Artists Report Back
October 21, 2014 10:22 AM   Subscribe

What is a work of art in the age of $120,000 art degrees? A new report (PDF) by activist collective BFAMFAPhD laments the shrinking job prospects and growing debt burden for art school graduates.

Among their findings:
  • 7 of the top 10 most expensive schools in the US are art schools, and arts graduates’ debt loads are higher than those of non-arts graduates
  • 40% of working artists do not have bachelors degrees in any field
  • Only 16% of working artists have arts related bachelors degrees
  • Women and racial minorities continue to lag far behind white males in representation among art graduates and as professional artists
A breakdown of the results at Hyperallergic: Indicting Higher Education in the Arts and Beyond
posted by overeducated_alligator (60 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
BFAMFAPhDA.
posted by michaelh at 10:32 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


BFAMFAPhD

Bless You.
posted by Twain Device at 10:41 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's like we keep finding more and more areas where the post-WWII social contract is breaking down. Crazy.
posted by johnnydummkopf at 10:47 AM on October 21, 2014 [15 favorites]


It's like we keep finding more and more areas where the post-WWII social contract is breaking down. Crazy.

It's okay, we've built a pretty nice infrastructure to support the technocratic elite while they play in Dubai or Singapore.
posted by Sangermaine at 11:15 AM on October 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


It's like we keep finding more and more areas where the post-WWII social contract is breaking down. Crazy.

Boomers aren't called the 'Me Generation' for no reason. They pulled up the ladder behind them.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:16 AM on October 21, 2014 [18 favorites]


to be clear, if you're looking for a market economics solution to the problem of the "starving artist", you're doing it wrong.
posted by philip-random at 11:22 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's like we keep finding more and more areas where the post-WWII social contract is breaking down. Crazy.

That's, like, all I've been thinking about.
posted by parallax at 11:23 AM on October 21, 2014


Schools got greedy and set up too many post-grad programs and banks gave out loans to fill them.
posted by missmerrymack at 11:26 AM on October 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


It has been my first-hand observation (Sys Rq, BFA) that art schools primarily exist to extract money from the middle class. That said...

7 of the top 10 most expensive schools in the US are art schools, and arts graduates’ debt loads are higher than those of non-arts graduates

The link they use to back up this claim (and the link that uses to back up its claim) does not seem to actually back up that claim. (Unless I'm misreading it, which is entirely possible.) Here's the numbers for all the schools where a degree (or whatever) costs more than $40,000 net*:
Aviator College of Aeronautical Science and Technology	FL	22**	$71,492
American University of Health Sciences	                CA	50	$66,743
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine-New York	        NY	80	$49,154
Hult International Business School	                MA	26	$46,746
School of the Art Institute of Chicago	                IL	99	$44,838
The Boston Conservatory	                                MA	71	$43,894
New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts	                NY	99	$43,669
California Institute of the Arts	                CA	73	$42,616
The Collective School Of Music	                        NY	90	$42,015
Landmark College	                                VT	64	$41,437
The New School	                                        NY	89	$41,310
Art Center College of Design	                        CA	61	$40,698
Southwest University of Visual Arts-Albuquerque	        NM	80	$40,496
West Coast Ultrasound Institute	                        CA	35	$40,480
Ringling College of Art and Design	                FL	81	$40,354
Berklee College of Music	                        MA	60	$40,145
* "Net price is cost of attendance minus grant and scholarship aid."
** (All numbers in this column) "Percent of full-time beginning undergraduate students who received grant or scholarship aid from federal, state or local governments, or the institution."
posted by Sys Rq at 11:31 AM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


I had an epiphany this year about higher ed. The mid century enthusiasm for egalatarian ideas and policy were an aberration in the course of human affairs, created by the anti facist propaganda of WWII (we are all in this together) and fears of communism. Now we find the pendulum swinging back to normal where the appropriate role of higher ed is that of a class signifier. The true purpose of a college degree is not education but cultural adornment for purposes of invidious comparison.

As we sort through the death throes of universal education take heart that the sundry phenomena that we see as corruption of ideals, (excessive tuition growth, impoverished adjunct proffessors, the famous Climbing Walls, continual bloating of administration with what could be best described as "business types," eddifice complex, etc.) is just a natural process of the crushing of the lower classes and solidification of a proper hierarchy.

