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.

SIXTH: The artists support the homeless of Athens

The power of art is once again employed to change life for the better. The artistic community is rallying this year to support the homeless people of Athens and the work of CLIMAKA NGO through “SLEEPING”, the annual exhibition of artAZ’s art platform. “SURPRISE 9” will be hosted at GRA K44 in Gazi, between 23-25 November 2018.

SLEEPING is a visual feast that highlights the social face of Contemporary Art and along with the dominant artistic trends of the time. The initiative was launched in 2009 and since then more than 2,000 artists from around the world have supported the campaign by offering their projects to support our fellow human beings. This is a collective effort of the visual world.


Each year about 300 small-scale projects are gathered, all of them available for a symbolic amount of 50 €. The reason; Everyone can participate in the effort. The participating artists cover the whole range: from first-time to internationally acclaimed, while the participation of foreign artists is also important. But there is a peculiarity: the artist’s identity is secret. The projects are signed on the back side, encouraging the public to choose only with personal taste. Visitors to the exhibition have the opportunity to enhance the purpose of acquiring an already valuable work, or one that may be of great value soon. But they will certainly get a project they chose because they like it.


Interested parties can start by studying artworks online at artAZ and pre-selecting the codes of their choice at New projects are added on a daily basis until the opening of the exhibition. Between 23-25 November 2018 SURPRISE 9 will be transferred to the “K44” area for live exhibition and sale of the works. Please note that projects are available in order of priority.

Parallel Actions

In the framework of “SURPRISE 9”, a silent auction of larger projects will be held in the exhibition. The auction process is open and will end on Sunday 25 November 2018.

The exhibition will present at the same time an exhibition of the works of the book “The Greek Art from A to Z”, which was just released by Alexandra Kololou, curator of “SURPRISE 9” and Key Books. The author has transformed the book’s illustrations into paintings, which will be made available through an original system as a visual game – everyone can offer what they want to get them. Also, for each copy of the book to be released in the report, Key Books will offer 20% of the amount to support the goal of SURPRISE 9.

For artists who are interested in supporting the initiative, we note that the campaign is taking hold until the last minute.

About the CLIMATE

CLIMAX is a non-profit social organization that provides multi-faceted services to socially excluded people, aiming at upgrading their quality of life and social reintegration. Since 2001 we have been implementing a comprehensive support program for our homeless fellow citizens, including actions ranging from prevention to rehabilitation. More information can be found at

About artAZ

The artistic platform of artAZ functions as a bridge between the Greek and the global art scene, aiming at the promotion of Greek art abroad as well as in the rallying of the local art community in order to strengthen it. More information about artAZ can be found at