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Some notes on the "best" schools for fine art


Replies to: Some notes on the "best" schools for fine art

  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    I do know that SVA has a very strong reputation in animation too. I don't know about pure fine arts graduates,thus, I can't express an opinion on the other schools.
  • momrathmomrath Registered User Posts: 5,888 Senior Member
    kaelyn, Your research is very interesting and I think valid in as much as connections are paramount in the arts (and just about everything else). If you are talented and/or fortunate enough to get into a program like Yale's MFA and if you perform up their expections, then you are going to be on the fast track to success. One connection leads to another.

    I'm also surprised that Columbia would be in your top tier. Being in New York is unarguably a positive, but I wouldn't think of Columbia as a fine arts destination. Architecture yes. Studio art, no.

    The key here is really getting into these high powered graduate programs and there I think you find a much wider range in undergraduate experience. The European focus has been apparent for several years, but recently the percentage of Asian nationals (not American-Asian) has increased greatly. Bottom line, just like undergraduate programs, the selective MFA programs seek to build a balanced class in demographics and in artistic style and they now consistently draw from a global pool. It's wildly competitive.
  • loveblueloveblue Registered User Posts: 437 Member
    momrath, you may help me on this:
    My daughter is senior and we bring her to visited a very strong Chinese art school in Beijing and she like it. Their training is more traditional and I feel and the art program here is more conceptual or modern. I am a little worry about put her in a traditional training program, and then later her MFA choice maybe limited. Do you have any suggestion on this?

    What do you think Yale's undergraduate art program ? I thought Columbia has very strong MFA program and their undergraduate program should be strong.

    Anyone here know more art program of CMU?

  • momrathmomrath Registered User Posts: 5,888 Senior Member
    loveblue, I'd suggest that you start a separate thread on this so you'll get more responses. Yale and CMU both have excellent undergrad art studio programs. So does Brown. I'm not so familar with Columbia's department. I'd add Williams in the same range academically, but on a smaller scale.

    I think the first question that your daughter needs to answer is does she want to go to an art school or does she want to major in art a "full service" college or university? And secondly what does she eventually want to do with an MFA, teach or make art full time?

    I wouldn't worry yet about traditional vs conceptual. She'll have several years to find her own style -- that's the point of an undergrad education. I would agree that American colleges/universities do encourage more free-ranging creativity and theorizing than do Asian school -- not just in art, but in any field -- but there's a lot of artistic energy coming out of Asia right now.

    If your question is could she get into a pretigious US MFA program with an undergraduate degree from that specific artschool in Beijing, then I think you should ask the Chinese school what their alumni/ae have done after graduation.
  • mousegraymousegray Registered User Posts: 1,642 Senior Member
    Columbia's MFA program went through a big change about 10 years ago, with a complete turnover of faculty. It seems to be well connected with the NY art world and has a lot of visibility, if this is what you're looking for. Can't speak for the program itself, but being in NY it has its pick of well known artists for faculty.
    why is it detrimental to have BFA/MFA in one area?

    I think you limit your exposure to different ideas by staying in one place for both. Most art students go through changes in medium, style, focus throughout their education (and throughout life). Also, on a practical level, you would meet more people in the field by attending two different schools. As momrath says, connections are paramount. Of course, connections don't go far without talent and hard work.
    The key here is really getting into these high powered graduate programs and there I think you find a much wider range in undergraduate experience.

    Most BA in art programs tend to be fairly traditional. A BFA in an art school will be more varied. Some MFA programs can have a fairly narrow focus though, so it's important to do your research (schools with the word "academy" in their name tend to the traditional). One major difference between graduate and undergraduate is the amount of art theory and criticism involved, which has a big influence on the general discourse.
  • loveblueloveblue Registered User Posts: 437 Member
    momrath:Thanks for your reply. You are right that I should start a the thread.
  • TarantTarant Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Curious... what European schools outside Britain seem to be real players?
  • kaelynkaelyn Registered User Posts: 146 Junior Member
    It's hard to say. The fanfare and celebrity attached to schools seems to be a phenomenon particular to the US and UK. Nonetheless there are a few European schools that seemed more popular than others in my CV scanning.