At least for some artists there is a place, remember the old saw: "Artists are the aristocrats of the servant class."
posted by Pembquist at 11:34 AM on October 21, 2014 [21 favorites]


Turns out that the granting of art degrees by for profit institutions is a giant piece of performance art intended to illustrate the futility of art in late-stage capitalist societies.
posted by vorpal bunny at 11:37 AM on October 21, 2014 [32 favorites]


Sys Rq, I believe the numbers make sense when weighed against the projected income for the graduates of those institutions. Graduates with degrees in business and health sciences might have more debt, but are more able to pay it back so the debt is less burdensome.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 11:38 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


My husband's MFA is from CalArts and it cost a hell of a lot more than $42,616. Fortunately the degree proved so completely useless he was forced to teach himself to be a database administrator, and therefore is able to earn a decent living so we can pay it back. Yay.
posted by something something at 11:45 AM on October 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


School is a risk like everything else. There are no "social contracts". Too many people use school as an insurance policy to ensure success, that is a mistake for a lot of reasons.
posted by stbalbach at 11:49 AM on October 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


Wooo! I'm an art school drop-out from the College for Creative Studies (1997-2002)!

Wooooooooo sigh
posted by Windigo at 11:51 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


(I guess alls I'm sayin' with that quibble is that, while the situation is generally as it is said to be, five and seven are different numbers.)
posted by Sys Rq at 11:52 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Well I am a boomer with an art degree, which cost me about two grand. The late masters cost me forty. I have all worlds, I live in the state which economically disadvantages women regardless of the chosen discipline. Most of the artists I know, work a day job. Gallery owners decry this cheap state. It used to be that the younger sons of the wealthy could dabble in the arts. I am thinking about making a photo record of my works, then burning them after I have framed and viewed them for sufficient time to know them and grow in my skill from observation of my efforts. I entered the state show today. I chose art because I am introverted, and barely a people person.
posted by Oyéah at 11:53 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Has there ever really been a social contract that getting a degree, let alone a post-graduate degree, in the fine arts was something that left you well-prepared to make a living as a working artist? It seems like the very height of empty credentialism - to me art is almost paradigmatic as a field better learned through apprenticeship and practice rather than an academic program. The study makes it pretty clear that fine arts degrees don't give a meaningful leg up in terms of economic success as an artist; but I would say there's also not any particular evidence that, in most disciplines, they make their graduates better artists, and a lot of evidence to the contrary in the form of, e.g., tons of mediocre and interchangeable MFA novels.

Turns out that the granting of art degrees by for profit institutions is a giant piece of performance art intended to illustrate the futility of art in late-stage capitalist societies.

I think pretty much all of the top-tier art schools are actually run by non-profits; I don't know that the issue in this case is really people getting MFAs from the University of Phoenix. Non-profits are capable of being just as predatory as for-profits, believe me, they just spend the surplus on raises for their administrators and plush infrastructure rather than giving it to investors as profit.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 12:01 PM on October 21, 2014 [10 favorites]


Now we find the pendulum swinging back to normal where the appropriate role of higher ed is that of a class signifier. The true purpose of a college degree is not education but cultural adornment for purposes of invidious comparison.

The liberal arts degree is the peacock tail of the upper middle class. "Look how expensively useless I am, and yet I do not starve! Clearly I must be a desirable mate!"

I look forward to the return of finishing schools where prospective trophy spouses are taught piano, posture, and proper use of oyster fork.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:04 PM on October 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


The point is not that society is supposed to have enough jobs and support for artists that everyone who wants to become an artist can. It's that the cost of studying art is supposed to be so negligible compared to the overall economic prospects of anyone with a degree that it doesn't matter whether you can make a living doing your art: for a nominal cost, you should be able to study the field and give it a shot or take advantage of any of the other numerous opportunities out there with little to no debt weighing you down if it doesn't work out.
posted by deanc at 12:04 PM on October 21, 2014


There are no "social contracts."

