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June 26, 2013 1:49 PM   Subscribe

Don't go to art school. Why it's a bad idea and what you can do with the money instead.
posted by Artw (103 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite

 
The cost of art school is insane, but at the same time where else can you be with your artistic peers in an environment that allows experimentation at that young age.
posted by wcfields at 1:51 PM on June 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


... what kind of art school are people going to that costs that much? The ones in my area are a fraction of that price.
posted by Autumn at 1:53 PM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not really news; we shouldn't go to grad school in the humanities or law school either, for the exact same reasons.
posted by Melismata at 1:53 PM on June 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


Art school provided a way for a high school friend of mine who got a 630 (combined score) SAT to get a college education. It has a purpose!

[not art school-ist]
posted by phunniemee at 1:54 PM on June 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Well, there are other options than RISD at a quarter million. How about Rhode Island College, a few miles away, at less than 1/10th of the price? You still get the degree, which is in fact a useful thing, as is the art education.
posted by dirtdirt at 1:55 PM on June 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


The $10k Ultimate Art Education

I've always thought of myself as something of an artist, for a mere 10k I can learn how to art the ultimate level? Thats a steal.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:56 PM on June 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


I've seen admonitions about art school and even college in general being not worthwhile these days, but this article takes the extra step of suggesting a very concrete and specific alternative, and deserves kudos for that.
posted by baf at 1:58 PM on June 26, 2013 [21 favorites]


I remember not even applying to Art Center School of Design in Pasadena in the early 1990s because their own school counselors estimated total costs for four years there at $100k. Sounds like RISD is keeping up the tradition.
posted by mathowie at 1:58 PM on June 26, 2013


I did a visual arts program part-time at a community college for a few thousand dollars and learned a lot and enjoyed it and think it was totally worth the time and money. If you want to learn specific skills there are always cost-effective ways to do so.
posted by orange swan at 1:58 PM on June 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


Some statistics would be nice.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 1:59 PM on June 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Are these art schools for-profit like Art Institute? It seems like part of their MO is to prey on middle-class artistic kids whose parents want them to go to college, but they slacked off in high school. When my wife taught at the local AI branch, part of their thing was to fail as many students as possible so that they had to re-take the courses and pay more tuition.
posted by LionIndex at 2:01 PM on June 26, 2013 [8 favorites]


Some statistics would be nice.

At art school?
posted by mrnutty at 2:03 PM on June 26, 2013 [23 favorites]


76%! That's more than 1 in 4!
posted by Mister_A at 2:10 PM on June 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


...what kind of art school are people going to that costs that much? The ones in my area are a fraction of that price.

Idiot's going to RISD, which, while an amazing art/design/media school, is famously stupid-expensive. The cost could not have been a surprise to him.

Many state university's have fantastic art schools, at a pittance compared to RISD.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:11 PM on June 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yeah, Ringling School of Art is another example. I have a fellow classmate from there whose son decided to go there as well. He just graduated -the student loan amounts that both he and his (single) mother took out for his education were stratospheric. Now, I know his education was top notch, but I don't know how either one of them is gonna pay this off any time soon. I won't quote numbers because, hey, privacy.


The only caveat I have to the advice in the link is-in the graphic design and illustration world at least, these instructors-at Ringling, anyway-have connections. When I was there they only hired people who had worked outside in their field. I don't know if that is still the case, tho.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:13 PM on June 26, 2013


OH, and for all that is holy never send a kid of yours to one of those for-profit Art Institutes. For reals. Do not doo eet.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:14 PM on June 26, 2013 [11 favorites]


The more I look at it it seems like his 10k ultimate art package is a little light on concept, which is what I am interested in. I mean an initial investment of 230k seems negligible once I am cranking out million dollar pieces. I may go the traditional route.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:17 PM on June 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Instead of going to RISD, drop out and sell some hot dogs and then start the Talking Heads and then profit!
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:26 PM on June 26, 2013 [10 favorites]



You can always study art at any public university. If you feel the need to do so.

But I'm kind of on the "don't go into debt for school" bandwagon.

Note: I got my BA in English when a semester at either ASU or San Francisco State was $350. I just paid as I went.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:28 PM on June 26, 2013


There's the old joke to the effect that if you're not a pack-a-day smoker by the time you graduate art school, you get your money back.

The thing is, it's not a joke*. In order to keep their accreditation, art schools must reimburse graduating non-smokers the full value of their tuition, plus interest. Art school costs so much because the tuition's weighted to compensate for the two or three students in each graduating class who get away without paying a dime.
*totally a joke
posted by Iridic at 2:29 PM on June 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Instead of going to RISD, drop out and sell some hot dogs and then start the Talking Heads and then profit!

Why stay in college? Why go to night art school?
posted by The Bellman at 2:29 PM on June 26, 2013 [17 favorites]


Medium seems to be leveling the playing ground, giving people who don't have a voice and shouldn't an audience. Love the idea the two options in an art student's false dilemma are RISD or the Good Will Hunting library education.

Also, "watch all these keynotes". But do it before you get an art education like I have so you have no context and miss 90% of what they're trying to tell you.
posted by yerfatma at 2:29 PM on June 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've gotten quite a bit of flack from this on metafilter in the past, but we are definitely moving forward to a world where the current institutions of learning are becoming obsolete. This is not totally their fault, it's by design. The starvation of the beast by various special interest groups in American politics knows no bounds as they destroy the infrastructure of this country in the name of profit.

Anyone can now go to their public library and obtain the highest levels of education from publicly available resources, like youtube, in any field. For a small fee you can buy specialized training videos from outstanding scholars in any field, even in medicine. I can pull up a legal lecture at Oxford, medieval text analysis in any language. Or I could spend a few years and six figures of loans hoping to one day have the proper prerequisites to take the one graduate level course I care about in Scandinavian origin mythology. Or drop 45$ to read one impenetrable academic paper.

The future of higher education lies in the power of accreditation, not education. I hope that this is the beginning of the end of for-profit educational institutions but my experience suggests that it is more likely that the for-profit educational institutions will get the jump on buying lobbying for the power of accreditation.

