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Old 07-19-2004, 01:32 AM
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ssecret132 ssecret132 is offline
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the future of a fine art degree/student

hi, im attending college for fine art (painting) this fall but am having serious doubts, mostly with worring about paying it back and my career opportunities.
I was wondering...
-Does an expensive art college make sense at all to a fine artist, given the market
-What kinds of jobs can bfa offering art colleges and universities help graduates find? and are these jobs worth while, especially with all you will have to pay back($100,000+)?


I was excepted to SVA(school of visual arts), and hunter college in NYC, but they are so different schools(including price). If anyone has any advice i would appreciate it.
-Chris
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Old 07-19-2004, 08:43 AM
Taxguy Taxguy is offline
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

I have been thinking about this problem for my daughter. SVA will give you a better art education,but you probably want to finish up with some more training at Atlier schools that teach the classical technique. See the following link for Atlier schools: http://www.artrenewal.com/. I should note that Atlier school costs run about 8K per year but you do NOT get a degree such as BFA or MFA.Thus, you need to check out each school as to quality and instruction. However, they can be a tremendous training ground for a fine arts painter.

I will acknowledge, however, that going to a private school for fine art tends to be economically stupid in that you will rarely recover until many years have passed. Thus, what to do?

1. Many state universities offer good art programs. If you go to your own state university, you will pay relatively little for the education. You can always hone your skills after with a MFA.

2.Some state university art schools are very inexpensive for even out of state residents. Mass College of art charges around $5,000 per year for tuition for out of state residents, which is a steal. VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University) charges around $12,000 per year, and NY has two good and inexpensive art schools: SUNY Purchase ($4,300 per year for NY residents and $10,350 for out of state residents) and Alfred University which is $15,600 per year. there is also Tyler School of Art, which is part of Temple university. The tuition at Tyler isn't as high as that of most private art schools. These quotes are for tuition only. You do have school fees and room and board. Some other 'inexpensive choices' would be, Univ of Illinois, Univ of Indiana etc.

3. You could get 'need scholarships'. Although private schools rarely give large need scholarships, It is worth applying to some of these and see what they give you. Maybe if they give you enough, it might well be worth it. I do believe that some private schools such as SVA, PRATT, Parsons, UoA, RISD,School of art Institute in Chicago, MICA, Tyler School of Art ( which I think is now part of Penn state university system) and others are better art programs than that found at most state universities; however, I am not an artist. I am simply a smart parent doing a lot of research for my daughter. You do need to check out all of these suggestions. You probably would have a better feel than I.

Hope this all helps.

Last edited by Axl_Happy_Goth : 07-19-2004 at 09:44 AM. Reason: Added url for Atlier schools
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Old 07-20-2004, 02:11 AM
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

What you are paying for at these art schools seem to be connections and the time to dedicate yourself to your art. Connections also meaning business knowlegde without business classes. Sounds good for film, animation, graphic d, and illustration...

SVA's tuition is around 19,000 a year compared to 4000 with the city school(hunter). I was actually considering taking classes at the art students league if i attend a less expensive school.

Thanks so much for the reply. Your daughter's lucky.
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Old 07-22-2004, 10:44 PM
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssecret132
What you are paying for at these art schools seem to be connections and the time to dedicate yourself to your art. Connections also meaning business knowlegde without business classes. Sounds good for film, animation, graphic d, and illustration...

SVA's tuition is around 19,000 a year compared to 4000 with the city school(hunter). I was actually considering taking classes at the art students league if i attend a less expensive school.

Thanks so much for the reply. Your daughter's lucky.

I was planning on doing the exact same thing (taking classes at a small school and following up on art though the Leauge), but i've decided to go to SVA for at least one year.. so i can really have something to hate before i drop out. As it is, I'm starting SVA at the beginning of the school year, also going for my BFA. I was thinking i might change my major to illustration though, seeing as it might end up being more financially stable. I noticed most of the coursework done in the illustration program is fine arts -drawing and painting- anyway, so it's not as if I'm straying or selling out what i want to do.

I think, if following art comes to you instinctivly, you should absolutly pursue it... I mean, you only live twice, right?
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Old 12-01-2007, 06:28 PM
teddyeyes88 teddyeyes88 is offline
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

I will acknowledge, however, that going to a private school for fine art tends to be economically stupid in that you will rarely recover until many years have passed. Thus, what to do? -Taxguy

I made that economically stupid choice -_- I am currently a sophomore illustration major at RIT but I am currently having doubts about my future. My situation is:

I work really hard on all my class projects, working until the wee hours or sometimes pulling all-nighters to make a satisfying piece. I have friends who are in other majors who don't work as much as I do yet are working towards a career where they'll have decent incomes to pay back their loans and make a decent living. Sometimes I feel that all my hardwork is in vain. Sure I get As in my classes but in the end, where is the profit? Grades don't really matter much when you enter the real world.

