Author: Peter Matthews
Should you go on reputation, the inspirational tutors and professors, the electric atmosphere of creative collaboration or simply on the iconic alumni each has managed to produce?
Here, Spear’s takes a look at some of the leading art schools internationally – from those right at the forefront of Contemporary art across modern media to others renowned for developing more traditional skills such as painting, sculpture and print making.
Whether you are an art collector or a young budding creative, there are certain names in the world of art education that will undoubtedly crop up throughout your lifetime. It might be your dream to follow in the footsteps of Damien Hirst and attend Goldsmiths in London – the breeding ground of the Young British Artists – or perhaps to study animation at the world class Walt Disney-founded California Institute of the Arts.
Ultimately though, for a future artist, it all comes down to where your passion lies. Different institutions are renowned in different fields – from graphic design to fashion, filmmaking to music and art curation to art therapy. Crucially though, none are renowned for everything.
Tokyo University of the Arts for example, offers world class training in traditional oil painting, nurturing such legendary artists as Tsuguharu Foujita and Takashi Murakami. Meanwhile, The Städel School in Frankfurt am Main is one of the most dynamic leaders in experimental Contemporary art. And when it comes to studying the arts at PhD level, you would be hard pushed to do better than the School of Arts, Design and Architecture at Aalto University Helsinki, which has produced some of the world’s top scholars in art, design, media and architecture.
Of course many in the art world would – quite rightly – argue that a degree or qualification is completely unnecessary to achieve greatness. Painter Frida Kahlo was self-taught, similar to the iconic US photographer Ansel Adams, who was partially home-schooled. However the names of famous artists with no formal training are few and far between, with an arts education offering more than just a chance to develop innate skills, knowledge and craftsmanship.
Training at a prestigious art school also gives students invaluable opportunities to collaborate with likeminded talents, while the name of a well-respected institution can provide a foot in the door with both galleries and collectors.