There may not be any now, but that wasn't always the case, and there's a political reason both for the past and present states. And saying simply that there are none, with the implication that this has always been the case, back to time immemorial, is revisionism.
posted by blucevalo at 12:07 PM on October 21, 2014 [13 favorites]


School is a risk like everything else. There are no "social contracts". Too many people use school as an insurance policy to ensure success, that is a mistake for a lot of reasons.

This is true, but it's also true that expensive universities don't sit down with prospective students and really make them understand what the costs are going to be over the long haul. 18 year old kids are not equipped to understand what a $40,000 a year tuition bill is going to do to the next twenty years of their lives. I know I would have appreciated someone explaining to me that if I was going to shell out that kind of money, it might be wise to focus on some kind of degree that could be useful in generating income.
posted by something something at 12:12 PM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


They pulled up the ladder behind them.

Feels more like the rungs were kicked out - ladder is still there, people are still trying to climb it, it's just much harder and much more dangerous.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:15 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I am not complaining, except about the oyster fork, they didn't even cover that in grad school, how was I ever to properly educate young students of art without this piece? Really though the art degree was for me and me alone, I love selling my art when I do, it is the only money that makes me happy when I spend it.
posted by Oyéah at 12:18 PM on October 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


I have a BFA from one of America's premier art schools. My education was not cheap, and, sadly, my only realistic option for loan repayment was to sell out and work in advertising.

So there you have it: An idealistic young art student is exploited by rapacious capitalism, then turns around and builds a career in the service of that same exploitative system. So if you ever find yourself screaming at your tv or computer after being forced to suffer through yet another ad for car insurance or laundry detergent, just remember: it's not, like, entirely my fault. I'm a victim too! I guess it's true what they say about the oppressed becoming the oppressors...
posted by seymourScagnetti at 12:19 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's less a ladder than it is a greasy pole that people desperately clamber over each other, World War Z-style, to reach the top of.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:21 PM on October 21, 2014


of my efforts. I entered the state show today. I chose art because I am introverted, and barely a people person.

Generally, I think it has been a bad idea to present creative and intellectual fields as a refuge for introverts and letting them foster that kind of introversion, because it is setting people up to fail. Art and the humanities, as professions, rely on the desire and ability of their practitioners to constantly "get their work out there" and promote it to the public. Instead we create these refuges where people who don't have those innate extroverted personality types don't develop hustling skills and we allow that to fester for almost a decade until the artist or grad student wakes up one day and wonders why his career hasn't gone anywhere.

This would all be fine if their debt load was negligible and the artist was working as an admin somewhere and supporting himself in a decent lifestyle while figuring all this out, but instead we force them to assume 100,000 of debt and then cast them out into an economy that only has room for people in finance, health care, and technology.
posted by deanc at 12:28 PM on October 21, 2014 [11 favorites]


Well I am no victim, yo, I chose art because I know myself, and I forgot to mention, I love the creative process, and I am good at it. I am particularly good at teaching it. No one offered introverted me a refuge. Sometimes claiming introversion is a cover for the ultimate snobbery. I enjoy my work milieu, not anyone else's.
posted by Oyéah at 12:33 PM on October 21, 2014


It's like we keep finding more and more areas where the post-WWII social contract is breaking down.

I don't think the current thinking about college is post-WWII, I think it is post-1960's . Prior to the 1960's the deal was:

If (a) you are smart and (b) you want a job is an area that requires high level of education, you go to college. In the 1960's that changed. Then, if you (a) were smart and either (b) you want a job is an area that requires a high level of education, or (c) you don't want to go to Vietnam, you go to college.

Since (b) and (c) together encompassed pretty much everybody, the equation was shortened to: If (a) you are smart, you go to college. and college changed because of it. Since many students didn't want specific career training, college provided "well-rounding" majors. Nice to have, and fun to get, but not necessarily practical.

And once you take away draft-avoidance, up the price of education and add in a shitty US economy, going to college for anything other than something than require the additional training stops making so much sense.
posted by rtimmel at 12:50 PM on October 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


Too many people use school as an insurance policy to ensure success, that is a mistake for a lot of reasons.

