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Fine art pedagogy after modernism: A case study of two pioneering art schools

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This article is about changes in fine art pedagogy that took place at two North American institutions: Nova Scotia College of Art and Design from 1967 and California Institute of the Arts from 1970. At these, a radical, new paradigm of art pedagogy came to be developed, which has had widespread ramifications. This placed an emphasis on criticality, information and interdisciplinary practice rather than self-expression, formalism and media-specific instruction. It began as an onslaught on modernism, commodification and traditional art practice and discourse. However, through bringing process and enquiry to the fore, this paradigm came to accommodate work in any medium, whether traditional or not, provided it could be explained and justified. Although some aspects of these institution’s pedagogy, such as their formal assessment regimes, would seem very unfamiliar today, in general the pedagogy they developed has come to dominate fine art courses throughout the world. By providing this historical account, it is intended that the present day context is brought into sharper focus.
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Keywords: CalArts; NSCAD; art pedagogy; contemporary art; feminist art; history of art education

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University for the Creative Arts

Publication date: April 1, 2014

More about this publication?
  • How can art, design and communication aid teaching? Do these teaching methods work better in certain fields of study? Focusing on arts and media-based subjects, and encompassing all areas of higher education, this journal reveals the potential value of new educational styles and creative teaching methods.

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