“What is an Art School?” online publishing series

“What is an Art School?” online publishing series

Walker Art Center

Vkhutemas Color Classroom.

June 26, 2017
“What is an Art School?” online publishing series
Walker Art Center
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“What is an Art School?” is an online publishing series presented by the Walker Art Center investigating the past, present, and future of art education.

While dramatic changes have occurred in art practice over the last century, with only a few exceptions have these shifts effected arts pedagogy. “What is an Art School?” looks at these exceptions. Released on a trimesterly schedule, it uses a global lens to highlight art schools and practitioners ranging from Japan’s Bigakkō to Cuba’s Instituto Superior de Arte and beyond. The series will also foreground other educational practices that hold possibilities for art education today, such as the Anarchist Modern School movement in Spain and Chatauqua in the U.S. Mining educational models in the past and present, the project crabwalks through time to find potential pathways for the future.

The first issue to be released throughout this summer is on early Soviet-era educational experiments, focusing on the art school Vkhutemas. Forged in the revolutionary fervent of post-Civil War Russia, Vkhutemas aimed to reimagine the world with a new art education model at its core. Little known now, the school is often compared to the Bauhaus and contained some of the major figures of the Soviet avant-garde in its faculty: Vladimir Tatlin, Lyuobov Popova, Aleksander Rodchenko, among others. The issue provides an overview of Vkhutemas, analysis of the teaching methods of perhaps its greatest architectural pedagogue, Nikolay Ladovsky, and the first-ever English translations of two of the handful of surviving primary documents from the oft-forgotten school. Included in the initial launch is a primer on Soviet educational vehicles: trains, cars, and boats that were mobilized across the vast Soviet Union to present agitational propaganda to the masses. Also included is an interview with Sam Thorne, whose soon-to-be released book School: Conversations on Art and Self-Organized Education surveys the field of contemporary radical art schools across the world.

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Walker Art Center
June 26, 2017

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