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This Is What I Know About Art

(Pocket Change Collective)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  849 ratings  ·  116 reviews
Pocket Change Collective was born out of a need for space. Space to think. Space to connect. Space to be yourself. And this is your invitation to join us.

In this powerful and hopeful account, arts writer, curator, and activist Kimberly Drew reminds us that the art world has space not just for the elite, but for everyone.

Pocket Change Collective is a series of small books
Paperback, 64 pages
Published June 2nd 2020 by Penguin Workshop
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Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I genuinely believe that everyone I know should read this book. I also think they will each get something different out of it, and that makes me excited to talk to everyone I know about this book.
Jun 18, 2020 rated it liked it
The fine art world is whitewashed, artists of color left out and unrecognized. Kimberly shares her experiences as a Black woman working in the art world, and her gradual realizations about the strong connection between art and protest, and what is needed to make the art world more accessible both for audience and creators.

Appreciated the suggestions of Black artists to check out, wish there were images included. Wanted a little more analysis, a little less resume recounting.
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
a slim, lovely, and personal ode to the importance of art in kimberly drew's life. the main emphasis is the direct tie between art and activism, and how intertwined the two are for her. as someone who struggles to relate to visual arts, i perhaps was expecting something different from this-- maybe a contemporary and condensed 'ways of seeing' a la john berger? but i think that's just me. ...more
Dec 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
"This is my story about loving art so much that you want to see it change for the better."

This pocket sized book is a part of a series by Pocket Change Collective that is built on the premise "small books with big ideas from today's leading activists."

This book chronicles Kimberly Drew's life changing "summer internship at the Studio Museum in Harlem, a museum dedicated to showing art by people of the African diaspora". This experienced ignited a love and desire to learn more about black artists
Stephanie Tournas
May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This tiny book is a part of a new series of short books by young adult activists in different disciplines explaining how they merged their study with social change. Drew is an arts writer and activist who is trying to make Black artists part of the mainstream art world. She explains how her college art training included very few Black artists, and relates how in her work life she endeavored to make Black art accessible to all, especially to the Black public, in her jobs after college. The essay ...more
I received ARCs of these little Pocket Collective books and they are simply exceptional. They're basically TED talks in a book. This one is about a Black activist who draws attention to the lack of Black art history in schools and museums. She gives her own experiences in various colleges and museums, all culminating in her time at the Met and how she is slowly but surely making an impact on underserved groups. I appreciated her humility in acknowledging that she can't do it herself, but that sh ...more
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Drew recounts how art influenced her life. Her narrative is peppered with anecdotes about elitism in the art world, how she discovered black and Latinx artists, and what she has been able to do to make art more accessible to a wider audience.

My only complaint is that this book was too short (I read it in less than 20 minutes). I understand this is the series format, but I would have appreciated learning about other contemporary artists whose works I may just appreciate in jpegs, much like the au
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rep: queer Black author, Black artists discussed


I don't have a lot of thoughts about this book, as it's so short; mostly, I enjoyed what I learned from it and I'm glad I read it. The style didn't blow me away or anything, but I didn't really care; it felt like the author was just talking to me about something they were passionate about, which I think is the whole point. I also hope I can find this on ebook later on so I can catch some of the artists' names I missed on audiobook because I'm a
Palos Heights Public Library
This Is What I Know About Art is from the Pocket Change Collective series, small books with big ideas from today's leading activists. This book focuses on Kimberly Drew and how she found a career in the art world. Drew visited museums as a young girl and fell in love with art. She eventually realized that is where she belonged, so she started taking courses in art history only to find that she was a bit behind compared to her peers. This didn't stop her, she studied hard and created an art blog ...more
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Thank you Penguin Teen and NetGalley for the free advanced digital copy. All thoughts are my own.

This is What I Know About Art by Kimberly Drew is a part of the Pocket Change Collective Series. This tiny book is packed with anecdotes and lessons on how to take a passion, like art, and turn it into activism. Drew reminds her readers that "art and protest will forever be bound together. And the beautiful thing about art, like activism, is that it allows us space to be curious and learn." She is hu
Thomasin Propson
Short (63 pages) and powerful and angry and hopeful and determined. In Kimberly Drew's own words: This is my story about loving art so much that you want to see it change for the better.