As someone who was forced at a very young age to overcome the many limitations of a public school system that focuses on time in grade and discipline rather than learning or teaching, my formal education was only made possible via the power of the early internet and those outmoded and quickly dwindling public resources like libraries.

Anyway, I hope that public education takes the lead on this, because if they don't aggressively become the gold standard for educational certification (like the old CLEP exams) Prometric, Kaplan and their ilk will become the defacto names in education.

Teaching should move their focus on helping students learn how to teach themselves. We live in a world where patients can quickly google their diagnosis and grill their doctors almost immediately, using the opinions of world experts in that field.

I don't see why even the most highly qualified teachers should, or even if it's possible for them to remain the ruling, unimpeachable authority on their subjects. And once their unquestionable authority in the classroom falls apart, the entire public school system is lost to chaos.

At least in Texas, it's not like the current system is working. Maybe you guys have different experiences. I'm only speaking from the perspective of mine.
posted by hobo gitano de queretaro at 2:29 PM on June 26, 2013 [14 favorites]


I know a lot of people who went to Otis, ACCD, FIDM etc. who aren't working in their chosen field and have crippling debt.

I also know a lot of people who went to a public university who are and aren't working in their chosen fields, but at least they don't have crippling debt.

But hey, I'm in my thirties and it's possible the art school grads will be the next household names when they're in their fifties.
posted by infinitewindow at 2:33 PM on June 26, 2013


The problem with art school is the same problem with journalism school.

Both purport to be oriented toward a profession, but the fundamental nature of the performance of the profession is entirely subjective and, unlike law or medicine, totally unlicensed (and actually unlicenseable).

And only a few people make any money at it, and most often those people were untrained anyway.

Will write in Inverted Pyramid style for food.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:39 PM on June 26, 2013 [14 favorites]


Got my BFA at URI (free - tuition waiver!) and took classes at RISD which I followed with Parsons School of Design, Columbia University and currently NYU. All for Studio or Art ED programs. Its made me a well-rounded working and teaching artist. I'd NEVER say don't go to art school - but DO be sure you can handle the expense. I'm lucky enough that its never been an issue.
posted by blaneyphoto at 2:44 PM on June 26, 2013


hobo gitano, your comment reminded me of a passage in a short story.
After twenty generations of shilly-shallying and "we'll cross that bridge when we come to it," genus homo had bred itself into an impasse. Dogged biometricians had pointed out with irrefutable logic that mental subnormals were outbreeding mental normals and supernormals, and that the process was occurring on an exponential curve. Every fact that could be mustered in the argument proved the biometricians' case, and led inevitably to the conclusion that genus homo was going to wind up in a preposterous jam quite soon. If you think that had any effect on breeding practices, you do not know genus homo.

There was, of course, a sort of masking effect produced by that other exponential function, the accumulation of technological devices. A moron trained to punch an adding machine seems to be a more skillful computer than a medieval mathematician trained to count on his fingers. A moron trained to operate the twenty-first century equivalent of a linotype seems to be a better typographer than a Renaissance printer limited to a few fonts of movable type. This is also true of medical practice.

It was a complicated affair of many factors. The supernormals "improved the product" at greater speed than the subnormals degraded it, but in smaller quantity because elaborate training of their children was practiced on a custom-made basis. The fetish of higher education had some weird avatars by the twentieth generation: "colleges" where not a member of the student body could read words of three syllables; "universities" where such degrees as "Bachelor of Typewriting," ''Master of Shorthand" and "Doctor of Philosophy (Card Filing)" were conferred with the traditional pomp. The handful of supernormals used such devices in order that the vast majority might keep some semblance of a social order going.

Some day the supernormals would mercilessly cross the bridge; at the twentieth generation they were standing irresolutely at its approaches wondering what had hit them. And the ghosts of twenty generations of biometncians chuckled malignantly.
—Cyril M. Kornbluth, "The Little Black Bag"

I don't subscribe to this Idiocracy-like view of humanity, but I do believe that if institutions incentivize the appearance of stupidity, people will happily feign for gain.
posted by infinitewindow at 2:46 PM on June 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Anyone can now go to their public library and obtain the highest levels of education from publicly available resources, like youtube, in any field. For a small fee you can buy specialized training videos from outstanding scholars in any field, even in medicine.

Some of us learn best in dialogue with actual people, in real time. I suppose that we could get together in small groups and read texts and discuss them, and maybe sometimes hire someone who has both a broad and deep knowledge of the subject we're studying to come talk us through difficult areas, point us in new directions, and help us focus our discussion (a thing that can be particularly difficult when one unfamiliar with a subject - you don't yet know what you don't know).

We could rent some space to get together regularly. I wonder what we could call this kind of group, or if anyone's thought of it before?
posted by rtha at 2:50 PM on June 26, 2013 [34 favorites]


I know someone who went to Cal Arts and ended up with $150k in student loans. No problem as long as that sitcom gets picked up :/
posted by cell divide at 2:50 PM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was about to be all like "Come to art school in Canada everybody!" And then I had a look at my alma mater's international tuition schedule and, whoa... it's close to 100K for 4 years. Half the price of RISD, but still...!
posted by Kabanos at 2:54 PM on June 26, 2013


We could rent some space to get together regularly. I wonder what we could call this kind of group, or if anyone's thought of it before?

You just described a salon or a junto.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:55 PM on June 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty glad I learned to program before the Internet was really big. I had some books, some of which I actually shoplifted, trying shit and pestering people. If I learned to program on YouTube, expertsexchange and forums I don't know what I would be doing now. No doubt copy pasting some code off the web.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:56 PM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


You just described a salon or a junto.

Or a school. Or possibly a hamburger stand.
posted by The Bellman at 3:00 PM on June 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


What if I can draw both the bear and the pirate? Do I have what it takes to become a serious art student?
posted by dr_dank at 3:04 PM on June 26, 2013 [21 favorites]


I'm still going to art school - taking a long time to finish a four year program because I can't afford to not work - it's not really the cost of the education and supplies - I would have to check, but I think a degree from my college is somewhere in the $30-40K range.

