Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Thanks to the internet, it’s now possible to get an art education without attending a brick-and-mortar art school.
Many traditional art schools have added online components. But there’s one school that has really tried to deliver that elusive ingredient: a sense of meaningful real-time engagement with fellow students and instructors.
The Art Department started in 2009, the brainchild of Jason Manley, founder of ConceptArt.org (one of the leading online artistic communities) and John English of the Illustration Academy (one of the top professional summer programs).
The Art Department, also known as “TAD,” has several different tracks. You can take classes completely online or attend face-to-face workshops. Students also have the option of assembling in “pods” in various locations, such as Kansas City, Missouri, Austin, Texas, and Richmond Virginia. When I visited TAD in person, they asked me to lecture about plein air painting, color and light and how I did the Dinotopia paintings.
Students checked in and participated from all over the world. Rather than just streaming the content in one direction, it was a two-way street. Students sent me questions as I talked and showed pictures. Afterward, (above), the students who attended the pod classroom looked through my sketchbooks.
Above is a drawing by Jama Jurabaev, one of the TAD Foundations students, done prior to declaring his major.
TAD has a large number of scholarships being awarded right now for new students of merit coming into the Fall, 2011 program. These include full and partial rides and are for artists worldwide. There’s more information on the TAD website.
The Art Department