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Art Schools - Anyone with know innovators not stuck in the ways of RISD, SAIC, Parsons, etc?

atlascentauratlascentaur Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
Art school programs are pretty stuck in a conceptual approach - demanding students to create academic art with highly intellectualized meaning (conceptual) and preferring performance art, installation art, and other 1960's derivatives to strong painting, drawing, sculpting, or digital arts.

As a professional in the ad biz married to a fine artist, these programs are out of date with how art has changed - for example quite weak at application of digital arts. (The new media art work I've seen from them and in museums is incredibly boring - lacking the key fundamentals that make great work in those medias. It's either shock art or elevator music - not compelling.)

Reading on these boards this over-emphasis on conceptual is found everywhere - at RISD, SAIC, Parsons, etc. (It's even here in Oregon at the Oregon College of Arts and Crafts where students are forced to do such conceptual knitting work. Really?)

So I'm looking for ideas for my son's future... Where are the schools who see art and art education differently from these standards?
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Replies to: Art Schools - Anyone with know innovators not stuck in the ways of RISD, SAIC, Parsons, etc?

  • shoot4moonshoot4moon Registered User Posts: 1,137 Senior Member
    You are SO speaking my language!! My daughter is into representational art, and it is shocking how many schools treat the foundational skills as less critical. Conversely, I have read and been told that employers WANT excellent drawing and foundational skills! In terms of programs that we have discovered that are good at digital skills, the most intriguing program that I have read about art at either the University of Connecticut or Rochester Institute of Technology. If you are referring to more learning accurate drawing for representation, I would look at Loyo
    la Marymount in CA. I would be very curious what you find!! Can you help me "measure" the appropriateness of digital training? As a non-artist, how can I tell? When I see all the art in the gallery online is conceptual, I shy away, but I don't really know how to measure the effectiveness of digital training. What does he want to study?
  • bopperbopper Registered User Posts: 7,556 Senior Member
  • shoot4moonshoot4moon Registered User Posts: 1,137 Senior Member
    One more thing, prompted by a PM sent to you and I by atlas. THANKS, altas!! His suggestion of Laguna College of Art and Design is interesting to me, as my daughter did a summer school program there. I don't know where you live, but if you are looking for a serious, foundational drawing class, https://www.lcad.edu/site/fine-arts/ The precollege class is also attended by beginning LCAD students who want to do one (or two) of their foundational classes during the summer before they begin. Hope Railey is a phenomenal teacher. If I remember correctly, it was 22 days in July. Many students took foundational drawing in the morning for 3 hours and figure drawing in the afternoon for another 3. My daughter tested into the figure drawing class. She made friends with a gal in the class who said she had taken it as a rising senior in high school. She received a full scholarship to a major university, and had been attending as an art major for three years, but had returned to Hope's class because it was better training than she had received in college. She was planning to finish her final year in college, and then return to LCAD as a post-bacc. My friend is a professional artist, and she was blown away at the quality of the traditional figure drawings that the students had created by open house. LCAD has a strong illustration and digital arts program as well. I must say that I was not that impressed with the animation summer school program, but I didn't see any of the digital arts work. What is he interested in?
  • atlascentauratlascentaur Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    Thanks. Asked in the sub-forum. And checking these alternatives out.

    Also found some interesting writing noting what a serious problem it is. This one analyzes the situation, perhaps, best. https://cjdown.****/category/teaching-2/

    And this one from F. Scott Hess is provocative (referred to in the first): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/f-scott-hess/is-deskilling-killing-you_b_5631214.html
  • rainierdaysrainierdays Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    YES! I hear you in the conceptualism! I am an art major finishing up my degree. I don't know a ton about art schools in the states, but would highly recommend Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, if you're possibly open to schools in Canada. They have all of the "regular" studio art majors, communications, and very strong new media programs. I wish I had gone there. They are moving campuses in the fall, from their Granville Island location to a brand new facility
  • QuantMechQuantMech Registered User Posts: 7,210 Senior Member
    If you are in the mood for humor, I recommend this piece on the conceptual artist Adieu Piltdown:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/f-scott-hess/much-adieu-about-nothing_b_8584144.html
  • atlascentauratlascentaur Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    That's a worthy read, QuantMech. Thanks! Pretty funny... And, sadly, a little too true.

