The last explosive change in art education came nearly a century ago, when the German Bauhaus was formed. Now, with so many fundamental shifts in technology, society and art since, the question must be asked, are we giving our young artists the education they need today? Are they being prepared in the most effective and creative ways academically and practically? What are the essential philosophical issues of educating the artist for the twenty-first century? These are the questions that will be taken up in a special public symposium at Tate Modern.
This symposium is part of an international initiative created under the auspices of the Anaphiel Foundation in Miami in co-operation with the University of Miami. The initiative, called An Arts School for the Twenty-First Century, led by Bruce W Ferguson and Steven Henry Madoff, is bringing together prominent artists, writers, performers, academics, designers, architects, curators and technologists to take part in ten symposia in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, and here at the Tate. The symposia will question every aspect of arts education, from theories of teaching to specific curricular requirements to the practical challenges for arts schools today, as well as issues of technology and the architecture of a truly twenty-first-century school for the arts.The speakers will be Alain Ayers who has led several new initiatives in art education in recent years; legendary Los Angeles-based artist John Baldessari; Aaron Betsky formerly at SFMOMA now Director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute; Daniel Birnbaum Rector of the Stadelschule Art Academy, Frankfurt am Main, and Director of Portikus Gallery; leading historian and theorist of contemporary art Thierry de Duve; Guadalupe Echevarria Director of the Ecole de Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux and previously curator of contemporary art at the Reina Sofia in Madrid; Christopher Frayling Rector of the Royal College of Art and Chairman of Arts Council England; British artist Louise Wilson; distinguished painter; and critic Peter Halley; and Sheena Wagstaff, Chief Curator at Tate Modern.