I think a better article would be "Don't go to art school until you know what you're getting into" which will be a very YMMV thing. You may see things you don't like. You may be told a lot of things you don't like, from family or teachers. You have to be mentally strong to withstand everything it can throw at you. It's not all sitting around and painting pictures and going la la la - it's about producing results in an often short time frame.

Although I had my own teeth gnashing struggle whether to continue or quit (mostly because it's taking so long...mostly because of one teacher that caused me severe mental anguish) there was a lot of things that I couldn't have learned from just books. I stumbled on the idea of dangerous weather as a theme thanks to one teacher, and this past semester learned a lot about 3D modelling and printing. Much better at connecting abstract bits of data than before. Huge appreciation for artisan jewellery now after burning my fingertips in metalworking. I learned that I still really enjoyed writing essays, and now I feel quite qualified to talk about landscapes in Canadian painting. Actually, I have probably learned more about myself than art. If you love ideas, art college is a great place to be - but I also have my geeky back up job, because being an artist won't pay the bills :\
posted by Calzephyr at 3:05 PM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I graduated from an Expensive Name Brand Art School about ten years ago. I was extremely lucky (believe me, I had no idea _HOW_ lucky at the time) that my parents mostly paid for it-- I helped out where I could working as a TA and taking summer jobs, but I know it was a drop in the bucket. It cost about as much as other private schools; if I had decided to go to Harvard or Yale or Duke I imagine it would have cost about the same, maybe a little more.

A lot of my classmates felt and still feel like the education wasn't worth the cost, and I feel that way to some extent, but I largely feel like-- for me-- the choice was better than other alternatives. I did learn a lot. I did find a good niche for myself. I have spent most of the past ten years working in my field, in jobs that were sometimes good and sometimes bad. I could have gotten a humanities degree, spent as much, and not have as good a job, or one I enjoy so much. I could have gone to law school, and my prospects would probably be even worse. Going to a state school and majoring in art wouldn't have been much of a better option for me (because of immigration weirdness, I think that I wasn't considered in-state anywhere) but even if it had been cheaper, I'm not sure it would have been a better choice-- most of the people I know who did that are not working in art-related fields. I do think that the location and specialization of my school played a part in my success. Most of the people I work with came from one of about 4 'name-brand'-ish schools in the same geographical area.

It's not that I think it's a super great idea to go to art school now, I just think that as expensive as secondary education is, I think a lot of things are pretty bad ideas right now.

And while his list is a good idea in theory, and I am glad that he provides it and I think it's extremely useful for a lot of people (I will be referencing it myself in the future, I am sure) I think there's a lot of 18-year-olds (myself included) who wouldn't be terribly disciplined about going about the process of learning and creating 6-12 hours a day. People are almost always going to be motivated to do more with a teacher, other students, and deadlines.

If you can get together with a bunch of other art-school-inclined friends, give each other projects, give each other deadlines-- more power to you, and I think you'll probably achieve a lot, with a much lower cost. But if you're on your own, and you want a career in the arts? I don't know that I would suggest art school, but I don't know that I would suggest (solely) his method either.
posted by matcha action at 3:06 PM on June 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Drop out of grade school, start your apprenticeship with a master at age 6. That is the only way to become a great artist.
posted by Doroteo Arango II at 3:06 PM on June 26, 2013 [10 favorites]


I love how higher education is going to be made obsolete because people are now able to go to public libraries and access... YouTube.

Can you imagine how disruptive it would be if someone invented the book today?
posted by leopard at 3:06 PM on June 26, 2013 [14 favorites]


I'm a hobby student doing art at the local CC and the instruction is hella fine if you want to apply yourself. That said, a few years back many of my fellow students were gunning to get into Pixar &c. through Cal Art$, since everybody at Pixar seemed to have gone through there. Pretty much everybody else was content looking towards a nice State College after that.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 3:08 PM on June 26, 2013


There are all kinds of "art schools." I've attended continuing-ed classes at both RISD and MassArt, and I graduated from a good music school. In my experience, RISD's environment was more workshop than classroom. In a workshop, students have miles of latitude to interpret lessons, and feedback tends to be weighted toward what's positive and constructive. By contrast, classroom environments have assignments, and feedback is geared toward telling you whether you've grasped the lesson and what you're doing wrong.

For my limited purposes, RISD is overpriced. I would pursue a graduate certificate, a burgeoning field in education for people who want a credential but don't have the time or inclination for a full-fledged master's degree. (I'm an attorney. Art is just a hobby.) In most fields you can obtain a graduate certificate for somewhere between $6,000 to $10,000. But RISD and similar local programs like BU's adopted CDIA make you pay tuition and jump through hoops that are much closer to obtaining a master's degree, without conferring the value of a master's.

The alternative that I've looked at is New York Institute of Photography. It's a correspondence school, but it's been around forever and has a great reputation. It's not University of Phoenix. I'd much rather attend class in person and get a credential somewhere local, but NYIP offers its certificate for $999. Compared to RISD's prices, and considering both certificates are worth about the same on any resume, it's almost a no-brainer.

Having said that, as somebody with an undergraduate degree in the arts: A good art school can make you a better artist. It has to be a good art school; and I use the verb "can" and not "will" because your experience relies hugely on working your butt off and keeping a constantly open mind. Whether it's worth the time or price is a totally subjective question, but for sure, attending a good art school is one way to make leaps and bounds in the quality of your work.
posted by cribcage at 3:12 PM on June 26, 2013 [10 favorites]


Something about Art Schools (in general) that Calzephyr touches on is that you have potentially more diverse experiences. For instance, YES you can go out and find an independent glass studio or learn how to weld or etch or whatever, but when its all housed in one place you're more likely to interact with artists focusing in that media and perhaps more likely to be drawn into it. Also, you often don't know what you don't know, ya know? Simply having a formal environment or peer group can feed you bits of information that steers you in important directions. Even as a working professional, I'd probably never have explored wet plate collodian if I didn't have peers to introduce me to it. That's just a small example, but art schools can be a real hothouse for that sort of creative expansion. Still, its got to be tempered by your budget... but don't not go to art school just because some guy on the internet says its a bad idea - weigh your options carefully.
posted by blaneyphoto at 3:17 PM on June 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh yes, so much more in the way of diverse experiences blaneyphoto! As an older student, I often find myself informally mentoring the younger folks (plus I was a youth mentor...comes naturally I guess!). It keeps me in touch with the issues that young people are facing personaly and from education cuts. I can also talk more in an educated way about arts funding and why the arts are valuable. There are some young people where art school is the only place they can function or feel accepted, so that factor shouldn't be discounted too.

