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I currently feel like I am destroying all future prospects of being an artist by being at an art school which I do not feel comfortable in, Manchester Metropolitan University's School of Art.
Should I waste a year of my life and quite a bit of money by re-applying to a London university, or stay the course, I have only been here 2 and a half months.
Please be honest, I really want to succeed.

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Art Education or Education in art require two distinct approaches. The very objective of any education is to make the man realise first that he is a human being. Once cultivated this then later the process of sensitisation begins and a new man start emerging form within you. This has a different glow in which you realise your potential and aspire to acquire the knowledge and wisdom. It is an ongoing process of creativity.
Prem Singh
I left manchester, thank goodness, i'm very happy to leave.
I have london interviews now.
I might have to take a year out to earn money but things are going in a good way.
Thankyou for the reply. :)
Art education - especially in the UK - is a tough one - I certainly wouldn't rush to any conclusions.

To be honest, pretty much by accident, I've ended up being in art education nearly all my adult life (quite some time, so far) and it's definitely had it's up's and down's - I'm certainly no fan of the "system" and institutions as they've become over the past 20 years or so. Successive UK governments are crippling artschools - managing them to death.

But perhaps you need to think about what you mean by, and how you quantify and qualify the term "success". Do you know?

I must admit that I had a very mixed experience during my first degree, which - when I fell into teaching - motivated me to do the best I could (partly in reaction to...), and as much as I could, for the students I came across. It still does.

I did, however, find a few of amazing artist/tutors (you could too), and their influence lasts with me to this day - not that the "managers" would be happy about that in this "tick-box" era - but I hope the students I teach now benefit.

Recently I had the opportunity to do an MA (better late than never, eh?), and it must have come exactly at the right time for me - I really went for it, and had a wonderful time, getting a fantastic experience from it, which has helped to transform my work, and consequently my profile. It wasn't a London college (it was Nottingham Trent Uni), but it helped tremendously. But a lot of what I got from it was a result of putting the effort into it.

I know the big universities in London, New York, Berlin, etc. have a premium in terms of career, but I think it still depends on what you want and need. What sort of artist you want to become. As a painter, I recognised early on that I needed time to develop - I could'nt have afforded to exist for the 25 years it took me to get my work sorted with the pressures of London studio rents.

Manchester has quite a buzz to the city doesn't it? And London, New York and Berlin aren't that far away these days - you could get there when your practice has developed a bit, eh? Maybe look at doing a post grad somewhere more glamorous - more career orientated?
The best definition of what should happen at Art School came from Jake Chapman at a conference about education experiences in Art, he pinned down the experience of sharing energy and ideas with your peers as the "Shadow Apprenticeship".
You should not go into this experience looking for gurus- you will find those who have the ego to want to take on that role, and you will spot them a mile off- but look to your peers for the debate creating the ideas that will carry you to the next stage and beyond.
It can take a while to settle, and art isn't an instant product/decision/judgement. You have three years to develop ideas, and it's safe to make mistakes. -and who sets out to be an artist for comfort! what you have to do now is examine the reasons for moving, your reasons, and act accordingly.
as a cynical footnote- last year's student satisfaction survey for the university of the Arts london- chelsea/ camberwell/ csm/ etc etc hit only 65% pleased overall. Education is a complicated business these days. Good Luck.
Well I want London because of a few reasons. Aswell as having a lot of amazing friends studying there, the city is an amazing source of inspiration and things to experience, there is so much life to the place. Also I want my fellow students to be as motivated as me and I know that they generally are, and talented in London, in Manchester this was awful.
I don't think I should have used the specific word "success". I want greater opportunities to make a better life for me in the future, I'd like maybe to use my london degree to get an art direction job for the money, maybe.
But I might take a year out of work and travel before my next university adventure, I need to clear my head a bit.
Thankyou for the reply. :)
Learning is about experience and enlightening your self. And for that you need an ambience that facilitates communication. If the communication between the Guru (Teacher) and the Shishya (taught) is not striking a right note then something is wrong somewhere. Instead wasting time on finding the reasons one should better leave that place in search of a more congenial place of education. Education is a self initiated process in which the student should be clear enough to know what for he has joined the institution. And the faculty thus see how better he can be served to fulfill his hopes, dreams and asppirations. In the process the aspirant should know how to learn by unlearning a few things which he has been taught at the institution. Art is an individual . Institution only help in keeping the focus rigt and sharp.
Prem Singh
I couldn't agree more, Prem. The educational process as it relates to artistic endeavors served me as more of a buffer against the negativities in my environment about the arts. It was a communal experience where I was surrounded by creatives like me who had much to express and needed the time and access to diverse mediums to find our unique voices. We went from homemade charcoal and remnants of paper or makeshift canvases and dimestore paints to studios filled with every name brand medium imaginable. We were surrounded by instructors (mentors) who coaxed the very best from us. And we were no longer alone in the crowd...we were the crowd. It was an empowering time and we, each of us, emerged resolved to our endeavors.
Public Debate: The Future of Art Education

Ikon Gallery, Birmingham

Monday 6 October 2008, 6.30pm



A debate about the future of art education is raging on the pages of Art Monthly. In October readers will have the opportunity to come along and put their questions to our panel of educational professionals and policy makers. The panel will debate the future of art education – is further privatisation, corporatisation and instrumentalism inevitable or are there alternatives?



