Other Options, And Are They Worth It? (They Aren’t)

There are some people who still consider art school to not be the best option for young artists. For example, in Ross Neher’s article, titled, “Art And Delusion: Unreality In Art School.” he also dissuades student from pursuing art school, stating, “They can experiment with media, don multiple styles, and hone their message—all in an extraordinarily supportive environment that keeps the outside world at bay… And then, after they’ve earned their diplomas, most will fail to have successful careers as artists” (Neher, 117).

Basically, what he is saying is that art school wont prepare students for the job market, but it does prepare them for this:

Noah Bradley agrees with Neher, and provides an alternative to art school, titled “The Ultimate 10K Arts Education”. It includes these resources:

http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/subscription/

http://www.vilppustore.com/Drawing_Anatomy.htm

http://www.smarterartschool.com/

http://2d.cgmasteracademy.com/

The problem with this alternative is that these resources are geared more to the “applied arts”, such as graphic design and illustration, than the “studio arts”, such as painting and sculpture.You can see examples of the work  here. While these resources may make student who are interested in freelance illustration or graphic design, that is a very narrow niche in the entirety of the arts fields. It leaves out a whole different field of interest in addition to all the other qualities of an art school contains, and because of these problems this option will never replace the quality of education a prospective artist will receive at art school.

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Another alternative presented is in David Batty’s article, “Alternative Art Schools: A Threat to Universities?” in which he describes these types of art schools appearing in Europe that are created by art school graduates. Their policy is that, in return for a year’s free tuition and studio space, the 13 associate artists at Open School East will give one day a month of their time to community activities in the borough. There is more information in this source article. 

The problem with this is that the school can only admit 10-20 people. Compared to the amount of artist’s that goes through the hundreds of art colleges in the world, that is a miniscule amount of artists who benefit from this. Even if they wanted to expand, the model, and the community, would not be able to support all the artists that would be enrolled. Because of this, it will never be a better alternative to art school.

In conclusion, so far there are not any options that surpass the resources and accessibility to knowledge Art School provides students.