Manifesto: Art School, Creativity, and Development

Subject: Art
Pages: 6
Words: 1659
Reading time:
6 min
Study level: PhD


The same way as business schools give knowledge and fundamental skills in business or nursing schools teach principles of patient care, art schools are supposed to teach art. However, the significance of art education for a talented person can be overestimated. Many people who find their expression in different kinds of artistic activities are frequently intended to start an art school. Still, there is a threat that a standardized art education can destroy some particular features that make a person an artist. Thus, certain considerations about art schools, artistic education, and art, in general, should be made to weight all pros and cons and make a proper choice that will have more positive than negative influence on the individual’s life in the world of art.

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The Essence of Art

The concept of art is frequently discussed in the context of beauty. Moreover, people are expected to experience some aesthetic emotions looking at the piece of art. The success of art can probably be measured by the aesthetic emotion people have in front of the work that is similar to feelings that arise during observing nature. Some people judge art by its ability to help in claiming their social rights.

On the whole, art does not imitate nature; it imitates creation. Sometimes, it can suggest an alternate world or story. Moreover, art can be treated as an organized response to what nature allows us to glimpse occasionally. Artistic depictions are frequently inspired by objects or events that artists see around them. Since they live in society, its impact is also significant, sometimes even more substantial than that of nature.

Art is supposed to provide a certain impression on the spectators. Before a spectator can express the emotions, he or she should see the piece of art. Thus, seeing comes before words. After observing a piece of art, the impressions can be explained with the help of words, but cannot cover the essence of an artwork completely. Moreover, the difference should be traced between looking and seeing. People never look at a thing with mechanical response to stimuli. Also, looking does not always mean seeing what the artist intended to express. Thus, interpretation of art is frequently subjective because it is perceived through the prism of personal beliefs and experiences.

When something is presented as a work of art, it is usually subjected to a different set of ideas. Beauty, Truth, Genius, Culture, Form, Status, Taste, History, Composition, and Human Condition are the concepts that are commonly analyzed and discussed in the context of artwork. They can be called lenses through which a spectator sees Art.

Art School, Creativity, and Development of an Artist

All the people are creative in some way. Creativity is an integral part of a human being, and it is revealed in different ways and aspects of life. Nevertheless, not every person can be a cultural producer and create art. The conceptual practices in art and art education are constantly changing. Thus, in the 1960s, the modernist aesthetic theory was prevalent, but it was rejected by the contemporary artistic production. Conceptualism that gained popularity and can be treated as an art of mind and not that of senses, in addition to being rigid academic classicism, is, in fact, an oxygen-lacking formalism. Nevertheless, Conceptualism has evolved to the point that artists now practice it, for better or for worse, as an aesthetic. However, it is difficult to agree that Conceptualism can be considered an aesthetic with its preference of ideas and concepts instead of aesthetic concerns.

Learning to be an artist is a lifelong intellectual journey of a person. A degree obtained after some years in an art school cannot help to accomplish this journey. Moreover, frequently art schools produce less successful artists because they found their niche of faculty in the 70s-80s and stopped growing since then. It should also be mentioned that some of such faculties can do more harm than good. They spent more time seeking followers of their own tradition rather than making efforts in educating young artists.

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Challenges of a Degree in Art

Many young people who possess some talent tend to become artists. They are captured by fame and luxurious life that outstanding people of art have. Still, few of art college graduates can dedicate themselves solely to art. According to the College Art Association, art schools are plugging out more MFA’s than ever before. These graduates are leaving with such financial debt for their education that they cannot afford to go into communities and take their chances as artists. They have to find a job to make their living, and in the majority of cases, it is not related to art. In case of the best scenario, young MFA’s go to school to work with children during art classes. Thus, in the US, they are not graduating artists but teachers. Other graduates who are too shy to start teaching come to other occupations also far from an artistic career. Thus, the fact that the majority of people after training in art colleges or academies come to the necessity to become wage workers with significant debt to pay is not a matter of discussion. An artist fresh out of school becomes a “no collar” dredge of the industry during the day and an artist at night.

Thus, few art school graduates manage their lives as they were intended to do before choosing education in art and become successful. Artistic success is the ability to maintain art making for a lifetime and making art a primary or the only one activity. It can be within both, profit or non-profit sectors. A lot of current artists feel discouraged to make more art in a world surrounded by throwaway images, piles of expensive objects, and lots of sensory enticements. Thus, there is a need to find a proper artistic process for students. If this intervention is successful, the society will get an epiphany or breakthrough along the way. Moreover, it will be provided with a critical thinking tool that can empower the conversation and argument concerning a creative democracy.

Contemporary art education should be innovated or perished. The paradox of after-college artists’ life is that a true artist engages a lot within a non-instrumental way to grow, paying off debt and succumbing to a medial job. This controversy between the desired work in art and the necessity to adjust to life can directly affect their ability to keep producing art. In fact, it is the death of an artist since involvement in the creative activity is air for an artist. Obviously, wealthier individuals have a better chance to stay within the selected profession. If art schools could come with a less destructive price tag, the Art World would become a more available place not only for the elite.

The Role of an Art School in the Future

Art has a rich and ancient history. It has existed since the creation of humanity and took different forms. However, art schools have not always existed. Thus, are they so important and necessary in the contemporary world?

It is interesting to discuss who comes to art schools. As a rule, genius does not need an art school because it has nothing to teach him or her. Thus, it is doubtful that a genius comes to an art school. Consequently, it can be concluded, that students who go to art schools are not geniuses. They lack something to begin an artistic career and go to art schools to get what they lack. However, these students do not always know what they need and come to school hoping to find their way to the world of real art. Nevertheless, all schools are academic institutions with curriculum and standardized educational programs, so all students who go to school can be called academic artists.

Art schools can teach the history of art and give skills of a different technique. Still, they cannot teach the things that are crucial for any artist, such as talent and imagination. In fact, imagination is very unequally divided among artists, but education cannot influence this distribution. Both people without any education can succeed in the artistic career, and people with many diplomas can achieve nothing. Thus, education cannot be decisive in the sphere of art. It can be useful for a person who has some talent but cannot decide which direction to choose or lack general technical skills. However, the main task of the art school of the future if not to prepare new artists. Creative thinking and giftedness is something that cannot be taught but a natural gift. Thus, art schools should support people who come there but not destroy their natural talents by unified education. This tendency is likely to prolong the life of art schools because, at present, their position is rather fragile.


At present, art education seems to have no ultimate goal, no precise method, no particular content that can even be taught, no tradition that can be transmitted to a new generation. It came to this condition due to excessive freedom of art expression which resulted in too many goals, methods, and traditions. Teaching art cannot be limited to techniques and styles. Teaching art is, in fact, teaching life. Modern and contemporary art treat life as an ever-changing flow, a process to which an individual must be permanently adjusted. However, a rapidly changing world is difficult to adjust to. Moreover, there is a tendency of involving art in politics that does not contribute to its popularity. Also, demystifying a “true artist” leads to the realization of the fact that artists are just ordinary people. If they keep producing something, once in a while they touch genius. Nevertheless, most of the time they do not. It can be concluded that art education should not try to do more than it can. It can help, but not change the gifted people because a real artist is born, not educated at a college.

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