You say this like everyone is presented with a list of alternatives. All my life the message was, you choose between college and McDonald's. Now it's, what, just cause you went to college you think you're too good to work at McDonald's?
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:55 PM on October 21, 2014 [34 favorites]


Isn't art school primarily for the bourgeoisie?
posted by grumpybear69 at 12:58 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


All my life the message was, you choose between college and McDonald's. Now it's, what, just cause you went to college you think you're too good to work at McDonald's?

Both of these sentiments repeated ad nauseum by sneering know-nothings.

Instead we create these refuges where people who don't have those innate extroverted personality types don't develop hustling skills

Not an extravert? Well, let's make you one. Less social animals get shoved to the back of the pack, unless they're big enough to start the shoving.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 1:10 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


The value of a college degree may not be what it once was, but the prevalence of a college degrees has resulted in employment creep. Perhaps it was the bad economy, but my wife did not have a degree, and endured several years of unemployment because the first requirement for any sort of non physical labor/retail job was a college degree. Receptionist? Must have bachelor's degree. It was an easy first cut for HR when wading through the sea of resumes that flooded in for every position in a bad economy. Even before that, she could never rise beyond a certain point in several organizations because they required a degree, even if she was the most competent person, they would rather give it to the freshly minted college grad who had no experience, who she would often wind up teaching.

My wife is graduating soon, and being older, her past experience and networking skills are finally helping her get the jobs she has been trying to get for years. But it now comes with a big helping of bitterness, a load of student loans, and a degree.
posted by Badgermann at 1:42 PM on October 21, 2014 [7 favorites]


Boomers aren't called the 'Me Generation' for no reason. They pulled up the ladder behind them

Blaming entire generations for your plight isn't going to get you very far. Sure, gripe if you insist, but don't lean too hard on it because it will just make you more bitter.

The "Me" generation did OK, but they didn't *intend* things to turn out this way. In fact, they were just as much victims of the reigning economic memes of their time, as artists have become victims of the creeping commodification of art and the constant demand for artistic "innovation" for no other reason than the sake of "newness" in a world of high stakes gallery art. In fact, I know a number of Boomers who have been seriously displaced in the last several years - who live in rather dire straits. It hasn't been the cakewalk for Boomers that some follow-on generations think it's been.

Incidentally, I love the arts, but one thing that has always bothered me about the positioning of "art" within the framework of our culture is that "art" appears to have carved out for itself a special kind of privilege re: creativity. That has become "art's" problem, along with its submission to the marketplace.

I have lived with and among literally hundreds of people who call themselves artists. The happiest ones are those who do art for it's own sake, for the artist's own edification. I know a few who have "made it". Most of the others are just getting by. Incidentally, this is true of most of the other people - in other occupations - that I know. Most drone on, day in and day out; they make the best of things. A few make it to the top. That's life.

btw, what's happening in the arts is happening all over the place. Ever read underemployment stats? Keep in mind that we're increasing population from about 7Billion to just over 11Billion by 2050. That population increase will be accompanied by massive automation of *every level* of professional work, to a degree that is going to shock a LOT of people. More people + less jobs = our next, looming, massive social problem.
posted by Vibrissae at 1:42 PM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Not an extravert? Well, let's make you one. Less social animals get shoved to the back of the pack, unless they're big enough to start the shoving.

I didn't mean to say that we need to turn all introverts into extroverts, but that if you're an introvert and looking for a professional refuge, art is probably a bad idea, for the same reason that going into sales is a bad idea. If we aren't up front about what is required to even have the most basic of a job supporting yourself in the arts, we need to be honest about the personal skillset you're going to need, which is going to mean a lot of schmoozing with gallery owners and taking every chance you can to showcase and promote your work. And then you still might not make it.
posted by deanc at 1:46 PM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think the implication is that in our society there is no 'professional refuge' for introverts. Everything from art to engineering to science requires you to sell yourself and be a people person.
posted by Zalzidrax at 1:52 PM on October 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


I practically did an art degree, publishing. Later, realising how ill-equipped how badly equipped art grads were to do business, I developed a fundraising training programme for art business projects. I found what was really holding back most artists from doing well in fundraising was email, the anxiety email creates. I found that what artists generally avoid is writing grant applications and seeking to answer RFPs. So, I focused on that. I don't think you can do much better than learning how to write a grant. It will transform your prospects.
posted by parmanparman at 1:57 PM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


Extroverted, expressive qualities are a given in the performing arts. Visual arts calls on a different set of skills. You pay your money, and take your chances. Our world is about to get much more difficult to navigate, I suggest you get a place with reliable water, and grow a garden to paint about. I have foraged a lot of urban fruit in my day, I realized why artists paint fruit it's what's for lunch. Prepare for your frugal repast, or have you not heard, the bourgeoisie is dead?
posted by Oyéah at 2:01 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


> More people + less jobs = our next, looming, massive social problem.

