Thursday, October 12, 2006


chirst the world is getting depressing sometimes.

My thesis on art education is rapidly beomcing redundant - not only NAS lookes likely to die - the REALLY innovative and interesting Nepean Cmapus of UWS is constantly treatened wiht closure.

Depsite massive state and federal words and the odd grant promising to promote the devleopment of 'the arts in western sydney' ..... well, the reality looks like they seem to think it can be done by untrained artists or social workery community based projects....?


so click on title of this blog to see the link about UWS - and come to the thing bleow on saturday.....

I'll rant more on monday

In the meantime, check out the following links:

and for pretty pcis of the SAVE NAS protest:

or if you can stand the heat - rock up to the cross

The Cross Art Projects invitation to particpate

What are art schools for? Saturday 14 October 2006, 4 to 5pm

Where: The Cross Art Projects
33 Roslyn Street, Kings Cross, Sydney (opposite St Lukes Hospital gates)
Exhibition Ends: Saturday 14 October 2006 at 6pm
Information: Jo Holder 9357 2058 or 0406 537933

In association with the exhibition

WHAT ARE ART SCHOOLS FOR? is an exhibition about the relationship between artists and institutions. The theme for this Saturdays conversation is the challenge faced by art schools in Australias current social and economic climate.

Although many challenges are not new, what is new is the 10-year reign of a party whose political philosophy is hostile to the arts.

The conversation will focus on the common experience of art schools facing cuts and downgrading. We aim to make a small contribution to the ongoing debate about the value and position of art in our society by considering the problems from the perspective of teaching art. The conversation might be able to cover ground not easily covered by the more abstract mission statements of major organisations.

You are invited to participate in a talk about your firsthand view of art and education and the current state of the affairs of art institutions in Sydney this Saturday at 4pm until 5pm. Followed by closing drinks.

Cross Conversation participants include artists: Justin Trendall, Andrew Hurle, Christopher Dean, Maria Cruz, Sue Pedley, Save UWS Art School


Past students of UWS Fine Arts and Western Sydney artists are concerned about the future of art teaching and effectively the resilience of art in Sydneys west. See the blog for details of upcoming events or protests to promote the necessity of preserving Arts in the West.


The Cross Art Projects
A space for independent art & curatorial studies
Director: Jo Holder
33 Roslyn Street Kings Cross Sydney 2011
T: + 61 (02) 9357-2058


lauren said...

perhaps we need to encourage all funding bodies and policy makers to read the current issue of Frieze mag which outlines art schools and what really goes on there.. you know, top secret lateral thinking, etc.

Perhaps if Someone from the UK can show their importance, Someone in Australia might listen?

Skanky Jane said...

"well, the reality looks like they seem to think it can be done by untrained artists or social workery community based projects....?"

This statement seems overly dismissive. It's a shorthanded comment perhaps?

I get a lot out of reading your blog and would very much like to read more about your arguments/views on art schools (I too have studied (undergrad) at an art school that has suffered multiple funding cuts).

SJ xx

Anonymous said...

Isn't this the result of a failure of marketing local artists? The schools are right the people graduating from the schools are right. There is a lot of talent in Australian art schools and a work ethic to go with it and it is sad that most people's knowledge of contemporary art means uttering names that are either over-exposed (Matthew Barney et al) or just young and boring (please refer to Ted Colless).

The ABC could be doing much, much more but they seem to be happy to publish whatever Reuters sends them for their art stories.

Ruark said...

I am quite happy to teach for free at a new established art school. It ought to be a Marxist based education system, dedicated to teaching an understanding of collectivism as against the current trend to teach and reinforce individualist talent. I would teach for free in exchange for time credits. When the State recognises our Free Art School I would expect that staff who op[ted to work in the revolutionary period of cultural renewal would be remunerated appropriately. The old art schools are 19th century models, particularly in the studio practice areas. Schools should operate at arms length to industry, to the patronage of commercial concerns and all that has been corrupted in the state gallery system. The New Schools should be the seed beds for a radical new age thinking, that practices sustainable cultural ecologies, that is multi-disciplinary, the hub of international exchange and basically thoroughly out-there centres of learning. Tenure ought to be limited to 7 years base blocks of 3 blocks of 2years + 1 year of non-teaching research within each institution. Cultural teachers would rotate, and move to other teaching institutions or return to private practice. The program would teach along a master-class model, after an initial 1st year introductory period. After the 1st year culling intake would be maintained at fairly small levels. It should be recognised that most student will never practice at a professional capacity, but that the foundation platform ought to be have greater expansion and great student intake than subsequent years. That institutions should be administered within a small museum, performing arts centre, or public library – they should not be independent entities in their own right. The schools should be named Institutes of Cultural Practice. They would need to demonstrate an effective open-program for community involvement. The Institute would invite a series of non-teaching artists/writers/composers/film makers/choreographers/directors/dancers/architects/curators-in-residence and pay these residencies a significant annual fee as a form of cultural patronage. Part of the program of each Institute would be to publish monographs and catalogues that document the actions of the in-residence for each 2 year contracted period they are engaged. Each institute would develop a seminar series inviting local, national and international artists to make presentations of their ideas and works, and pay their fees at commercial rates. Seminars and public programs would be advertised weekly in the main Sydney newspaper. A central hub would be developed and be responsible for designing access information and networks in local, state-wide, and national media. Production grants to significantly assist works-in-progress from the Institute Fellows would be fast-tracked in the Australia Council, Ministry of Arts and the Local Government funding programs.

Post-graduate residential and studio accommodation would also be a feature of the new Institutes of Cultural Practice. Institutes would encourage graduates to further their studio practice in a meaningful intellectual dialogue. That Post-graduates from other Institutes could fill vacancies and take up affiliated Institute opportunities nationwide.
I would like to put forward this sketch manifesto for comment – and invite you to respond

Skanky Jane said...

"It should be recognised that most student will never practice at a professional capacity, "

It would be well to not only recognise but incorporate this reality into the curriculum of the current model.

SJ xx