Open Enrollment

Seeking graduate student writers for Open Enrollment

Why art school? Why now? Why does it matter?

“It wasn’t till I got to art school that I really understood how art can connect you through human history and the type of reservoir that it could be.” (Jeff Koons)

“I wanted to cause trouble. And that caused me trouble in graduate school, because by that time I had figured out that I wanted to be on the edge, original, avant-garde. And that meant going against the status quo.” (Mary Heilmann)

Open Enrollment chronicles the experience of graduate school via the perspective of current students. As MA and MFA degrees become ever more the norm for the professional training of artists, educators, and administrators alike, Open Enrollment functions as a time-sensitive journal, offering readers a bird’s eye view of the challenges, rewards, puzzles, and ontological questioning that a graduate education engenders.

Art21 seeks to expand its current roster of student writers. We invite students from accredited graduate programs, as well as those studying at non-traditional institutions (temporary schools, artist’s educational projects, intensive residency programs, etc.), to apply to take up residence on the Art21 Blog. The roster of contributors grows over time, providing a cross-section of international venues and pedagogical approaches. While chronicling one’s own practice is encouraged in the context of larger concerns, this column is not a forum or vehicle for narrowly promoting one’s own work. It is intended to portray, through both personal examples and larger inquiries about the pursuit of higher education, the diversity of studio and critical academic experiences in art school today.

Candidates must be:

  • currently enrolled in an accredited art school at the graduate level in one of the following disciplines: studio (painting/drawing, film/video, sculpture, photography, new forms, etc.), art history, arts administration, curatorial studies, visual and critical studies, or equivalent; OR…
  • currently studying in a non-traditional academic environment (in the spirit of The Public School, Bruce High Quality Foundation, the New Museum’s Night School, unitednationsplaza, etc.); OR…
  • currently undertaking a post-graduate residency program (Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, The MFAH CORE Program at the Glassell School of Art, Rijksakademie, etc.); AND…
  • committed to contributing at least 3 blog posts over the course of one 15-week semester.

Writing is contributed on a voluntary basis to start, with the capacity for growth—with demonstrated enthusiasm, high quality writing, and commitment—into a paid position.

How to apply
To apply, send a letter of interest, 2 writing samples (blog writing preferred), and a draft of your first post for Open Enrollment. Be sure to address at least one of the following questions in your application (to be further explored in the column itself):

  • Why did you decide to do pursue additional education?
  • What does your learning experience look like, on both micro and macro levels?
  • Does your school have a visiting artist program? How do regular encounters or interactions with professional artists impact your own studio and academic practice?
  • Have you had any experiences with radical pedagogy? What were they? What does it mean to you?
  • How does your school interface with local arts institutions in your community?
  • Is art school relevant? How or why not?

Send materials via email only to:

Kelly Shindler
Director of Special Projects
blog [at] art21 [dot] org

Deadline: Friday, October 15, 2010.

Mike Kelley, "Educational Complex," 1995. Synthetic polymer, latex, foam core, fiberglass and wood, 51 x 192 x 96 inches. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with funds from the Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Committee 96.50. Photo by Geoffrey Clements, photograph copyright © 1998: Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.