View Full Version : Proprietary art schools
03-09-2004, 01:28 PM
I want to hear about the experiences of others in proprietary art schools. Or for those in more traditional settings, your thoughts, too.
I take classes at Mission: Renaissance, and like it a lot. This organizations has storefront locations in a few areas, and methodically teaches drawing skills. I chose them because I wanted to work on fundamentals and increase realism in my drawing and painting. I like the logical progression in how they teach drawing skills, and love the effects in my work. I had the impression (true or false) that the professional art schools, graduate schools and community colleges around here tend to require or assume certain levels of skill and experience; as a mature person but beginning yet serious artist I found them too intimidating!
Although I am getting education I want now, I think I may be missing exposure to pseudo-professional environment or mentor relationships which might make it easier to become a professional serious artist.
03-09-2004, 09:32 PM
You have a point about professional art schools in that they review portfolios, and acceptance is based on that. I don't know what part of southern Cal you're in, but if you feel your work is good, it doesn't hurt to try.
I attended Art Center in Pasadena in the mid 70's, and it was well worth it. Many of the students at Art Center are 'older'. I am not implying that you are, you can probably guess that I am from the date that I was there!
The nice thing about a school like Art Center is that the instructors are working professionals who come in for their class and then go back to what they do the rest of the time. So you get 'real world' advice and experience.
At a school like this you don't waste time with esoteric classes that never do you any good. It's basic nuts and bolts stuff, all designed so that when you get out you can go to work either in a commercial sense or with a professional attitude in the studio.
If you are in that area, I think that they still have evening classes, but I'm not sure. They do have a web site.
03-10-2004, 12:53 PM
Actually it can hurt to try, in several ways. The biggest way is the risk of wasting my time, enthusiasm and money to get into something which is not worth it. From what you say about the Art Center in Pasadena, it sounds like it might be. But I have heard so many horror stories from students (at other schools) about paying a fortune for a worthless degree and some really painful mind games from instructors...
I will check out the Art Center and I thank you for your comments, you spoke directly to some of my concerns. I have another question for you; if my goal is to continue as a studio artist, is the credential of a traditional school worth $100,000 (undergraduate 8-9 semesters at 12K/semester) and maybe an additional $75,000 (graduate 6 semesters at 12.5K/semester) NOT including incedentals supplies or living expenses? Before you mention student aid: I already have a graduate degree, so my eligibility for much aside from loans is exhausted.
03-12-2004, 03:52 PM
The Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney is known as a more traditional art school and from what I hear overseas and interstate students love it. It has a long history of famous artists go through its doors and therefore looks very creditable in your bio... also it has a family-like atmosphere that welcomes peopel quickly... on the whole I think this type of Art School is far more welcoming than attending a much bigger more moderm college... Art for Art sake I say... you are ment to do it, enjoy it, not 'study' it. I think.
Check out the school if anyones coming to Sydney: http://www.julianashtonartschool.com.au
03-12-2004, 05:28 PM
I understand where you are coming from. Time and money need to be spent efficiently.
Art Center may not be the school for you if you have no intentions of trying to get a 'job' in one of the fields that they provide majors in. Art Center graduates are highly sought after in the various specializations taught there, but I would have to say that they probably wouldn't be my choice if I just wanted studio painting studies. Your money and degree would not be wasted, and you would have a professional work ethic, but it would be very oriented towards going to work as a trained professional in a particular field of choice. On the other hand the excellent background that they give you can provide the ability to have an income until your work is at the point that being an independent studio painter is a realistic option.
I am not trying to say that you might not be the one to burn down the doors right out of the gate...but many, many, many very good painters spend years and years before their work has the kind of following behind it to have it provide a good living. More find that out than find that they are instantly wanted by galleries and the collectors. J.Sargent spent years doing portraits as a living and he didn't really like it and couldn't wait until the day that he finally just quit...and he was extraordinarily talented even as a young painter.
Have you looked at Atelier's for good classic training. A place to go check out would be Morseburg Gallery in Los Angeles. Maybe they would have some info for you in the area. They deal in a lot of young artists who work in a very traditional style, mostly figurative. I know that there is someone on the site here that has an Atleier in the LA area...you'd have to review postings or do a search. Ateliers are demanding but they are smaller and more intimate.
No school is going to make you a great artist...YOU are going to have to do that ( I'm still working on it too ). Desire, good training and hard work are more basic to your growth than any school program is.
