The artists at The Collective want to give local students an edge.
That’s why the members of the Qualicum Beach artists’ studio and gallery space created the Academy of Art.
“The academy is intended for older teens as prep for continuing fine arts education, as well as those (other individuals) wishing to simply expand their skills,” said painter Joan Larson, who is head instructor and in charge of curriculum development for the program.
The new program has a few different objectives, said academy administrator and owner of The Collective, Andrea Staines. Along with giving students a strong background in the fundamental skills of art — skills that include drawing, composition, colour theory, painting, graphic novel illustration and more — and a boost in confidence, the academy’s instructors aim to introduce the participants to the “pragmatic, business side of art.”
That is, they’ll discuss the different job opportunities in fine arts, as well as how to price their work, market themselves and adjust to the ups and downs of the art world.
Students would also have the opportunity to apprentice with a local artist, said Staines.
“There’s a wealth of information in this community,” said Larson, who herself has wanted to be part of a mentorship program for some time.
Larson and assistant instructor Meghann Doyle also expressed that students benefit from exposure to other artists and ideas about art.
“You get to know yourself more in comparison to more people,” said Doyle. “There’s no one way to do art.”
Another major goal for the academy is to help students create a detailed portfolio, which can be used too when applying for art school and to galleries.
“I found being prepared when I got there (art school) … gave me an edge,” said Doyle, who entered her post-secondary education at 24 after taking the time to put together a good entrance portfolio. “It gave me extra opportunities.”
The Academy of Art would run September through May and offer two hours of instruction a week, totalling 64 hours for the year. Aside from Larson and Doyle, the program will see other artists at The Collective and special guests stepping in as teachers.
Students would also have 128 hours of unstructured time in the studio and receive extra help from instructors as needed.
The year would end with a true-to-life art show, complete with a proper opening reception.
Staines said the classes will be kept down to six to eight students, which allows the teachers to give individualized instruction based on the pupil’s skills and experience.
“Art’s too personal to teach to a large group,” said Doyle.
If enough students sign up, Staines said the Collective will offer more than one class in the year. So far, around 22 students have expressed interest in the program.
The Academy of Art costs $2,300 for the year, which includes an art kit filled with around $300 worth of supplies and a student card for a 10 per cent discount at Qualicum Art Supply for any other items they might want.
As this is a large financial commitment, Staines said there is the option to make either two or nine equal payments and anyone who makes a full one-time payment will receive 10 per cent off the cost of tuition.
As the studio needs to ensure all materials are onsite for September, organizers ask that students are fully registered and payments are started no later than July 15, 2015.
Anyone over the age of 13 is welcome to sign up.
For more information, contact the Collective by phone at 250-607-7351, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or in person at #3-177 West Second Avenue, Qualicum Beach.