My school also has a design department that functions in a very real life way, where teachers are clients. If you can make it through four years of the visual communications program there, you can definitely make it in the industry.
posted by Calzephyr at 3:23 PM on June 26, 2013


A few thoughts:
  • He says that RISD's four-year cost is $245,816. Okay. But is this the figure he used for his debt calculation? How does that work?
  • For some people, the benefit of an education is a straightforward estimate of future earnings. For many people who choose humanities or fine arts, it is not.
  • Especially in the fine arts, there are a few elite programs that vocationally make a huge difference. I'd argue that an art degree from a typical four-year state university, even though relatively inexpensive, has a much worse ROI than a degree from RISD, which is much, much more expensive. A music degree from Eastern New Mexico University (where I majored in music for a year)? Waste of time. A music degree from Berklee? Arguably worth it.
If you have a degree from Berklee or from RISD, you'll be able to work. You very well may not make enough money to avoid finding your school loan debt crushing, and that should absolutely be a serious concern. But, even so, you'll have been exposed to the top people and work in your field and you'll likely be able to find work at least on the periphery of that elite. Mentoring and influences during school matter and networking opportunities after school matters — a great deal.

Even if you have trouble finding work after school, it's much more likely that you will grow creatively and technically at one of these schools than at a cheap state school. And for your own purposes, for yourself, if you are pursuing an education in art or music or theater or dance for its own sake, then very often the elite fine arts programs really and truly do offer something that you can't find elsewhere.

One problem is that often students don't know what the elite programs really are. Just because it's Ivy League doesn't mean that a fine arts degree is any more worthwhile. Sometimes it is. Sometimes it's not. And in some cases there are relatively inexpensive state schools with exceptionally high-quality, very highly regarded fine arts departments. There was a time — I don't know if it's still true — when a jazz performance degree from North Texas State University (now UNT) in Denton meant something, both creatively and, particularly, for session musicians.

I have very serious problems with tuition inflation and the consequent student loan debt. In no way do I intend to diminish how much these are bad things for our society.

But I strongly disagree with the increasing trend of evaluating the worthiness of higher education on the basis of future earnings. All higher education is not vocational, first and foremost. And, even when it is, the value that people get from their work is not always primarily the remuneration. There are many reasons why someone could rationally judge that a very expensive degree is worth it even though they will not find employment that will financially compensate for it. Students should be made aware of what the various trade-offs are, and they certainly should be disabused of any notions that they will be able to easily find employment after attaining degree X and that such employment will provide them with sufficient income to match that investment.

But, knowing these realities, it is not unreasonable for some students to choose to get a degree in literature or anthropology or music or painting or dance or sociology or geography or history. If they're choosing to do so because they want the education for itself, then it's especially justifiable when they've researched and chosen a school and program that is most likely to provide the education they want, even when it's expensive.

Sometimes only a few expensive schools will provide a path for a realistic shot at future jobs and higher income. But, also, even when that's not really the case anywhere, sometimes there's only a few expensive schools that will provide the education a student wants as something valuable for its own sake. That's a reasonable choice for a student to make. Assuming it's fully informed.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:35 PM on June 26, 2013 [7 favorites]


Graduated from the University of the Arts last year. The art school experience is not one I can imagine being easily replicated elsewhere. The concentration of people all working, not on one thing, but on their OWN things all next to each other; the combination of skilled experts in their field teaching alongside specialists in various liberal arts specialties that slowly introduce you to a broader, more important world; the sorts of challenges you're forced into that will impart technical capability upon you whether you want it or not. It's a phenomenal combination.

UArts taught me, among other things, why things I hate are actually wonderful, how things I like are connected to each other, and when things I love are actually so different from what I thought they were that actually I like something quite a bit different. It was also a hell of a culture shock, in the best way possible. Art students are weeeeeird. And lovely. And weeeeeeeird.

I think college should be seen as important facilities for shaping people rather than as training centers for jobs or exclusive centers for knowledge. Knowledge and work should exist separately of any one institutionalized system. But learning to be alone amidst your peers and to value them for who they are is important too, and you can't do that at a workplace that selects a particular specialization of human being, then directs them towards a single selfish purpose. Colleges are a wonderful place to have that happen instead, and in my experience—I've attended, worked at, and spent considerable time at colleges other than my alma mater—art schools are unusually excellent at that. People reveal themselves more through their creative ambitions than they do in most other situations.
posted by Rory Marinich at 3:35 PM on June 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


I would hope the expensive art schools graduate you with lots of connections and experience in things like promoting yourself and putting together shows, at least.

I got a BFA from a state school years ago, and it sure was cheap! The instruction level was terrible for the studio classes, though. I had one good professor and one good TA out of all the studio classes I took. OMG, the profs were awful! There was no cohesive ethos to the department. Just a bunch of sad old drunks doing the least amount of teaching possible while trying to grope tits.

My degree was for Art Education, so I also took art history, art education and regular education classes. The art history and art education classes were high quality. The less said about the education classes, the better. The course content was virtually useless and my fellow classmates were all feather-headed dopes.

Anyway, then I graduated, worked in a school for a while, decided I hated teaching and went to work as staff at a university.
posted by Squeak Attack at 3:42 PM on June 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Proud art school drop out here.
posted by The Whelk at 3:47 PM on June 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Anyway, then I graduated, worked in a school for a while, decided I hated teaching and went to work as staff at a university.

Wha?

There was no cohesive ethos to the department. Just a bunch of sad old drunks doing the least amount of teaching possible while trying to grope tits.

Oh.
posted by notyou at 3:51 PM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't know anything about art school. I do know that the best educational experiences of my life -- maybe the only real educational experiences of my life -- have been when I've been surrounded by smart, highly motivated, deeply passionate people who ask hard questions and expect great work.

