Mark Golden on Paint

Entries Comments

Are Universities ignoring reality in not teaching all media?

22 January, 2007 (10:02) | Plastic Arts

I have been consistently surprised, if that’s possible, each time I hear that a college is only teaching oil painting as its entire painting program. It is not surprising when I hear this is a tradition in China, as so much of the history of art education was simply transposed from Russia. But in the U.S., the birthplace of modern media, one would think that this would have been changed by now.

It is clear that all the new development in media is occurring within the modern synthetic coatings. This will continue to be the arena of experimenting and the creation of new materials. As artists explore the boundaries of what can be done with physical materials, it will be essential to have a foundation in these materials.

Several trends have immerged that make this even more prescient for me: First, the proliferation of new brands of acrylics within the market place. In the last two years 4 new brands have been introduced into art stores. Even the major oil paint companies are trying to introduce unique gel like products into the market place to offer oil painters some of the same extended possibilities previously only available to acrylic painters. Finally, it is obvious by the amount of experimental work being pursued that artists are very much interested in new working possibilities to explore. Many using a wide range of industrially available materials, in an assortment of potentially wonderful and also disastrous ways.

Education in these materials would go along way in increasing the available choices for artists without stunting the creative academic instinct that often insists that artists find out on their own. To give choices should be within the bill of rights for art students. To not be educated in these choices is absolutely a breach of responsibility.




Comment from Mark Golden
Time: January 26, 2007, 5:07 pm

James your experience is quite common. I have been incredibly encouraged that artists and I believe galleries and collectors are gaining a greater appreciation of the importance and permanence of the acrylic media. Maybe schools will follow someday! Regards, Mark

Comment from Mark Golden
Time: January 29, 2007, 11:10 am

Franklin, it does feel as if these folks were teaching creative writing that they would ban reading for the possibility that it would stifle creativity. Sign me up for your school! Regards, Mark

Comment from Anonymous
Time: February 4, 2007, 6:33 pm

Absolutely! Students may be our “customers,” as some academic administrators like to put it, but they are still students and deserve to have a complete education. Leaving something out because they might not like it is sort of like telling a new driver, “By the way, speed limit signs are merely suggestions …”

Comment from Brandon Stone
Time: March 1, 2007, 8:13 pm

Any particular reason the word s p e c i a l i s t is being censored?

Comment from Anonymous
Time: March 4, 2007, 1:36 pm

Excellent comments, Mr. Stone!

Comment from Anonymous
Time: March 5, 2007, 10:51 am

Brandon, thanks so much. We have a great group of people here committed to that promise because of folks like you! Regards, Mark

Comment from Cindy
Time: August 6, 2007, 4:01 pm

Dear lord, going on that chain of thought they should be painting with egg tempera or watercolors lol.

Write a comment