The Graduate 2020

Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.

Benjamin: Yes, sir.

Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?

Benjamin: Yes, I am.

Mr. McGuire: Plumbing.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:33 PM on October 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


I didn't mean to say that we need to turn all introverts into extroverts, but that if you're an introvert and looking for a professional refuge, art is probably a bad idea, for the same reason that going into sales is a bad idea. If we aren't up front about what is required to even have the most basic of a job supporting yourself in the arts, we need to be honest about the personal skillset you're going to need, which is going to mean a lot of schmoozing with gallery owners and taking every chance you can to showcase and promote your work. And then you still might not make it.

I think the implication is that in our society there is no 'professional refuge' for introverts. Everything from art to engineering to science requires you to sell yourself and be a people person.

Yes, since the extraverts outnumber introverts, and are naturally better able to form warbands, they have basically made the world in their image.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 2:36 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


The liberal arts degree is the peacock tail of the upper middle class. "Look how expensively useless I am, and yet I do not starve! Clearly I must be a desirable mate!"

Depends. What's your major?

There are no "social contracts."

There may not be any now, but that wasn't always the case, and there's a political reason both for the past and present states.


Care to elaborate on that? I mean, citing examples that were attractive?

More people + less jobs = our next, looming, massive social problem.

Which is why I cannot understand why defenders of the working class are pro-immigration and pro-amnesty.
posted by IndigoJones at 2:40 PM on October 21, 2014


Which is why I cannot understand why defenders of the working class are pro-immigration and pro-amnesty.

Probably because this problem has less to do with immigrants vs. native working class and more to do with greedy corporations, their greedy shareholders, and the greedy politicians that turn tricks for the former.
posted by bgal81 at 3:20 PM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


In Minneapolis there is now a thing called Schoolhaus where you can pay $500/month to spend time with working artists/graphic designers. There are no classes, there is no accreditation, there is not even a certificate at the end.

I can't decide if it is refreshingly honest or just equally exploitative compared to a traditional arts/humanities education.
posted by miyabo at 3:55 PM on October 21, 2014


A film degree seemed like such a good idea in the mid-90's though....
posted by davros42 at 4:00 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


This paper doesn't really show any changes to the social contract, or anything else for that matter. It's a single point of data from 2012. I don't think you can validate any trends without another data point.

But this social contract probably goes back to Colonial era. I vaguely recall some quote by Thomas Jefferson (I think) that declared the first generation of immigrants would be explorers and homesteaders, so the second generation could be farmers and merchants, so the third generation could be doctors and scientists, so the fourth generation could be artists and philosophers.

Or perhaps it goes back much farther.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:08 PM on October 21, 2014


It was plastics.
When I schmooze gallery owners they are bitter about the market today. Everyone else hates the successful artists, the New York scene. The local civic art center is antique and friendly, offering many chances to show, and tons of wine and cheese. What's not to like? The art scene is fun, we all play along. It is like gambling, sometimes gamboling, we just can't get too serious about it, or it looses it's charm.
posted by Oyéah at 4:25 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Which is why I cannot understand why defenders of the working class are pro-immigration and pro-amnesty.

Is it possible that class identity transcends national identity?
posted by pompomtom at 4:26 PM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


Get real here socio-economic status is a fact of life, national identity is expensive window dressing at times, and players in that game don't get to choose the fabric, the color, or the quantity. The quartermasters on Wall Street dictate all fashion of things, including the relative price of high end art, and the handy definition thereof, thereby making profitable markets overtly and covertly. You better really like making art if that is what you paid to do.
posted by Oyéah at 4:36 PM on October 21, 2014


Since many students didn't want specific career training, college provided "well-rounding" majors.

