Last Friday in my local paper, The Bromsgrove Standard, I read the following:
Whatever happened to real art? When you see a student. namely Jade Bennett on TV news, praised for her contribution by wrapping up a fish and chip shop in newspaper, it certainly shocked me to realise what a waste of money it is to train people like her for a future in art.
I take it she will be joining the rest of her ilk in the dole queue.
Margaret Warman, Droitwich.
So I responded with this (which is being published this Friday in the paper.)
I am writing in response to Margaret Warman's letter published last Friday in the Bromsgrove Standard (3rd October).
Firstly I wish to congratulate Jade Bennett on a thought provoking and lighthearted art work - it is both refreshing and encouraging to see that Art in schools has moved beyond Batik, quilling and block paints.
I very much take issue with belief that it is "a waste of money" to train people like Jade Bennett for a future in art - this is an absolute fallacy.
Having completed my BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art last year (attaining First Class) and being currently halfway through my Masters Degree, I can assure Ms Warman that it was not plain sailing. This long held notion that all art students doss around drinking, smoking, do nothing and then get handed a 'worthless' degree which entitles them to little more than a benefits cheque, frankly, is ludicrous and personally offensive. I, like many of the students on my course (and I'm sure many others) work incredibly hard with little support from the wider community who pass us of as charlatans, wasting everybody's time.
Since having completed my degree last year I've been involved with many projects and exhibitions around the World including: 'The New Generation Arts Festival' in Birmingham, 'Roll Up Art' in Budapest and as part of my art practice attended a United Nations Conference in Vienna, to which I and a colleague were invited. I completely understand that the majority of people either have no interest in, or experience of what is currently going on in the art world, it is seen by many as a scary place inhabited by pickled sharks, it really isn't. It is a place where intelligent, creative and forward thinking people come together in order to stop the cultural aspects of society from stagnating. Come on in, the water's lovely!
Read the blog entries of two MA fine art students. Nathaniel Pitt and Chris Hodson are studying at Wolverhampton and Birmingham respectivly. This blog is a recording of their experiences in these two seats of learning