January 28, 2015
With school back in session in full swing, and things chugging along, I’m finally posting after my lofty weekly goal.
The background of our school: we were a traditional Bauhaus program for decades, and in the past three years have pushed to more contemporary practices. This fall, we launched a new curriculum which involved a series of integrated and intensive studios for the fine arts students – these are six credit studios, in which their art history, writing and professional practices (basically, the liberal arts components) will be embedded in the studio classes (and team taught with studio and liberal arts faculty) for the integrated classes. For the intensive studios, we’ve envisioned directed, intense studio time for our students. It’s a new model for us, and I found myself frustrated when we were asked by the administration to make more changes, before we had even worked through this program – we just got our first freshmen in their first Intro to Fine Arts class this spring.
I don’t know how it will work, how to staff it, how to account for the credit hours or contact time for the faculty. But, instinctually, I feel this is the right thing – a focus on intense studio time, supervised by faculty, to develop the students’ individual artistic practice from the first moment they enter college….it just seems right. But there are places that make me nervous – as a craftsperson and artist, I believe in the technical aspects and training that entails. But does that make me out of date? It feels like a divide: either technical proficiency or concepts in work.
One of the major areas to build is the introduction of a “craft” major at our school – I will be posting the results of the research, writing and the effect on my thoughts on my own practice.