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Alternative art schools: a threat to universities? | Education | The Guardian

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Alternative art schools: a threat to universities?
Angry at soaring fees and disillusioned with established courses, artists are simply doing things for themselves
David Bat t y The Guardian, Monday 2 1 October 2 01 3 1 9 .59 BST

Open School East, Hackney , part of a boom in alternativ e schools. Students pay no fees but giv e tim e to com m unity projects.

A former library in Hackney may seem an unlikely venue for London's most talkedabout new art school. The 1970s Rose Lipman building lacks the architectural wow factor of Central Saint Martins King's Cross campus, but demand for places on the postgraduate Open School East in De Beauvoir town is high. The year-long programme boasts visiting lecturers, including the curator of contemporary art and performance at Tate Modern, Catherine Wood, and artists such as Pablo Bronstein and Ed Atkins. And, 1/4

to local people. A lot of students are trained in how to be a 'professional artist'. is the latest alternative art school to be established in the UK. They're quite good at talking. but limited in terms of their skill set and how they can function outside of the London art bubble." Islington Mill Art Academy in Salford was set up in 2007 by a group of local art foundation students who decided a traditional BA would not prepare them for life beyond education. which opened in September. Set up last year by Manchester Metropolitan University graduates. Many of the school's lectures and workshops will run in the afternoon and evening to encourage local residents to join in. the 13 associate artists at Open School East will give one day a month of their time to community activities in the borough. the school provides a support network for recent graduates. ethos and curricula of traditional art degrees.theguardian. Co-founder Katy Morrison says: "I would adore to do an MA but I can't afford it. The project. "They spent three years developing their practice but struggled to turn it into something in the 'real world'. the students pay no tuition fees. But chances are you won't make 2/4 . Deputy director Alistair Hudson says: "Art schools talk about the brand. Co-founder Maurice Carlin recalls that resident artists had expressed disillusionment with their degree courses. Open School East co-founder Sam Thorne. another co-founder." The founders of DIY art school in Manchester say their initiative is "a survival tactic". the London art schools remain the best pathway. the genius. They were not engaged with working artists on a day-to-day basis. were set up by art students and recent graduates who could not afford rising course fees and were dissatisfied with the structure.4/7/2014 Alternative art schools: a threat to universities? | Education | The Guardian at a time when art MAs in the capital cost up to £9." http://www.000 a year. "Their personal practice might become a community project or they might give lessons. If you're young and want to be famous. an associate editor of Frieze magazine. This socially engaged model is common to many of the alternative schools. In return for a year's free tuition and studio space. Grizedale Arts in Coniston in the Lake District is developing "a quasi-art school" in which artists make something useful for the local community." says curator Anna Colin. says their recent proliferation has been driven by the rise in fees and a growing disillusionment with university art education. the individual. Some. such as the Islington Mill Art Academy in Salford and the School of the Damned in east London. This about trying to create a professional pathway for ourselves. such as dance or furniture design.

have reduced the attractiveness of university study." she says.4/7/2014 Alternative art schools: a threat to universities? | Education | The Guardian As these alternative courses take off. we'll all be looking at the future of postgraduate education and how this phenomenon will affect the balance of provision. it will offer free studio space and accommodation for 12 students a year and offer tuition from renowned artists. "Over the next two years. "It is really troubling to us who's in a position to be studying art. have experimented with the school model in their education programmes. It's like a finishing school that will give the advantages richer students have.and upperhttp://www. adds that recent cost-cutting measures in some art departments. set up by Turkish artist Ahmet Ögüt during his residency at the Tate Modern last year. Emily Pringle. And the issue will become more pressing after the first cohort of undergraduates to pay tuition fees of £9. Susan Collins. director of London's Slade School of Fine Art.000 from the Barbican and Create London. how will the established providers respond? Simon Ofield-Kerr. "Presenting hot-desking as an idea for art education is not the way forward.theguardian. Art will become a very upper. Based in a former Victorian school in Saxmundham in Suffolk." The artist Ryan Gander has drawn up plans for a postgraduate art academy that would give preferential consideration to poorer applicants. an alternative school for refugees and asylum seekers. Open School East is backed by around £110." he says." says Ofield-Kerr. "I can completely understand why some artists want to pursue other models of learning. called Fairfield International. This is the moment [in British art] of the most struggle – everything seems on a downward slope. "There's a question whether big cultural organisations like Tate or the Barbican could themselves provide a space where [emerging artists] could come together in the way that Open School East works." she says. now runs courses in several European countries. The Silent University. Tate's head of learning practice and research policy. vice-chancellor of the University for the Creative Arts in Kent.000 per year graduates in 2015. "You get money to live on and an 3/4 . would level the playing field between students from disadvantaged backgrounds and the "trustafarian rich kids" whom he fears increasingly dominate the major art schools. "It's not something that can be ignored or defended against. He says the school. says "it would not be a great leap" for the museum to provide something akin to an art school programme." It is not just art students who are developing alternative schools. where Gander lives. including the Tate and the Hayward and Serpentine galleries. such as scrapping dedicated studio space. believes the trend poses a challenge at a time when there is a "real danger of postgraduate study being devastated". Major art institutions.

The problem is [university departments] continue to get worse as they lose sight of what an art school needs to 4/4 . a former tutor at the Slade who now advises Open School East. "Hopefully they'll lead by example and up the standards. according to reports 3 1 Mar 2 01 4 George W Bush's portraits of world leaders: art that tells us nothing at all 04 Apr 2 01 4 Wetherspoon pubs: soulless drinking pits. http://www. A ll r ig h t s r eser v ed. believes the alternative schools will have a positive influence on art education." More from the guardian Michael Schum acher shows 'm om ents of awakening' from com a 04 Apr 2 01 4 Alex McKinnon diagnosed as quadriplegic.theguardian. This is about making things a little more ) Top 1 0 Benefits of Managed Hosting for Education (DSS Blog) An Ey e-Opening Look Into Classroom s Around The World (All That Is Interesting) K-1 2 Schools Face Cloud Priv acy Challenges (SaaS In The Enterprise) 4 9 New Year's Resolutions That Rem ind You Why You Teach (Concordia Univ ersity ) © 2 0 1 4 Gu a r dia n New s a n d Media Lim it ed or it s a ffilia t ed com pa n ies.4/7/2014 Alternative art schools: a threat to universities? | Education | The Guardian middle-class pursuit." Artist Matthew Darbyshire. or a m ainstay of the high street? 04 Apr 2 01 4 Sky div er dies in world record attem pt 04 Apr 2 01 4 More from around the web The Im portance Of Teaching Young Girls That Math Is Cool (Forbes.