I don't see any reason that environment couldn't be replicated online, or in a low-cost school. But it's really, really hard to do, and I don't see anyone who's done it yet. For one thing you'd have to be extremely selective about who you accept into the program to avoid slackers and trolls. $45k a year is a pretty good barrier for those idiots.
posted by miyabo at 3:54 PM on June 26, 2013


have been when I've been surrounded by smart, highly motivated, deeply passionate people who ask hard questions and expect great work. 

Whoa.. i think ots cuz I went to a really shitty art school but absolutely none of that applied to my two years
posted by The Whelk at 4:04 PM on June 26, 2013


I wonder how much Parsons cost during the post-1929 depression. Because my mom attended Parsons (and finished the program) then, and I know her family didn't have a cent and neither did she beyond what she could earn while also attending school. (This was right after she had put herself through Florida State waiting tables, so she definitely had some drive. It was, I grant you, Florida State College for Women then and not yet Florida State University, but still it was a four-year degree from an accredited college, and she got from Tallahassee to NYC and into Parsons afterward.)


> But I strongly disagree with the increasing trend of evaluating the worthiness of higher
> education on the basis of future earnings. All higher education is not vocational, first and
> foremost.

What if you were going to be sold into indentured servitude because of your debt if you couldn't earn your way out from under it? Would college's vocational aspect be a valid consideration then? How different are today's terms of repayment for college loans from indentured servitude? Just askin'.
posted by jfuller at 4:05 PM on June 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sorry to confuse you, notyou. No boob grabbing for me.

I taught in a junior high for a year and then became an office worker at a university. I make spreadsheets and keep track of things now.

University staff are not in teaching positions - we call those people lecturers and professors. Staff are all the clerical, accounting and administrative people who do all the boring bureaucracy stuff to facilitate professors and students doing their education thing.
posted by Squeak Attack at 4:20 PM on June 26, 2013


I dropped out of Pratt Institute and it was the best decision I ever made in my life. I ended up at a liberal arts school in SoCal had a blast, met fantastic outgoing people and I still make my living as a creative doing exactly what I was going to go to Pratt to "learn."

I thought Pratt was one of the more miserable places on planet earth. Art school dropouts unite.
posted by jnnla at 4:21 PM on June 26, 2013


"Just askin'."

I think this was covered in the "for some people, the benefit of an education is a straightforward estimate of future earnings" and the "I have very serious problems with tuition inflation and the consequent student loan debt" and the "students should be made aware of what the various trade-offs are, and they certainly should be disabused of any notions that they will be able to easily find employment after attaining degree X and that such employment will provide them with sufficient income to match that investment" parts of my comment. Just answerin'.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:24 PM on June 26, 2013


Mathowie, Art Center actually has the highest tuition in the U.S.: "The most expensive institution of the country, on average, is the Art Center College of Design in California, at $39,672. (That figure seems to be from the 2008-2009 academic year, so it’s likely a bit more by now.)"

That said, every time I visit I fantasize about being a student there.
posted by jjwiseman at 4:40 PM on June 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


The best gift I ever got was a ten thousand dollar check to cover my remaining student debt from droping out, and that's a seriously low number compared to most people. For profit education is a horrible, terrible idea, because you end up giving what the paying customer wants- a degree in exchange for money, and nobody ends up learning anything so the value of the degree is dangerously diluted until the until recourse is to add additional degrees and certification. Putting people into even greater debt.

Art is not a rational field and the predictable jobs have more or less dried up.
posted by The Whelk at 4:41 PM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Furthermore, I checked once, no one from my supposed graduating class is working anything resembling an art related job or, you know has a serious full time job at all. The school had one purpose, to extract money from kids who didn't know any better ( colledge is always good! Always always always!) both now and in the future.

I honestly think a lot of Higher Educatioon is pretty seriously disgusting on many levels, mostly cause of the sheer amount of lying and graft going on.
posted by The Whelk at 4:47 PM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


The second-most relieved I've ever been as a father is when I heard my daughter say, after her first semester in (state) college, that she didn't want to transfer to Savannah College of Art and Design and major in photography after all. It was the first real sign that she was making mature, reasoned, adult decisions.

(the most-relieved involved hearing the phrase "it's benign.")
posted by deadmessenger at 4:50 PM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, don't go to art school if you're looking for bang for your buck. Go to art school if you want an art education, environment, and head start on networking.
posted by cmoj at 4:53 PM on June 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


And someone else is payng.
posted by The Whelk at 4:55 PM on June 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


Someday I will be a someone else... That's going to be interesting.
posted by Artw at 4:58 PM on June 26, 2013


And I went to a dirt cheap, focus on practical skills, blue collar-background-illustration department school and got nothing from it, at least SVA does professional development and portfolio days and puts you in contact with art directors, mine had a " computer art" class so bad I ended up literally teaching it myself.

That was right around the time I found out that they tried to pay some adjuncts in yoga classes.
posted by The Whelk at 4:59 PM on June 26, 2013


I may be biased in saying this but I'm pretty sure an art education is only complete if you get to take classes where Camille Paglia tells you how much better Adele is than Lady Gaga. My bar for people arbitrarily judging shit was raised immensely by the utterly labyrinthian arguments she'd construct from off the top of her head—as was my bar for considering a person knowledgable in a field. That mixture of impressive whimsy and impressive curiosity is pretty much what defined my time in art school for me.

(Also the time the one professor took us through so many layers within Camus' The Stranger that it went from entertainment to art to philosophy to everybody in the classroom seriously questioning their own approaches to life. But that's something you can find in any self-respecting humanities department, I hope.)
posted by Rory Marinich at 5:00 PM on June 26, 2013


Camille Paglia is wrong.
posted by Artw at 5:02 PM on June 26, 2013


SCAD and RISD boast good job placement.

Or is that for to laugh?
posted by IndigoJones at 5:02 PM on June 26, 2013


A few things:

Art school in general, (with the exception of the for-profits) and RISD in particular is not the true issue here. There is no way you can duplicate the experience of a rigorous art program by cobbling together bits and pieces in isolation. Not possible. An excellent art education is collaborative and requires constant feedback and analysis alongside physical and intellectual practice. A good program draws on the strengths of not just its professors but its general environment, including facilities but most importantly one's fellow students. I wish there was a way to duplicate this, and for a number of years I tried every one of the options laid out in the fpp rather than return to grad school for an MFA, but trust me when I tell you the first three weeks of grad school alone were more helpful and productive than the previous 5 years of focussed DIY study.