I think you've got this backwards. College as career training is relatively new. It used to be all about the liberal arts.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:50 PM on October 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


Which is why I cannot understand why defenders of the working class are pro-immigration and pro-amnesty.

Well, in addition to what others have said, and besides just generally not being a nationalist/nativist shit...

In a nation with an aging population, new citizens are required to support social programs. Birth rates in the developed world are flatlining. If not for immigration (and climate change), you'd be retiring to an ice floe.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:05 PM on October 21, 2014


It was plastics.

#thatsthejoke
posted by leotrotsky at 5:27 PM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


What is a work of art in the age of $120,000 art degrees?

Twenty bucks, same as in town.
posted by mhoye at 6:17 PM on October 21, 2014


I went to Ringling, back in the day. Tuition was 800 bucks a semester( more for room and board and art supplies.) That was back in the very early 80s.
I dropped out. Now kinda glad I did.
Now the tuition there is scary expensive....I know people graduating smothered in loans.

It's insane.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:38 PM on October 21, 2014


I went to Ringling

Clown college?
posted by thelonius at 6:42 PM on October 21, 2014


Nope. Ringling School of Art. Mentioned upthread. The clown college was in Venice, south of Sarasota, where the art school is.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:22 PM on October 21, 2014


After my useless erudition of the bougie education, I had an IT day job and noodled around with music. Now I have a P/T day job as a musician and noodle around with IT (wanna see my video-playing cufflinks?). Thank goodness I never wasted my time in conservatory, where I would have been told all day long about my lack of talent. I just play music I like with people no one will ever hear of.
All it takes is a vow of poverty. But at least no school debt!
posted by Dreidl at 7:57 PM on October 21, 2014


this might be apropos of zero.... but to me, one of the more gutless unimaginative moves of the Light Bringer Administration was the waste of stimulus money in comparison with the WPA. Sure, all these art talents probably would have spit on the .gov trying to whore off their talents, but.... maybe someone could have delivered a program that somehow reached those people with all those mega f-ing billions and produced a work or two. So for Mr. Legacy Wanter.... there is little of note in the arts that has been left behind in the big faux-wake of big history. FDR, perhaps, would laugh at the foolish waste. In the end, both sides, and Q-pub are the losers.
posted by wallstreet1929 at 8:11 PM on October 21, 2014


It was plastics.

It was everything but plastics. My sculpture professors insisted that nobody on campus could work in plastic or fiberglass. A few years earlier there was an influential movement of plastics artists and they had all died within a short time due to cancers associated with the toxic chemicals they used. And that was the end of the Plastics movement in the early Postmodern Era.

But anyway, there are bright points in that survey, even for art majors. The paper gleefully points out that the largest group of working artists had no college degree. But the largest group of college educated working artists, had art degrees. If you want a career in art, the career path is still through art school. If you don't want to go to any school, you can still be a "working artist" but you'll just be a hack selling "affordable art" at downmarket art fairs.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:46 PM on October 21, 2014


Art School ad I thinkin' of all the money I saved by never trying to draw the Pirate.
posted by boilermonster at 11:38 PM on October 21, 2014


The Graduate 2020

Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.

Benjamin: Yes, sir.

Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?

Benjamin: Yes, I am.

Mr. McGuire: Plumbing.


This jest highlights a serious problem American education has had for decades: relegating trades to low desirability status among students (and parents) while extolling the virtues of (more or less) liberal arts education. I think this was the result of aspirational upselling of an education path that people liked to hear, ignoring lowbrow details such as student aptitudes and market needs. Vocational training seems to have been increasingly displaced in many community colleges, opting to become stepping stones for four year colleges/universities. Leaving vocational training more and more up to the for-profits.

More people + less jobs = our next, looming, massive social problem.

Which is why I cannot understand why defenders of the working class are pro-immigration and pro-amnesty.


Interesting about this. I think defenders of the working class tend to do a lot of defending without much consent or interest of the working class.

Regardless, it doesn't really work that way, anyhow. If it did, we'd all be bemoaning women entering the workforce during the 20th century, dividing that finite pie up into smaller and smaller pieces.
posted by 2N2222 at 5:34 PM on October 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


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