Describing the essential voice and balm of art in response to continuing violence committed by police upon Black and justice-seeking communities: My faith in the importance of art had never been more concrete. It was images, sculptures, and writing that helped me wade through the anger I was feeling. There was a
A Reader in Time
This is a really good book that I really enjoyed. It follows the authors story of using art as a form of activism and continuing to diversify art in today’s world. I am not going to rate this book because it is a work of nonfiction and I don’t feel comfortable giving someone’s life story a star rating. But I would definitely recommend this book if you want to learn more about black artists and why it’s so important to have a diverse museum collection.
Chris Shores
Nov 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
You could literally carry this book in your pocket, find a park bench and read it in one sitting. But I would suggest reading it over multiple days, looking up the Black artists Kimberly Drew writes about, and thinking hard about the many questions she raises. Is a museum, even a free one, truly accessible if it isn't actively finding ways to connect with people and feature diverse artists and perspectives? How can we be anti-racist in ensuing that everyone can experience and learn from art? Wha ...more
Marisha Murphy
Jun 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a cute little pocket book. Perfect for a quick flight read.
Kimberly Drew love for art is for the most part unmatched. She has been into art activism since she was in kindergarten. Art is a core part of her upbringing as well as who she is as a person. This is the story about how that love was so strong that it empowered her to strive to change art and the process for the better. It is a pretty light read. It can be best described as a short walk down memory lane.
Aug 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Loved the mentions of artists that I'd never heard of before, I was writing down names and looking up images and articles to read while going through this lil' book!

Excited to read Drew's Black Futures next year!
Alec Rigdon
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredibly quick read with a lot of great food for thought concerning the art world and who is included.
Jensen Werley
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A small but mighty book that will get you thinking about the relationship between activism and art.
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love reading lovers’ accounts of encountering art and literature so this was really up my alley. I would read a way longer book by Kimberly Drew.
LaShana (she|her) Avery
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There are definitely some great gems about making museums more accessible for POCs. And this is a great read for any POC entering White spaces on how to be yourself and make change at your organization.
Aug 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
This is more of a memoir than a book about the art world. I did enjoy it, but I really think it would have been better had it been longer, and going into more details.
Mary Donofrio
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you work in a creative field, love art, or are invested in diversity and access, this is a lovely, short, and sharp read. I read this through the library but I’m most likely going to purchase my own copy to have on hand.
Mashed Potato
Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

i want what she has
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-challenge
Listened to the audiobook. Need to go back in the print version and look up all the artists! I love these little books! I'm excited to read them all! ...more
Asia Edwards
Jan 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Drew’s passion for getting Black people properly, and proudly represented in the Art world is admirable. Her commitment to the culture and representation is everything.
Feb 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021
From my reading list for Black History Month. Discovered Morgan Parker's poem "I Feel Most Colored When I Am Thrown Against A Sharp White Background: after Glenn Ligon after Zora Neale Hurston" through this book. ...more
Brenda Kahn
Informative and readable given the constraints of the short and small form. There were times during the narrative that I wished for more. Interesting young person doing important work.
Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction-read
I really like the way Kimberly Drew writes, I found it very engaging and enjoyable. I liked how she curated her experiences and also her references to various artists works.
Nov 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
"It was images, sculpture, and writing that helped me wade through the anger I was feeling. There was a moment of respite whenever I encountered a work that mirrored feelings that felt too complicated to define on my own." ...more
Jun 16, 2020 rated it liked it
(3.5) I really liked this slim text however it read more like a narrative CV than deep analysis. I wanted more about Drew's thoughts on how art can be revolutionary and serve within revolutions. I highlighted all of the artists she mentioned that I wasn't familiar with, which was cool. I'll definitely read more from this author because I feel like this text simply scratched the surface. ...more
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have followed Kimberly Drew’s work for several years now. Anyone who knows me knows that I won’t shut up about her. Last year I had the opportunity to meet her. She was so gracious when I confided in her that I am scared shitless to work in the art world. She reassured me that every day more people like us entered the art world, she said they were ready for me, and then she hugged me.
Recently, I have been questioning my interest in the art world, wondering whether it’s worth it to ram myself
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