Artists back on school benches

Sculptors, designers, musicians … since 2013, they finally benefit from continuing education. An unrecognized right that allows them to expand their palette and develop their creativity. This summer, in Strasbourg, the High School of Arts of the Rhine, inaugurated a set of workshops for visual artists.

Few people know: since 2013, artists-authors have the right to continuing education … which all other employees have enjoyed since 1971! The idea? Allow any active person to deepen his skills free of charge, on the premise that learning, a guarantee of fulfillment, does not necessarily end in studies. Why so long deprived artists-authors? Perhaps because of a too romantic vision of these, though as cut off from the world of work and its practical aspects. “The artists are the first to laugh when we talk to them about” continuing education “, imagining having to follow an” InDesign internship “or” conflict management “, says David Cascaro.

Last July, in Strasbourg, this director of the High School of Arts of the Rhine (HEAR which includes the Higher School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg, the Mulhouse School of Art and the Academy of Music of Strasbourg) inaugurated summer sessions for them. Either a set of workshops lasting three to five days, ranging from design to sound creation and molding techniques.

Ceramics, molding or practice of presence

Boulle, Estienne, Beaux-Arts of Paris: many schools (but also independent artists convention) offer courses likely to be financed by the Afdas, the organization which, since its creation in 1971, manages the financing of the continuing education in the areas of culture, communication, and recreation. Thanks to a contribution of 0.35% deducted from artists’ pay slips and 0.1% from broadcasters, Afdas finances up to 7 200 euros of training per person per year: in 2014, she has offered internships to nearly 2,000 artist-writers.

Sculpture, photography, music: whatever their field, visual artists can follow any training. Including those called “transversal”, useful for any professional: languages, management, internet or even gestures and postures. Only condition: to be affiliated to the Agessa (the social security of artists-authors) or to the House of Artists, or to justify having collected 9 000 euros of copyright over the last three years. And make a request at least fifteen days before the desired training.

For the artist-author, this is an opportunity to enrich his palette. This summer at the HEAR, Jeanne Bischoff followed a sharp training in ceramics and molding, areas where she was still a novice. “I work on the motif and the old engravings but the object interests me more and more. We need to confront new techniques to enrich our practice, ” says the artist, who regrets not having had this chance ” earlier in life. “Since 2013, Zahra Poonawala has, in turn, used almost all annual rights to form. Specialist in sound arts, interactive installations, performances, and videos, she has especially benefited to adapt to new editing software. Exchanges of knowledge, readings of texts: at the HEAR summer school, the artist has this time received training on the “practice of presence”. “The meeting with a philosopher made me reconnect with this discipline which seemed to be obscure. She made me want to attend other conferences, “she says.

“We could compare our performances, which is a wealth” Antonin Goyard

Because it is also a question of thinking about his art. Also at HEAR, Antonin Goyard attended a workshop on performance and bodywork. The opportunity “to reflect” on his practice of mural and monumental painting. “For the first time, I was taking a course that posed real questions about art,” says the self-taught, who registered to put himself in danger. I wanted to get other people back on my work and put myself on the side of the learner. What is hard is to get off his pedestal: while we are master of his studio, we find ourselves behind the desk, “he confesses. But these formations are precious places of exchange and boiling: “We were able to confront our performances, which is a wealth. Nobody sees things the same way. There is a laboratory side, test area. ”

Only downside: often poorly informed, artists-writers still hesitate to take the plunge. “They are not so used to being entitled to that there were quite a few participants,” said Jeanne Bischoff. To the point that some workshops have been canceled due to lack of registrations. “Yet these courses are funded 100% by the Afdas or the department! I could access it very simply, ” she rejoices. Hoping that others will also seize the opportunity.