Remember, there are an infinite number of ways to express your thoughts and perspectives through the visual arts so explore away!

  • American Masters -- Visual Arts

    AMERICAN MASTERS is an ongoing series of award-winning primetime specials examining the lives, works, and creative processes of our most outstanding cultural artists.

  • Art in the 21st Century
    Art:21 -- Art in the Twenty-First Century is the only series on television to focus exclusively on contemporary visual art and artists in the United States, and it uses the medium of television to provide an experience of the visual arts that goes far beyond a gallery visit. Fascinating and intimate footage allows the viewer to observe the artists at work, watch their process as they transform inspiration into art, and hear their thoughts as they grapple with the physical and visual challenges of achieving their artistic visions.

  • City Arts
    A fourteen-time Emmy-winning series about the New York Arts scene.

  • EGG: The Arts Show
    EGG is a television show about people making art across America.

    Spark is about Bay Area artists and arts organizations -- it is a weekly television show, an educational outreach program and a Web site. More than a showcase for art objects and the artists who make them, Spark takes the audience inside the creative process to witness the challenges, opportunities and rewards of making art.

  • Degas and the Dance
    Check out one of Impressionism's foremost artists and the environment that inspired his best-loved works.

  • George Segal -- American Still Life
    This documentary chronicles the life and work of the internationally acclaimed, New Jersey-based sculptor, whose trademark life-size plaster casts can be seen in major museums and in public spaces throughout the country, from the FDR Memorial in Washington to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York.

  • Hans Hoffman -- Artist/Teacher, Teacher/Artist
    Discover the master painter and pioneering educator who influenced generations of artists.

  • NOVA: Lost Treasures of Tibet
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tibet/ In Lost Treasures of Tibet, NOVA goes behind the scenes with the first conservation team from the West, as it undertakes the painstaking restoration of stunning and ancient Tibetan masterpieces, and the beautiful monasteries that house them.

  • Sister Wendy's American Collection
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/sisterwendy/ In this collection, Sister Wendy, the engaging art critic moves beyond the world of daVinci and Monet to explore the wider riches of six of America's greatest museums: Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, Forth Worth's Kimbell Art Museum, New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Cleveland Museum of Art.


  • Africa -- Photoscope
    Take a closer look at contemporary Africa in these five photo essays by photographers from around the globe.

  • American High -- Lisa's Photos
    Every picture tells a story... so what's the skinny behind photographer Lisa Maizlish's photos of Allie, Robby and Tiffany?

  • American Photography -- A Century of Images
    Dramatic and intimate stories trace photography's profound effect on American life - influencing what we buy, how we dress, how we get the news, and in matters of life and death, medicine, science and war.

  • Ansel Adams
    In this elegant, moving and lyrical portrait of the most eloquent and quintessentially American of photographers, producer Ric Burns explores the meaning and legacy of Adams' life and work. At the heart of the film are the great themes that absorbed Adams throughout his career: the beauty and fragility of "the American earth," the inseparable bond of man and nature, and the moral obligation the present owes to the future.

  • George Eastman: The Wizard of Photography
    With his introduction of the popular Kodak and Brownie camera systems, George Eastman revolutionized the photographic industry, bringing a complex, expensive technology to the masses. A brilliant innovator and entrepreneur, Eastman changed the way people viewed time and the world around them.

  • Independent Lens: Hansel Mieth -- Vagabond Photographer
    This is the compelling tale of a pioneering woman photojournalist who created some of the most indelible images of America mid-20th century. A German immigrant who arrived in this country in the midst of the Great Depression, she rose to become a celebrated LIFE magazine staff photographer, only the second woman to occupy that position. Armed with convictions, perseverance, and talent, Mieth courageously carved out a career in the male-dominated world of photojournalism at a time when very few women were accepted in the profession.

  • Keeping Time: The Life, Music, and Photographs of Milt Hinton
    Explore a loving portrait of a remarkably creative and generous man, who not only made beautiful music, but also took some of the most unforgettable photographs of 20th-century American life. Snapping more than 60,000 pictures over the years, Hinton provided an insider's look at the world of American music, as well as American history, from touring the South in the 1930s to his death in 2000.

  • Thomas Eakins: Scenes from a Modern Life
    Fascinated and inspired by the rapidly changing world, especially in 19th century Philadelphia - a center of industry, science and culture - Eakins captured the morphing times in which he lived.


  • American Masters -- Film

    AMERICAN MASTERS is an ongoing series of award-winning primetime specials examining the lives, works, and creative processes of our most outstanding cultural artists.

  • Chuck Jones
    With a personality as engaging as the characters he brought to the screen, legendary animator Chuck Jones takes viewers behind the scenes to reveal the originality and artistry of his timeless cartoon creations.

