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Thread: The "Art" School is Dead

  1. #31
    Alan Klein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    New Jersey was NYC

    Re: The "Art" School is Dead

    A conversation overheard between Timmy, a 17-year-old and his father.

    "Dad, I want to get my MFA degree in photography and film and become great like Ansel Adams or Steven Spielberg. But I need you to chip in about $35,000 a semester for school."

    "Hmmm. Well, Timmy. I'm not too sure about that. When mom and I bought you that Nikon for your birthday to shoot pictures at Aunt Sallie's wedding, not one shot came out in focus. Maybe you should take up bronc riding or another physical skill rather than depending on your artistic skills?"

    "Well, Dad, if photography doesn't work out for me, I could switch my major to oil painting and become a great artist like Picasso."

  2. #32
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico

    Re: The "Art" School is Dead

    “Art schools” as in MFA programs are booming. You can’t beat people away with a stick even though it is a flawed model for teaching and/or learning art.

    at age 71:
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  3. #33
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SF Bay area, CA

    Re: The "Art" School is Dead

    Although I've often been an outspoken critic of art schools for learning art per se, there is a distinction with schools which teach vocational photography. My own brother went to Brooks back in its heyday, and it was expensive; but he got a lot of good connections there and actually made a decent income in commercial and stock photography afterwards, at least until an underlying heart condition began to affect his eyesight. The well known SF Art Academy stressed vocational applications. Sure, plenty of hobby types went there too; and what probably drove it to extinction was more likely the extreme rise in property leasing expense in that city rather than lack of interest.

    A young guy who once swept floors where I worked wanted to get into a commercial art & photo, so took digital imaging courses at UC Davis, put together a portfolio of black and white film images darkroom-printed with a bit of coaching from me, and also added some decent hand-done fashion illustration work. The first job he got was with the Ad Dept of a major corporation for over 200K a year. Not bad for someone only 22 year old! What they were impressed with was how he was versatile and capable of learning new things. Digital-only "one trick pony" illustrators are dime a dozen and have to get routinely re-educated anyway, just to keep up with all the ongoing technological advances. With him, flexibility in approach was obvious from the start, even though he might not have been great at any single slice of the pie. The ability to be adaptable was far more important to them.

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