I love my major but I don't think I want to pursue a career in just illustration anymore. Now that I look at it, I want to illustrate and do commissions as a side job and have a more stable career. At least until I build a big enough reputation on my artwork to live off freelancing. I definitely want to have a career that is art related but I don't know what. I am currently researching careers for those with a BFA degree. Art is my passion, I enjoy my classwork, heck I enjoy school---I put all my time in it, but I still don't feel I should spend my parents and the government's money on a pricey tuition. I really don't know what I am doing and could appreciate any advice anyone can give me.
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Old 07-20-2004, 04:59 PM
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssecret132
hi, im attending college for fine art (painting) this fall but am having serious doubts, mostly with worring about paying it back and my career opportunities.
I was wondering...does an expensive art college make sense at all to a fine artist, given the market?

What is this 'market'? Are you thinking of being a teacher, curator, editor, gallery owner...? If so, I think a degree is essential.

Or, if you are really serious about being a fine art painter, then you either need to have the resources to market yourself (financial and interpersonal), or you'll need to earn an income while you work on building your reputation as a painter.

Being a teacher, curator, editor, gallery owner, etc., can provide you with a decent lifestyle while you continue painting, and--again--for those jobs, I think having a degree is essential.

K
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Old 07-22-2004, 03:54 AM
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ssecret132 ssecret132 is offline
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

I'm dedicated to earn by B.F.A. as a fine artist, but know I will need guidance, experience and the resources to learn how to gain exposure(which I have been lead to believe an art school can do well). It seems to me that even becoming an art teacher with your B.F.A is difficult in universities, and other important roles in art communities such as editors and curators require another or a different degree(s). My list of careers to coincide with my devotion to painting and fine art look like thier shrinking. Would it be wiser to spend less money on my bfa degree so i can afford to pursue my masters in art ed, art therapy or art history? I guess im having trouble seeing what a B.F.A. can really do for fine artists.
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Old 07-23-2004, 08:49 PM
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

[quote=ssecret132]I'm dedicated to earn by B.F.A. as a fine artist, but know I will need guidance, experience and the resources to learn how to gain exposure(which I have been lead to believe an art school can do well). It seems to me that even becoming an art teacher with your B.F.A is difficult in universities, and other important roles in art communities such as editors and curators require another or a different degree(s).[/qutoe]

I didn't say a BFA, specifically. I said 'a degree'.

Quote:
My list of careers to coincide with my devotion to painting and fine art look like thier shrinking. Would it be wiser to spend less money on my bfa degree so i can afford to pursue my masters in art ed, art therapy or art history? I guess im having trouble seeing what a B.F.A. can really do for fine artists.

It is the prerequisite for the MFA.

K
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Old 08-07-2004, 10:39 PM
jimpennington jimpennington is offline
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

I'm sorry if I missed your response to the question of what you want to do with your painting. If I remember correctly, you wrote that you were working towards a fine art/painting degree.
If I am correct, please please please do not spend 80,000 dollars at SVA.
SVA is a great school and has some fine instructors and facilities, but 80,000 in student loans is retarded to have to pay back if you are going to be a fine artist.
In the four years you would spend in college, go to the Metropolitan and make copies of paintings and drawings that appeal to you. Do this for a couple of years and you will have the skill to do anything you want. In my experience, an art degree is unnecessary. I sell paintings through a very fine gallery and they don't care what I did before we met. They are interested in sales. If you are talented and people like what you paint, and you can make money for the gallery, they will do anything they can to represent you and sell your work.
Copy the masters, then copy the painters you have a strong interest in. Just copy for a few years and you will make a fine living selling paintings.
If, in the future you have a spare 80,000 that you feel like wasting, I'll happily email my address and take that measly dough off your hands.
I skipped college, moved to Boston, copied in the Museum of fine arts for a year, moved to new york, copied at the Met for a year, moved around some more, copied some more....etc...
Now my paintings sell faster than I can paint them.
College is for people who can't make their own choices and make their own way work for them. A friend of mine is still paying for SVA, 10 years later and doing nothing profitable. They don't teach what you need to know to make a good living in fine art. Those who can, do...Those who can't, teach. Those are your teachers.

Good luck.
Jim
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Old 08-08-2004, 05:07 PM
Taxguy Taxguy is offline
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

Jimpennington, you may be right regarding fine art, but I don't think you are right regarding other areas such as graphic design, visual communication, photography etc. These do require training. Also, even regarding fine art, it pays to have criticism of your work by several experience professionals.
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Old 08-11-2004, 12:28 AM
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimpennington
I'm sorry if I missed your response to the question of what you want to do with your painting. If I remember correctly, you wrote that you were working towards a fine art/painting degree.

If I am correct, please please please do not spend 80,000 dollars at SVA. SVA is a great school and has some fine instructors and facilities, but 80,000 in student loans is retarded to have to pay back if you are going to be a fine artist.

In the four years you would spend in college, go to the Metropolitan and make copies of paintings and drawings that appeal to you. Do this for a couple of years and you will have the skill to do anything you want.

The above is utter nonsense--and (IMO) very poor advice!

The artists who painted the works in those museums and galleries did not learn to paint by copying other paintings. Drawing and painting from actual objects, and from real human beings is crucial! No one can learn how light wraps around a three-dimensional object, nor how distance affects colour, etc., from copying paintings.