The real problems are twofold:

1. The insane costs of tuition now.

My bfa is from RISD, I financed it fully myself through student loans and working, and I have never regretted it for a moment. Separate from the excellent education I received, having the school on my resume has been the main reason I've been able to make a living as a designer, despite the fact both of my degrees are in Fine Art. As unfair as that is, having a degree from a highly respected institution opens a lot of doors to employment that are otherwise closed for most people. That said, my average tuition was 10k a year- a far cry from the outrageous sticker price these days. I'm not sure I'd ever recommend someone going there now unless they are getting a lot of financial aid. There's a chart showing these increases at RISD about halfway down this page.


2. The idea that humanities degrees are useless and the things taught in humanities programs can be learned online. Bootstraps!

Finally, about this particular fpp. It's BS. The author is not "making a living as an artist", he's "making a living" as an internet marketer and self-help guru. He's a freelancing fantasy art illustrator who seems to be concentrating pretty hard on literally selling his art career advice. I'll take a wild-ass guess that's where the bulk of his income is coming from, not by actually having a lucrative career as an artist.

trust me, I know how much cover illos go for these days, even at magazines with huge subscription bases
posted by stagewhisper at 5:04 PM on June 26, 2013 [18 favorites]


Camille Paglia doesn't believe in right or wrong, because art is too complex for one person to accurately summarize or judge. So what matters is being critical of it in ways which are themselves fascinating, insightful, and entertaining, if entirely biased.
posted by Rory Marinich at 5:11 PM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, don't go to art school if you're looking for bang for your buck. Go to art school if you want an art education, environment, and head start on networking.

I concur. You do not go to art school if your ambition in life is to get rich quick, as we know that professional artists are often poorly paid. If you go to art school, you do it to interact with people who are working on interesting things, which is a different value.
posted by ovvl at 5:22 PM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


A value which usually requires some financial backing.
posted by The Whelk at 5:25 PM on June 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Here's what people should really do: go to art school in Europe. I talked my way into a great school and spent a year there as an unmatriculated student. Tuition cost zero. Cost of living in that particular city: very cheap. I was surrounded by insanely talented people and had access to top-notch facilities. Probably the single best thing I did for my artistic development.
posted by the_blizz at 5:29 PM on June 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


[Michael Stipe]Don't go back to art schoo-oo-ool! Don't waste another year![/Stipe]
posted by jonp72 at 5:50 PM on June 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I still remember my first day in art school. Everyone had to take Colloquium, a full year of orientation lectures for freshmen art students. The professor began his lecture and said everyone should look at the 5 people on your left, and the 5 people on your right. Memorize their faces. Only one person out of ten in this room would ever go on to have any job in the art world in any capacity, and it wouldn't be you.

He was wrong. I had a longer, greater career in the arts than the professor.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:59 PM on June 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Not that I think art school is particularly worth it, even though it worked out well for me and I would probably do it again, but the things this guy lists as replacement for art school are NOT the things I found valuable from the experience.

You can take a drawing class anywhere, but you do not get the environment of art school anywhere but at art school. As a professional it is something I miss and am constantly trying to recreate aspects of in my own career and life.
posted by bradbane at 5:59 PM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


The dirty secret when I was in college was that the local state university often offered the same teachers as the expensive art school, but at a fraction of the price.
posted by drezdn at 6:01 PM on June 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I went to art school at a state university, and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.
At that age, you simply aren't going to get the kind of instruction, immersion, exposure, feedback, encouragement, and time to explore anywhere else. It's where you hone your skills and explore your talent and ideas. You just can't get that vital experience from a YouTube channel.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:12 PM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah well, if I somehow, inexplicably wake up in my 18 year old body back in the 90s, I'm still immediately going to art school.
posted by codswallop at 6:32 PM on June 26, 2013


I'll just throw out that i *cough* went to RISD. About ten years ago. Some scholarship (about a third), lots of loans. i'll be paying for it for another decade. my loan payments have always been about 5% of my pay, and while my job these last two years is not really related to my degree, all my other jobs have been. My time there was as great as you can imagine, and it absolutely got me employed (a few times!) and gave me skills to do those jobs.
And we are not even talking connections, that shit got me a great job off of monster.com, in NYC (in 2004).
It fully sucks that it is so expensive, maybe they are wasting tons of money, but it is a wonderful place, full of incredible, passionate educators.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 6:39 PM on June 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have a BFA and a BA in photography and media arts (film and video) respectively. I really, really wish I wasn't still paying that second one off, but I find it hard to regret it. They were formative.

Still, I wouldn't recommend it. You're going to need to go to college, employers still look at that. But for god's sake, do it on the cheap and keep your self-discipline alive.
posted by lumpenprole at 7:57 PM on June 26, 2013


You're going to need to go to college, employers still look at that.

Immigrations too.

But for god's sake, do it on the cheap and keep your self-discipline alive.

Yep.
posted by anonymisc at 8:56 PM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have a BFA and a BA in photography and media arts (film and video) respectively. I really, really wish I wasn't still paying that second one off,

Just out of curiosity, would that change if the second degree had been a graduate degree (MA/MFA) ? Personally - and I know this applies to nobody but myself - but I've found the money spent on graduate work to be WAY more valuable (in practice and on a resume/job seeking level) than my BFA.
posted by blaneyphoto at 9:00 PM on June 26, 2013


I took classes at RISD when I was a grad student at Brown. Brown being an ivy league school isn't cheaper, but I had my tuition and a decent stipend covered because I worked for the department I was in. (which wouldn't have been possible at RISD) Really worked out to be the best way for me to get the good parts of RISD.
posted by Perfectibilist at 9:25 PM on June 26, 2013


Who is actually going off to art school believing that it is an investment that will be monetarily compensated by the huge salary they will make at the end as a working artist? Anyone?