Read all the articles from this debate at www.artmonthly.co.uk



1968 and all that

Will the 40th anniversary of the 1968 protests inspire today's students to demand radical improvements in art education?

Students at the London College of Communication have had enough and have officially registered their dissatisfaction by demanding the return of their fees in protest at staff shortages and the lack of organisation. Staff, for their part, are over-burdened by bureaucracy, rising student numbers, low pay and low self-esteem. Vice chancellors, meanwhile, are focused on corporate-style branding and the commissioning of gleaming new buildings. The legacies of St Martins School of Art in the 60s, or Goldsmiths in the 80s, should serve as reminders that it is not buildings that make for a dynamic teaching environment but people.

Extract from editorial April 2008



Mayday Mayday

The sad truth about art education today is that New Labour has finished what Thatcher started

Ironically, Thatcher's plans for factory-style education were only to be truly achieved under New Labour. It was the setting up of the dreaded inquisition, the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), by the first New Labour government in 1998, barely one year after the election, which made the institutionalisation of what Stephen Lee in his letter aptly describes as 'educational Taylorism' possible. The QAA, and its spawn, the Teaching Quality Assurance (TQA), became the means by which the product, broken down into bite-sized pieces as a result of the imposition of American-style modularisation, could be tested. Since the government had already begun to refer to the arts as the 'creative industries', a term first coined when Labour was still in opposition, this must have seemed like a perfect fit between the so-called 'aims' and 'outcomes' of an art education.

Extract from editorial May 2008



Can't Get No Satisfaction

Anyone considering studying fine art (at undergraduate level) in England and Wales should google the National Student Satisfaction Survey, particularly the Results By Institution. Six of the bottom ten are or were art schools. Bottom of the survey, that is to say the 'least satisfactory', is the University of the Arts London. This will come as no surprise to anyone who has studied or taught there recently.

Extract from letter by Graham Crowley published in April 2008



Educational Taylorism

I can appreciate the current state of educational Taylorism and the overbearing, corporate-style management that Graham Crowley describes. The corporate model is a powerful one. It tends to be one-dimensional and seamless, where accountability and success can be clearly measured. To understand the impact of the corporatisation of art schools it's important, I think, to examine the language or jargon used to organise and disseminate learning, then look at the extent to which fine art students adopt this language. Fine art graduates talk of promotion and marketing, or finding a niche market for their work. If a critic writes about a graduate student's work, the artist may not necessarily see this as participation in an independent critical arena. On the contrary it's likely they may see it as an opportunity to gain an additional promotional tool with which to market their work. My point is that the corporate model is pervasive in our wider culture industry

Extract from letter by Stephen Lee published in May 2008



Creative Industries

Estelle Morris posed three questions for debate. 'Will the structure in the paper - with all its committees - actually damage creativity? Will the accountability mechanisms jeopardise risk-taking? And, will mainstreaming discourage some people from wanting to work in the creative sector in the first place?'

Extract from report on the government's new strategy document Creative Britain: New Talents for a New Economy published July-August 2008



Debate panel will include representatives from Colleges, Unions and Government Departments.



This event is free but booking recommended

To book call 0121 248 0708
I'm going to Goldsmiths in september for art practise.
thanks for the replies, they were very good.
I'll definitely make the most of the 3 years.
Don't expect much from the institution but be focussed on what you need from it to fulfill your hopes, dreams & aspirations.
Wishing you all te best
Michael,

A divergent opinion:
What is art? What is its purpose? Is art meant shock or is art meant to stimulate?

What is meant to stimulate? Society, the Spiritual, Politics? Or is meant to stimulate Thought? Or is it meant to stimulate awareness of our place in a universe of divergent happenings?

I think that art is meant to do all these things. Artists copying one another to gain access to the celebrity or riches of a Picasso is not going to happen if artists keep following those goals.

Artists have to take risks to become entirely individual and unique. You have to define yourself and what you want to say. Politics is ridiculous and irrevelant. Here today and gone tomorrow!! Shock might work for a short period of time. What works is the true soul message that you want to send about you and today. Your own very personal beliefs as you see them in the now.
To put it simply, TRUTH!

And so , Michael, follow where ever your personal talent takes you!
Spoken from the Heart,
Mary Ellen
Yes it is a do and die battle

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