I'm sorry for going on so long about this, I know how you want to find the best, I've been there. Art Center was my best option at the time I was looking, but the growth in my abilities as a painter has been on going. I don't think that it ever stops. School (art) only gave me the tools and the knowledge to seek out more knowledge and that's where the growth came from.
I hope I haven't bummed you out, there is an answer out there for you and I'm sure you'll find it. Look at the school's student shows, and at what their graduates have done as a way of judging whether it would be for you.
03-13-2004, 12:32 PM
FirstBLastB and paintbox1 (Marc), thank you VERY much for your comments. I find them very helpful indeed.
FirstBLastB, maybe I was meant to make art, maybe not, it doesn't matter to me, I an doing it, I want to, maybe need to, and if it's recognized or rewarded that's nice and if not so what, it's where my being resides. The universe does what it does, people do what they do, and I am an artist working with images and language. I am not doing this for anyone, or even for my own livelihood; if I have to have a day job to make ends meet, that's so peripheral it's like needing to open a door before you go in to do something actually significant. Do you know what I mean? Your school sounds interesting and I always wanted to spend time in Australia, I'll check it out. My life has been such that I know how far pure determination can take me.
Marc, in no way do you bum me out. I actually went to the Art Center ("old campus", I think) yesterday, wandered around, went to an opening, saw a lot of student works. Very interesting, I am going to investigate further although I saw very little similiar to my own pieces or concepts. Skill level shown in works seemed very very good.
I know the chances of financial success purely from my work are small despite whatever my talent is, but that's not why I make art. I am not doing this for anyone but me. I've seen crap applauded, and some really remarkable stuff lost in the shuffle, and all that inspires in me is the desire not to make crap. That's one reason why I need to show my work eventually, because the ... "diakogues" is the only word inadequate as it is that come to mind - are so essential.
You said <<Have you looked at Atelier's for good classic training. >> I do not understand what you mean by Atelier or Atleier, can you explain the term and the tradition you suggest?
Maybe what I need isn't so much as a school (although that might be productive and fun) but mentors and colleagues...
I hope to continue this dialogue with you both, if you are interested.
03-13-2004, 02:37 PM
Ateliers are basically small studio schools where there is usually one "master" who closely monitors students.
In Minneapolis there is a very active atelier system that is a result of an artist named Richard Lack. He studied with Ives Gammel in Boston and Ives Gammel studied with William Paxton. This lineage goes back to the European ateliers and Gerome and Bogereau. My actual history here is off the cuff and is only a general idea of the line of artists. Go to http://www.artrenewal.org for more info.
They teach classical academic programs starting with sight size cast drawing in charcoal. Most of them don't allow color work until the third or fourth year before that it is all charcoal and B&W oil. Then it is on to the figure and so on. Very structured and disciplined. Do a google search on Richard Lack and you will come up with many links to the ateliers here in Minneapolis. Atelier Leseur, atelier Lack, are a couple of them. The instructors are students of the 'master' and have usualy studied with him or her for years, taught for years and then some time go off on their own to start another one.
That's a brief overview, if you're interested do some online searchng and you'll find out a lot more.
03-13-2004, 09:00 PM
Marc, interesting, I will check them out.
Mission: Renaissance (aka the Gluck Method) is very structured also, Drawing: Line is completed before Drawing: Tone, which preceeds any work with color. I have actually abstained from painting with color for a few months which I have been working with them, althought I have been painting for years.
03-19-2004, 09:18 PM
Also you want to keep this in mind. The only reason to get an actual art DEGREE is if you intend to teach... either in the public school system, or college/university level. If, on the other hand, what you want is the training, pure and simple, then an atelier, art classes at a museum or art center, or someplace like the Art Students League in NYC are where you want to go.
Check them out first! Many have online listings showing the teachers own work, their students work, teachers background and bio and a statement-sometimes about their art, sometimes including their attitude/philosophy to teaching.
Don't be afraid to ask questions! If you can, go there (whereever), look over the studios, talk to students AND... talk to secretarial staff if they have any. If you can get the inside word from these folks on the teachers attitudes and working relationships with their students, trust me, you will be WAAAAY ahead of the game. They know EVERYBODYS good AND bad habits. AND where the bodies are buried! (g).
After all, it's your hard earned money your spending. Get the most for it.
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