On the general subject of university change

Home / Education / ARChives / Foundational Discussions

On the general subject of university change

From Kimber Scott

Published before 2005


Brian Yoder wrote:
What makes you think that they are interested in that? I would be thrilled to be proven wrong in my pessimism about the academic world, but so far I have seen little evidence to dissuade me from my negative opinions, especially in the arts.

I only know what's happening at my school. We recently had a grad student's show which was all figurative, done realistically, with good colors, good composition, skillful laying on of the paint, (nice fleshy flesh), interesting contemporary subject matter, professional presentation, etc., etc. This student must have learned a lot of what he knew before he came there, and of course we all teach ourselves what we really want to know. It was obvious in ways he was still struggling in some areas (big feet and hands), but even so it was a HUGE hit - even with the faculty. The guy was like a rock star for a while!

I asked one of my professors why they didn't teach people to paint like that. He said, "Honestly, it's because we don't know how." He gave me another professor's name who does know how and does teach that way and I have been unable to get a spot in his class, as it's always full. He also said they were meeting to start recruiting for a new professor and he said he would push for someone with a more realist, or classical, persuasion as a lot of students have been asking for someone like that.

So, that's why I think the way I do. Other places may not be the same. It's not that they're shutting out modernism, it's just that they're cracking the door a bit to other points of view. Which is fine with me. If somebody's stuck, heart and soul on modernist ideas, they should be able to pursue that train of thought. I just want equal opportunity. That's all. But, in the end, as far as I go, it doesn't really matter. I graduate next year. I'm sure any change will be past my time, but I don't mind planting a few seeds while I'm there. Heck, it's what life is all about.

[...]

Kim