As part of AAA’s twentieth anniversary, we are launching Life Lessons, a new series that enquires into models for education led by artists. We ask: What was the most influential lesson they learned in school? And how have they, in turn, passed on what they learned about forms of knowledge and care to their students or communities of learners?

Given the current health crisis, we are pushed to imagine new structures for education, community, and care. Scheduled for spring 2020 to spring 2021, Life Lessons is a series of online and offline conversations and workshops with artists, art collectives, and creative practitioners who teach at universities, build educational programmes at arts organisations, and run their own schools. Each session addresses their unique teaching methods.

The first session includes artist Pablo Helguera and curator Vidya Shivadas, who have been committed to experimenting with pedagogical models within institutions. Helguera and Shivadas test forms and strategies of teaching for both “permanent” and “temporary” structures: Helguera has been leading adult education programmes at established museums and writing about the education of socially engaged art, while Shivadas has developed art educational models for universities, arts organisations, and biennials.

This series is part of AAA’s ongoing research about the role of artistic pedagogy and art schools in the development of modern and contemporary art in Asia and beyond.



Pablo Helguera is an artist who combines performance, visual art, community outreach, and political activism to examine the social and cultural function of conventional teaching and memory systems. Helguera has been Director of Adult and Education Programs at The Museum of Modern Art since 2007. Previously, he was Senior Manager of Adult Programs at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1998–2005), and Manager of Public Programs at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1996–98), among other positions. He is the author of many books, including Education for Socially Engaged Art (2011).

Vidya Shivadas is a curator and director of the Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA) in Delhi. She focuses on creating links between academia and private institutions and develops pedagogical models for young artists, writers, and developers of public art projects and spaces. Shivadas has been a visiting faculty at School of Culture and Creative Expressions, Ambedkar University Delhi, since 2013. She was a faculty for the Post Graduate Diploma in Modern & Contemporary Indian Art & Curatorial Studies at Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai (2013–17).

This event is part of the AAA Learning and Participation Programme, supported by the S. H. Ho Foundation Limited and CK and Kay Ho Foundation.