    The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (Denmark)

    The Gerrit Rietveld Academie (Holland)

    The Hochschule Fur Bildende Kunst Hamburg (Germany)

    The Hochschule Fur Bildende Kunst Staedelschule (Germany)

    The Kunstacademie Dusseldorf (Germany)
  • kaelynkaelyn Registered User Posts: 146 Junior Member
    So I began compiling that statistical data that I mentioned earlier and there are so many ways to look at things. What I decided to do for now is simply compile a list of early and mid career contemporary artists (with a few older heads thrown in) who have garnered some degree of popularity. I will preface this list by saying that I myself am not yet in art school nor am I some kind of art guru and as such can not make any claim of this list being exhaustive or even that well informed. My findings for undergrad schools are far from conclusive and should not serve as a definitive guide to choosing undergrad schools anyway. As is true of many fields, potential career success is more easily correlated with graduate programs than undergrad programs. The list is completely up for discussion and additions/subtractions. All it can possibly demonstrate is which schools are more popular than others. I’m aware that this list contradicts my earlier proclamations though, in my defence, I will say that the previous list was based on the general constitution of high profile galleries like peres projects, blum and poe, gladstone gallery, deitch etc. I might provide some evidence for this at another moment of industriousness.

    Huma Bhabba
    Whitney Bedford
    Joe Bradley
    Roni Horn
    Dan Colen
    Ryan Trecartin

    Verne Dawson
    Wangechi Mutu
    Francesca diMattio
    Matthew Monnahan
    Zak Smith

    Aaron Young
    Catherine Opie
    Paul McCarthy
    Kehinde Wiley

    Kristin Baker
    Jedediah Caesar
    Philip Lorca diCorcia

    Elizabeth Peyton
    Collier Schorr
    Barnaby Furnas
    David LaChapelle
    Andrea Fraser

    Whitney Bedford
    Jeff Coons

    Josh Brand
    Sterling Ruby

    Walead Beshty
    RH Quaytman

    Rachel Harrison
    Glenn Ligon

    Mark Bradford
    Eric Fischl

    Carnegie Mellon
    John Currin
    Ryan McGuinness

    Gedi Sibony
    Elizabeth Neel

    Art Center
    Doug Aitken

    Jason Rhoades
    Jules deBalincourt

    Mickalene Thomas

    My conclusion: Go wherever is best for you...
    unless it's pratt. don't go to pratt.

    Coming soon: the grad list
  • artmommy77artmommy77 Registered User Posts: 295 Senior Member
    RISD - Shepard Fairy (Now showing at Boston and Ciny)
  • drae27drae27 Registered User Posts: 552 Member
    SVA - Brian Donnelly (KAWS)

    Purchase - John Kessler

    Pratt - Terry Winters

    Cooper Union - Philip Taaffe

    This could be fun.....keep em coming
  • drae27drae27 Registered User Posts: 552 Member

    You kind of got me going. I looked up a few more contemporary artists and what I found is that if you really look, there are many paths to an art career. Some, like Rirkrit Tiravanija and Chris Johanson don't even have a formal degree. Terence Koh went to Emily Carr in Vancouver, Nari Ward to CUNY Hunter. For the ones who have followed a more traditional educational path you will often see that they pursued an MFA.

    Here's a few more for fun just to show the wide variety of backgrounds:

    San Diego State U. - Andrea Zittell
    Temple U. - Karen Kilimnik
    Cal Arts - Anne Collier
    University of British Columbia, Vancouver - Jessica Stockholder
    CCA - Chris Duncan
    Scripps - Pae White
    Cal State Fullerton - Fred Tomaselli
    Oberlin - Ellen Gallagher

    Don't know why my list has so many women. It's just who came to mind when I started looking.

    For all of you hopeful artists out there don't forget about the Whitney Studio Program which you can do after you get your degree/s:
    Whitney Museum of American Art: Independent Study Program
    (some have even attended with out a degree)
  • WheatyWheaty Registered User Posts: 520 Member
    How about:

    James Welling - CalArts
    Sharon Lockhart - SFAI
  • mino74urmino74ur Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    Here is a wild card to bring this forum back to life.....

    Ohio University:
    Jenny Holzer
  • catmom2catmom2 Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    So, now i"m even more dizzy. Thank you Kaelyn, for this thread. What do tyou know about Temple/Tyler and WUSTL? You can respond on my thread, "Where else should we look?"
This discussion has been closed.