    When we went for parents orientation, the school had invited a "distinguished graduate" who had an artist in residency. They work in fiber arts (my wife's field) so we thought "sounds great". Until we looked at their work.

    Their fabric work was, I think, the basis of the "nothing" photographed for that blog post. Except, it was accompanied by a long treatise on what meaning motivated the artist to create his version of "nothing". Balderdash. But, then, he's the one earning a living by writing balderdash and making nothing. :-)
  • MazeArtCrewMazeArtCrew Registered User Posts: 180 Junior Member
    My daughter attends RIT. She is a graphic design major, interested in either ui or motion graphics. They have excellent resources, and are especially known for their photography, design and ceramics. RIT is foremost a hands-on, career oriented university, as is their art program.

    Regarding bridging disciplines: read about their brand new MAGIC Center http://magic.rit.edu/studios/facility/ which is committed to bridging the gap between art and technology.

    Their graduates of their New Media Design B.F.A. program https://www.rit.edu/programs/new-media-design-bfa are especially employable (if that is part of your matrix) with top students exiting the program making $120,000. With a B.F.A. RIT also has a co-op system, and the New Media Design majors have worked at such places as Google. The College of Imaging Arts and Sciences (CIAS) is RIT's Art College as an umbrella over the various art schools (school of design, school of film/animation, etc.)

    My daughter also liked Ringling and Laguna, but neither gave her much financial aid. (RIT gave a decent aid package - it is costing us less to send our daughter there than it would have to our state art college - the facilities are much nicer.) The best thing my daughter did to get ready for portfolio reviews was to spend a month at the Ringling Pre-College program, where it was demanding, and expectations were high. I also recommend looking at VCUarts - we were impressed with the facilities and the art that we saw touring. It is better for fine art rather than digital art. Ultimately, my daughter decided on RIT because 1) the work coming out of RIT was of high quality; 2) they gave a decent aid package; 3) the facilities were/are excellent; 4) she liked the "career readiness" aspect of their design program.

    In the meantime, if your son is interested in art and media, he should try his hand at MAYA (free for students 3D animation software - they offer lots of free online tutorials). Also Illustrator, and if possible an object oriented programming language. Excellent designers who can do 3D, 2D and also code are worth their weight in gold.
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,014 Senior Member
    If you don't want to do anything conceptual, you want design, not art. The fine art world has moved so far away from representative work over the last 100+ years and it's not going back any time soon.
  • atlascentauratlascentaur Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    I don't agree. Modern art (abstract, abstract expressionism, someone like Chuck Close) is exceptional. And people respond to paint and paint quality far more than theoretical. In fact, most of the conceptual art cannot stand on its own - it must be accompanied by a treatise and the treatise is often the only interesting thing. But art, to last the centuries, must stand on its own.

    It's not a polar choice - either conceptual or realism. There is a huge range of far more interesting art in between.

    I'd recommend reading the two blog posts I referred to above.
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,014 Senior Member
    Chuck Close's work (which I love!) is highly conceptual. It's not "conceptual art," but it's informed and driven by concept nonetheless.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 7,967 Senior Member
    This is going on in music and dance as well.
  • atlascentauratlascentaur Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    When I refer to conceptual art it's a discipline where the student has to articulate an overt meaning - often prior to even beginning any kind of making. Chuck Close's work isn't that way. He has styles and approaches, but not the intellectualized.

    In part, it's far easier to grade the intellectual than the aesthetic. It's also easier for students to discuss the meaning than to discuss their own emotional responses to a work.

    That's what my son encountered at SAIC and it was absurd - as a kid who grew up around art and artists he was furious that their program wasn't about great art - but intellectual statement.
  • atlascentauratlascentaur Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    CompMom... agree. I keep noting that the brilliant composing work today is mostly happening in film scores (where there is brilliant work) and not coming out of contemporary composing.

    At least, though, in both those fields skills are a must - you can't be a music or dance student without it. In art, there's a general trend away from teaching the skill of making... so it's even a bit worse in art.
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,014 Senior Member
    as a kid who grew up around art and artists he was furious that their program wasn't about great art - but intellectual statement.
    I keep noting that the brilliant composing work today is mostly happening in film scores (where there is brilliant work) and not coming out of contemporary composing.

    These statements are just about the battle for what art is considered great. That battle will not be won and lost by the artists' contemporaries but by the slow and fickle judgment of history.
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