If so, then yes it's a tragedy that these people are being duped and we should circulate more articles like this letting them know about the reality.

But I'm pretty sure people are going for the reasons that anyone goes to university in the fields that are well known not to be financially solid bets: they have a passion for the subject, they want to interact with professionals in the field who know more than they do and with peers who are starting out on the same path as them, and maybe because they need a degree of some sort, and believe they have better chances of getting good grades and sticking with it if it's a subject they are actually interested in.

As for the idea that universities are out of date because people have access to so much information via the internet nowadays, I actually think this is one of the reasons why universities are more necessary than ever. It has got to the point that for any given subject you might be interested in, you are immediately overwhelmed with possible books to read, sites to read, videos to watch, people in the public eye engaging with the subject, and so on. How does a rank beginner sort through such a huge amount of possible information, when even cataloguing it and weeding out the obvious rubbish would take months or years? How do they figure out who the voices are that everyone else is paying attention to (and so they had better damn well be familiar with) and who the outsider, unusual voices are that are only "outside" the conversation because they are breaking new ground and the mainstream hasn't caught up with them yet? How do they distinguish the latter from voices that are outside the mainstream because they are batshit crazy or (harder to judge) just subtly wrong about something really complicated but very important? How do they work out a way to join the conversation meaningfully?

I think most teaching academics realise that our roles today are those of the guide and mentor, not the fount of knowledge. We aren't providing access to much that the students wouldn't be able to access on their own, but we are helping the students access material efficiently, and make sense of what they can access. I don't think that role is ever going to be replaced by wikipedia and youtube.
posted by lollusc at 9:43 PM on June 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


Can someone formulate a $10k (or less!) alternative for fashion design school?

A certain spouse of mine is convinced that a diploma from FIDM will make all of her dreams come true, and I continually find myself playing the role of Mr. Unsupportive Cynical Stingypants.
posted by ShutterBun at 10:49 PM on June 26, 2013


You know who else didn't go to art school?
posted by Gringos Without Borders at 11:42 PM on June 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


Art is a very tough and competitive profession. Going to a top art-school will prepare you better for getting into that profession than not going, but it will still be tough. If you really, really want to be an artist, the way to go is to get into one of the German or UK schools, if you can. It'll be a lot cheaper than in the US, and you will learn a lot more.
Articles like this one are almost always written by people who don't get what art as a profession is about. They through around cliches like "it's subjective" and "you don't learn anything at art school". Both are wrong. Art value is negotiated all the time on a global market, and one can learn how that market works, and find ones place within it.
Go to school, or stop pretending you are an artist.
posted by mumimor at 2:12 AM on June 27, 2013


You should absolutely study art if you want to study art. Just don't pay for art school in the U.S. Why not study in Europe or elsewhere instead? Vastly cheaper!
posted by jeffburdges at 2:26 AM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


When I was about to leave art school (BA in fine art) about 25 years ago, the careers officer had a chat with us, and said that what we had done was a very good training in productivity, and that what it had given us was the ability to do a wide variety of things (on our course we tended not to specialise in things like paintings of fruit), and practical projects (such as mounting a show at the end of the course), which a degree in English or History or Philosophy probably wouldn't have. Very few of us became actual artists, but the things we learned were hugely valuable in the long run. I still think that a foundation course in art is the best training for people like me who aren't academic at all (i.e. rubbish at exams), but have some intelligence. I wish my foundation course had been better, and I wish I had been better and less stoned-and-moping for my degree course, but in practical terms, as a training, it was very valuable.

It's really not about learning to draw or sculpt per se. It's about learning organisational, critical and practical skills which can be applied on graduation. That said, I got a grant to do it. These sums of money are ridiculous.
posted by Grangousier at 3:44 AM on June 27, 2013


I got my BFA 30 years ago from a state university - when prices were just beginning to start their meteoric climb. Was it worth it? Well, still a working artist but certainly not a get-rich quick or even get rich slow scheme. But at today's absurd prices? Not without great grants not loans. And of course that whole issue of financing a college education is huge - I've got two kids in college now so am acutely, painfully aware.

I think there are a few key reasons why going to school in an actual formal program for art is hugely worthwhile and they've already been touched on upthread - access and exposure to ideas and processes one wouldn't necessarily find with an entirely self-directed program, the imposed discipline of a program at an age when many won't have that internally and the opportunity to be part of a community of artists. That said, my state program was strong on technique and weaker on professionalism - the idea that one would have to go out and be entrepreneurial was not talked about at all and you were just supposed to magically figure it out on your own. That has fortunately changed a lot since then. And yes I was another one who was told to look around the classroom and expect that maybe one in 10-20 of us would still be making art in 20 years.
posted by leslies at 4:05 AM on June 27, 2013


I'm about ten years out of an art school in the UK. I can't talk about your very expensive American schools, but going through an art education is one of the few ways to open up a career in that field.

That said, the best and most successful artists I have known (in the non-London contemporary art sphere) are people who have got degrees in other areas, and then chosen to work in the arts. Some of those people have got postgrad degrees in arts-related subjects at art schools, and some haven't.

Sadly, the UK Academic scene is changing now, and it looks like our universities in England are closing down the more interesting courses in favour of cheap education for a big fee. A badly run arts course can be a matter of sitting some kids in a room with bits of paper, and giving them a degree at the end of it. You can't do that with a pottery course (or a chemical engineering course!) which is why Fine Art courses remain on the books long after other departments have been cut to oblivion.

If you do go to art school, pick your school carefully. I'd rule out both Ivy League and cheap schools, as they only encourage slackers and rich kids. Don't go to any centre that has just recently moved because things will be messed up whilst they settle in - for instance, Central St. Martins now has lovely new studios in Kings Cross, but you can't stick things up on the walls of the studios, so fuck you if you're an artist. Look for graduate support and a healthy bunch of artist-led programs in the area around the university. You're not going into geology, which kinda needs a volcano to get cooking - if this stuff isn't around locally, it's not there because the local area doesn't support the arts.

