As we stand at this crucial turning point in history, the world needs more understanding and knowledge of who we are and what our shared future should be. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, characterised by new technologies fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, is inevitable. Disciplines, economies and industries will be fundamentally impacted, displacing livelihoods and challenging us on what it means to be human.
The clock on reversing the worst of the climate crisis is ticking. We have 12 years left to limit the climate change catastrophe, warns the UN, by reducing global warming to a maximum of 1.5C, or we will suffer the worsening of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty, impacting hundreds of millions of people.
Tackling these gargantuan issues will require co-operation from all levels and industries, from businesses to governments and civic societies. Often overlooked but equally as important as any other field is art and the potential it promises in helping us shape a better tomorrow.
Art is not just something to be kept solely in museums. In an era of increasing job competition and global crises, many aspiring artists are asked to justify the validity of their passion in today’s world. What is their art for? What jobs would be available for them? How can they contribute to the betterment of the world?
The links between art and purpose, career opportunities and the greater good may not be obvious at first. Dig a little deeper, and the perks of this field of study will be revealed.
Take Claude Monet’s Bridge Over a Pond of Lilies painting, for example. It’s one of the top-selling postcards from museum stores today. Far from just being decor, the appeal of the serene wooden footbridge scene gives us hope and serves as a balm to our tumultuous lives.
Next, examine the latest recruitment efforts from arguably the hottest industry of today: technology. From project management to data analysis and market research, the ever-expanding sector is recruiting talent with a skillset gained primarily from the arts and humanities. Academics argue that programmes like art and English are more suitable for the newly emerging “rapport sector” than vocationally oriented disciplines like finance or engineering.
Or check out what the World Economic Forum considers as the top 10 skills needed to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution; the top three are complex problem solving, critical thinking and Creativity. A 2013 study found what has long been suspected: greater arts exposure leads to stronger critical thinking skills, higher levels of social tolerance, greater historical empathy and more.
Ignore the naysayers. An arts degree develops knowledge, expertise and opportunities across a diverse range of industries. Here are four top North American art schools that will help turn your passion into an exciting career:
COLLEGE OF VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS (CVPA), UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS – DARTMOUTH
Located in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, is the CVPA and its multitude of multidisciplinary art programmes that will prepare students for a career in the arts and beyond. In this community of artists, designers, performers, scholars and advisors, students will receive the support and encouragement needed to make them the agile thinkers and do-ers the world so crucially needs.
Choose from the Bachelor of Fine Art degree in Art, Design and Art Education; or Bachelor of Art degree in Art History and Music. At graduate level, CVPA offers graduate certificates as well as Master of Art Education and Master of Fine Arts degrees in areas such as Artisanry, Digital Media and Illustration.
All courses emphasise individual attention for maximum progress. Here, students are encouraged to meet with their advisers and departments to tailor their options to their passion. When you study at the CVPA, you can expect career planning services, state-of-the-art equipment and facilities and an unforgettable experience, living close to the nation’s most artistic urban centres of Boston and New York City. All in all, a CVPA degree is a rigorous academic journey, but a thrilling one with unparalleled professional opportunities.
Come meet UMass Dartmouth’s Director of International Recruiting at the following educational fairs in India – find more information here!
- 9/21 IDP Fair in New Delhi, Le Meridien, 11am – 5pm
- 9/24 IDP fair in Indore, Radisson Blu, 11am – 4pm
- 9/29 IDP fair in Bangalore, Taj MG Road, 11am – 5pm
DEPARTMENT OF ART & ART HISTORY, UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN
Want to develop your critical thinking, visual literacy, cultural sensitivity and awareness? Head to this southern Canadian province where the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Art & Art History is located.
Here, degrees in Studio Art. including a Bachelor of Arts (three-year and four-year) in Studio Art, Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Honours, Minor in Studio Art and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) are offered. All programmes are well-established and recognised nationally.
What makes the school stand out is its focus on sustainable studio practice, solo graduating BFA and MFA exhibitions for all majors, involved faculty of professional studio artists and art historians and private as well as individual studios for MFA students with ongoing mentorship by multiple faculty members.
Take advantage too from its impressive facilities; studios are large and ventilated, the Digital Resource Centre and New Digital Media Lab are available for use, as are fully equipped photography studios and more.
Whether you plan to be an artist, curator or scholar, the programmes here will be a good starting point for a successful career ahead.
FAIN COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS, MIDWESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY (MSU)
This Texan institution is well-known for its art, mass communication, music and theatre programmes and how adequately they equip graduates with the knowledge and skills required to pursue careers in these disciplines. Its individualised teaching in functional, safe and modern surroundings ensures students get to accomplish this purpose.
With a low ratio of full-time faculty members to fine arts majors, high-quality contact time with instructors is a granted. Instructors also serve as role models to students via their research and creative endeavours, which also frequently involves students.
One thing Fain College prides itself on is the emphasis on practical learning. Students learn in art studios, perform in concerts, recitals and dramas, as well as working in its newspaper and television laboratories.
In terms of facilities, MSU students can avail themselves of the 475-seat Fain Fine Arts Center Theatre and the flexibly-designed Bea Wood Studio Theatre. Spacious, meticulously maintained studios dot the art wing, while the Juanita Harvey Art Gallery actively hosts professional artists from across the nation via the O’Donnell Visiting Artist Programme.
DEPARTMENT OF ART ARCHITECTURE + ART HISTORY, UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO
This West Coast institution offers a values-based liberal arts education to all undergraduate students, preparing them for a future of academic excellence and personal achievement.
For its Visual Arts programme, art majors learn advanced skills in at least one of the following sub-disciplines: Drawing; Film/Video; Painting; Photography; Sculpture/3D Studio Art; Visual Communications; and Art + Intermedia. Providing this diverse range of sub-disciplines allow students to hone their passions more specifically.
For USD’s Arts History Programme, majors can choose one of four intertwined paths: History of Art; History and Theory of Architecture and the City; Museum and Curatorial Practice; and Global History of Modern and Contemporary Art and Architecture.
Meanwhile, the Architecture major combines two interrelated sequences: design studios, theory lectures and seminars. The first introduces students to the graphic conventions and analysis of architecture, which is then followed by a year-long thesis project that combines design and history/theory.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International
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