  • Independent Spirits: The Faith and John Hubley Story
    The Hubleys re-defined animation, breaking from traditional styles by confronting important social issues and using innovative graphics and experimental sound.

  • Kurosawa
    A giant of 20th-century cinema, Akira Kurosawa holds a unique place among the world's most distinguished filmmakers as the only non-Westerner.

  • REEL New York
    Look into Thirteen's showcase of local independent films and videos -- from narrative to documentary, from animation to experimental.

  • Seth Eastman: Painting the Dakota
    This is a story of art crossing the boundaries of culture and time. Learn about artist and military officer Seth Eastman's life and the traditions of the Dakota he depicted, through Eastman's artwork, essays, and interviews with Dakota elders.


  • African American World
    Think American arts and think African American: Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo," Jacob Lawrence's "Migration of the Negro." Artistic works by African Americans have revolutionized the American arts scene and given the cultural face America shows the outside world its verve and vigor.

  • America Quilts
    America Quilts shows the beauty and inspiration of America's quilts including the stirring stories from those working to preserve the art and history of American Quilts.

  • Brothermen
    Interweaving performances, music, dance, photography, archival footage and interviews, BrotherMen celebrates the lives and enduring achievements of these African American artists.

  • Get up, Stand up: The Story of Pop and Protest
    Since the early 20th century, musicians have come together in the name of human rights to fight war, hunger, corruption, oppression, AIDS, apartheid, and Third World debt. GET UP, STAND UP serves as a timely reminder of the potent role music has played in a century's worth of political protest.

  • Independent Lens: Downside Up
    What happens when the smallest, poorest town in Massachusetts teams up with art world luminaries to build a modern art museum? Can big city conceptual artists and blue-collar natives find common ground and a common cause? That's what the film DOWNSIDE UP investigates, capturing the beginnings of America's largest museum of contemporary art, MASS MoCA (the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) and the rebirth of its host city, North Adams, Massachusetts.

  • Independent Lens: Race is the Place
    Funny, angry and profound, RACE IS THE PLACE is a visual and verbal riff on race in America from a wide variety of artists, poets, rappers, performance artists and stand-up comics. Featuring established artists as well as up-and-comers, this one-hour jam combines racially charged clips from old movies with interviews and performances. These pieces dare to examine one of the most emotionally explosive issues in American life, busting stereotypes by using humor and poetry to say things traditionally left unsaid.

  • Independent Lens: Worst Possible Illusion - The Curiosity Cabinet of Vik Muniz
    Otherwise known as one of the art world's rising young stars, the Brazilian artist invites viewers on a tour of his life, work and mind in WORST POSSIBLE ILLUSION: The Curiosity Cabinet of Vik Muniz. Follow Vik on a whimsical, world-hopping journey from his studio in Brooklyn, New York; to his native Brazil for a visit to his grandmother; to Chicago, his first home in the United States where he worked as a gas-station attendant and pushed carts in a grocery store; to Arizona, where he creates a gigantic bone "excavation" in the desert and goes to extraordinary lengths to capture it on film.

  • Medici -- Godfathers of the Renaissance
    Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance tells the story of a violent, dramatic and compelling age; a critical turning point in Western history. Travel back in time to see the real human stories behind the European Renaissance, and the family that bankrolled it.

  • No Direction Home: Bob Dylan
    A collaboration between Martin Scorsese and Bob Dylan, this documentary focuses on the singer-songwriter's life and music from 1961-66, includes never-seen performance footage and interviews with artists and musicians whose lives intertwined with Dylan's during that time.

  • Off the Map
    Off the Map is all about the visions of paradise that ten people from around the world have created. These people did not consider themselves to be artists - but what they have built is amazing and very difficult to categorize.

  • P.O.V -- In the Realms of the Unreal
    Reclusive janitor by day, visionary artist by night, outsider artist Henry Darger moved through life virtually unnoticed. But after his death, a treasure trove was discovered in his one-room Chicago apartment: a staggering 15,000-page novel and hundreds of illustrations that continue to inspire artists around the world.

  • P.O.V -- Sweet Old Song
    Sweet Old Song, a new film by Leah Mahan, is the story of Armstrong and Ward's courtship and marriage - a unique partnership that has inspired an outpouring of art and music. This creative work draws on nearly a century of African American experience, beginning with Armstrong's vivid stories and paintings of his childhood in a segregated town in Tennessee.

  • Skin Stories
    Featuring traditional tattooing ceremonies, compelling interviews, and a breathtaking collection of tattoo body art, Skin Stories traces the roots of tattoo, highlighting individual stories and the evolution of cultural traditions in the Pacific.