Quote:
In my experience, an art degree is unnecessary. I sell paintings through a very fine gallery and they don't care what I did before we met. They are interested in sales.

But, one can certainly be interested in sonmething other than sales. I'm interested in seriously exploring 'visual art', and in understanding something essential about 'the human condition'. The kinds of ideas that interest me (both as an artist, and as a member of the audience) are not necessarily going to lead me to create paintings that most collectors would want to own. I might be able to find enough collectors to make a living from my work, I might not. Regardless, I am not willing to alter the focus of my work to drive sales.

Quote:
If you are talented and people like what you paint, and you can make money for the gallery, they will do anything they can to represent you and sell your work.

But what if I am completely uninterested in painting what I think most people might like?

Quote:
Copy the masters, then copy the painters you have a strong interest in. Just copy for a few years and you will make a fine living selling paintings.

Again, 'The Masters' did not learn to paint by copying paintings; they learned to paint by carefully observing three-dimensional reality; by closely studying how light operates in a three-dimensional, atmostpheric space. Thus, no one will ever learn to paint like them, by copying them.

Quote:
If, in the future you have a spare 80,000 that you feel like wasting, I'll happily email my address and take that measly dough off your hands.

I skipped college, moved to Boston, copied in the Museum of fine arts for a year, moved to new york, copied at the Met for a year, moved around some more, copied some more....etc...

Now my paintings sell faster than I can paint them.

But by copying, you did not learn what I intend to learn--both as an artist and as an art student. Leonardo did not learn how light is reflected from the subtle planes of the face, by copying paintings. Parrish did not learn how all the colours we see can be created by using a secondary-pigment system of transparent glazes, from copying paintings.

Your audience may love your work, but can you move 'beyond' your audience? Or, are you limited to creating only what they are able to appreciate--both in terms of concept, content, and technique?

Quote:
College is for people who can't make their own choices and make their own way work for them. A friend of mine is still paying for SVA, 10 years later and doing nothing profitable. They don't teach what you need to know to make a good living in fine art. Those who can, do...Those who can't, teach.

Obviously, you still have a great deal to learn. You should know that there are many ways to judge value; commerce is but one (and a very easy way, but not always the best way.) Teaching often allows people to explore their interests without having to justify those interests to a 'market'. (This is not true only of the arts...)

I don't wish to learn to make paintings that copy paintings. I want to learn to make paintings that emulate certain aspects of our visual interpretation of reality, while expressing something of our more ephemeral inner reality.

What I intend to do, no one else has seen, no one else can see, and no one else has done. There is thus no one from whom I could possibly copy, in order to learn what I most want to learn.

K
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Old 12-01-2007, 06:30 PM
teddyeyes88 teddyeyes88 is offline
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

wow, I just noticed this thread was from 2004...
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Old 12-05-2007, 10:58 AM
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

Even though this post is from 5 years ago and the chap has his degree now with the huge $100,000k debt that is the average of any college student in this country for a 4 year state school education, you have to add in living expenses.

I went to Mass Art and it's a lot more than $5000 a year for out of state, it's more than that for in state, try $20,000 + per year and add into that the cost of living in Boston, at least another $15,000 add the 2 figures and that's your 'real cost' per year.

Unless one is completely dedicated and I mean this is what you want to do, then I would do something else. It's hard real hard. Talent is not everything, you can be not very good but get the right training and work your butt off for 10 years and can become very good and make some sort of a living, probally less than a garbage man and no benifits.
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Old 12-28-2007, 01:40 PM
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.wiggles
Even though this post is from 5 years ago and the chap has his degree now with the huge $100,000k debt that is the average of any college student in this country for a 4 year state school education, you have to add in living expenses.

I went to Mass Art and it's a lot more than $5000 a year for out of state, it's more than that for in state, try $20,000 + per year and add into that the cost of living in Boston, at least another $15,000 add the 2 figures and that's your 'real cost' per year.

Unless one is completely dedicated and I mean this is what you want to do, then I would do something else. It's hard real hard. Talent is not everything, you can be not very good but get the right training and work your butt off for 10 years and can become very good and make some sort of a living, probally less than a garbage man and no benifits.


This problem extends beyond the plastic arts btw. Over the summer, while visiting the west coast, I heard an NPR discussion regarding the number of graduates working in their respective degree feilds. It was something like 1 in 3 college graduates work in a feild relating to their college degree. In the humanities, the canyon was far more vast. They were comparing this issue with the current outsourcing problem that has been going on in the US for some time, especially the recent outsourcing of jobs in technology to places like India. Surprisingly, this last example of outsourcing was described as necessary since colleges were not graduating enough studnets with math, science and computer degrees to fill the need in the US. So what does it mean? Does the western sense of indiviualism play a role in this problem? Everyone wants to be a painter, writer or actor or actor?

I wish more universities would embrace a more healthy, less-central role in the education of our students. Art should support other fields and diciplines. They should provide more meaningful and beneficial gen ed requirements in art and the humanities so that we can make better scientits, mathmaticians etc.

Mike

Last edited by MikeN : 12-28-2007 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:51 AM
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

It's not worth it.

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