Thursday, April 26, 2007

To College You Should Go?

There are about 30 full-time classical ateliers in America. "The atelier system--of extended apprenticeships in the studios of master artists--is an old European tradition, spanning back to the Renaissance and up through the Flemish painting guilds to the Ãcole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. But they faced extinction in America when art education became a province of universities in the first half of the 20th century." - The Stranger 04/25/07

Click here to read the entire article.

This is a fantastic piece written about the conflict of modern art education with a lack of traditional training. I recall innumerable art students, from my college years, which graduated without acquiring actual technical skills. Even my own skills were not to a comfortable-level until I had acquired a few years of self-education after graduation. It definitely makes one wonder what they were paying for when they dropped $40-$100k on an accredited university education and didn’t learn the one thing they wanted most to understand. I tell everyone I meet, if I had it to do over again, I would have never chosen my University. That, in itself, is a sad truth to realize, after the fact. – DN


Anonymous said...

I am always amazed at how many in our society conclude that college degree equate into knowledge about certain subjects of life. Wannabee chefs go to culinary schools only to be working in a kitchen chopping veggies for a year to prove themselves. What would make being an artist any different? Perhaps it is a sad statement on our modern civilized culture. We want of just spend money and not the hard effort to make ourselves into truly someone who can do the job correctly. said...

I don't believe a college degree should be an automatic "pass go and collect $200". I was just reading the other day about parents that attend college job fairs with their soon-to-graduate children and how some even call prospective employers to negotiate a better package for their kid. I lump that entire mindset together as shockingly naive.

What I and the article are questioning is the proliferation of accredited university programs that literally don't teach the basics of how to use materials. I was not taught how to paint... I was handed an easel and told to show-up next Tuesday with some paint - that was it. The instructor did not like to mix oil mediums, so I had to find one that did, outside of class. I'm all for self-education and making your own place in the world, but I have serious issue with paying someone to teach a specific skill and not getting my money's worth.

Yeah, I can work in any medium with confidence... now, it took years to get here and while I appreciate the fact that at least now I know... life would have been a bit easier if I had gotten what I paid for, the first time. - DN