Finally, if you're not doing the things listed in the article whilst studying at university - or similar, depending on your choice of medium - I don't know what you think being an artist is.
posted by The River Ivel at 4:08 AM on June 27, 2013


To expound on lollusc's comment earlier:

I think most teaching academics realise that our roles today are those of the guide and mentor, not the fount of knowledge. We aren't providing access to much that the students wouldn't be able to access on their own, but we are helping the students access material efficiently, and make sense of what they can access. I don't think that role is ever going to be replaced by wikipedia and youtube.

I think this is an excellent point. While I could give myself a decent math education (to take a different example) today using wikipedia, wolframalpha, khanacademy, google scholar, google books, mathworld, stackexchange, and mathscinet, that's only because I already know exactly what I need to do, having already done it myself and having been teaching math for decades. If I were 18 years old, I don't think I'd have the discipline or direction necessary for it.

So yes, it's theoretically possible for someone to create their own free or cheap education in math using on-line or local tools. And I've been contacted from time to time by people who have tried that, and who ask me for advice on which book to read next. But without the structure of a college (with faculty, classess, assignments, and so on) it's functionally impossible. I never get more than two e-mails from those people, before they disappear.

And just like in art school, what you'd really miss are the fellow students. I've been reading my department's end-of-year student evaluations, and the common thread in all of them is how much they've enjoyed the community of math majors. Not just for socializing over shared math problems (although that's part of it) but also for the inspiration that you can only get by seeing how the guy next to you or the girl across the table manages to tackle a particular problem, using a technique that you never would have come up with on your own, no matter how many youtube videos you watched.

And finally (to reference an earlier thread on education) another important service that colleges and universities provide (aside from accreditation and peer groups) is identifying and solving conceptual blocks in students. Many times I've had a kid in my class who just doesn't get X and I can't figure out why, until I realize that they think that Y is actually Z.

There may be only a few right ways to interpret a problem, but there are infinitely many wrong ways to do so, and without someone like me (or their fellow students; see above) to identify that, point it out, and set them on the right path, a student could spend years not understanding an issue and not able to get past their stumbling block.

So yes, I think that a college education is a necessary component to a full life, whether it be in the arts or the sciences. But $200,000 in costs over four years is not at all necessary, and it shames me to think that I'm part of such an expensive institution. But that's for another comment.
posted by math at 5:42 AM on June 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Shutterbun: Can someone formulate a $10k (or less!) alternative for fashion design school?

If she's looking to start her own small-scale clothing line, check out Fashion Incubator. Lots of blog posts to read, also tutorials, members-only area, and a book. (Looks like the website is mostly down right now, though... weird.)
posted by pie ninja at 5:51 AM on June 27, 2013


The problem with art school is the same problem with journalism school.

Dropped out of SCAD to get a journalism degree at a state school because I thought it was the practical, mature decision to make. I now edit incredibly boring documents no one actually reads for a living.

*sigh*
posted by JoanArkham at 6:03 AM on June 27, 2013


a very concrete and specific alternative

The local art college here has Painting, Drawing, Illustration, Animation, Sculpture, Installation, Design, Product Design, Film, Television, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Interior Design, Textiles and Fashion, Jewelry and Smithing. (And ones I can't remember right now.) That article's suggestion is like throwing a pea claiming it compares to a 5 course meal.
posted by yoHighness at 6:19 AM on June 27, 2013


If I'm being totally honest, looking at the histories of people I know with mid-level jobs in The Art World , not exactly artists themselves ( full-time) but managers, support staff, historians, curators, etc. it's not what colledge you go to, it's which east coast prep school you attended.
posted by The Whelk at 6:54 AM on June 27, 2013


Isn't the larger problem that there aren't enough good paying jobs for artists?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:10 AM on June 27, 2013


If any kids are reading this - don't wait for art school. Take as many life drawing classes as you possibly can while you're still a teenager. It's like language or guitar in that the more practice you get while you're young, the better off you'll be.

Also, if you're a Canadian and baby boomers ever tell you how tough things used to be, remind them that thier education costs were heavily subsidised. When I went to art school (OCA) in the 80s, it cost $900 a year. Places like Sheridan charged about $750 for their animation program. That wasn't very much money, even back then. Today's costs are insane.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:20 AM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Totally agree, life drawing, life drawing, life drawing.

I badly wanted to go to a school like RISD when I was in high school, but the costs were just too high. I ended up working, saving, and took classes at Watts Atelier. Learned a ton. Attended AnimationMentor online at the same time. Both programs had teachers that really cared and were working professionals in their fields (concept artists & character animators).

I didn't get a degree from either place, but use what I learned everyday. If you really want to be a working artist I don't believe a degree is a necessity. It's definitely a valid option, but not the only option!
posted by meta87 at 8:38 AM on June 27, 2013


%n: The cost of art school is insane, but at the same time where else can you be with your artistic peers in an environment that allows experimentation at that young age.
Come back after you've read the article.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:25 AM on June 27, 2013


%n:
Can you imagine how disruptive it would be if someone invented the book today?
Writing down information in books is nothing short of theft of intellectual property.

Books are stealing. You wouldn't write a book about stealing a car, would you?
posted by IAmBroom at 9:33 AM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


%n: But I strongly disagree with the increasing trend of evaluating the worthiness of higher education on the basis of future earnings.
But likewise it is false that the worth of a higher education can be considered without a view to the likely future earnings on it - unless you happen to be independently wealthy.

There is a connection. It's not a single-valued qualitative statement, but as long as one goes to college to learn a profession, the ability to pay off that education with the new profession figures in. Let's not swing the pendulum back so far we pretend it doesn't matter.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:41 AM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


IAmBroom, what quoting script are you using? It is weird, whatever it is. /sorry for the derail
posted by rtha at 11:06 AM on June 27, 2013


Nevermind.
posted by rtha at 11:10 AM on June 27, 2013


I thought the only reason you went to art school was to join a band?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:19 PM on June 27, 2013


Camille Paglia doesn't believe in right or wrong, because art is too complex for one person to accurately summarize or judge. So what matters is being critical of it in ways which are themselves fascinating, insightful, and entertaining, if entirely biased.

She is also one hell of a well-spoken troll (porcupine?). I like her a lot.

I now edit incredibly boring documents no one actually reads for a living.

I would love that job.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:40 PM on June 27, 2013


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