Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Art Department


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.
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The Art Department 

10 comments:

william said...

They offer a great program. I can say from experiance that it is not easy to try to further ones art education without packing up and moving to a college town. I had wanted to go back and get my Masters degree in art. With a full time job, and having some family issues to deal with, that was not an option. I did manage to find an online MA degree program in Illustration (Which was what I was hoping to go into anyway), through the Savannah College of Art and Design. I am glad I found my niche, and will be graduating the first of June. These new online/limited residence style Programs and colleges need the support of the art community, they are really a blessing to alot of people who might not other wise get to further their artistic education.

Evan Norman said...

I have been in TAD for since the beginning. haha, this means I am in my 2nd semester. about a year ago I had to make the decision on which art school would be best for me. I wanted the best education in the quickest time at the lowest price. I found TAD and I moved to Austin to be in a POD. After being here for almost 1 year, I know I made the right choice and I have been inundated with quality information and great friends.

Thanks to Gurney for this awesome promo for the school

Colin Boyer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colin Boyer said...

Another TAD student here. I have to admit I was kind of skeptical of online education at first. Which is kind of silly now that I think of it, considering one of the greatest illustration programs of the last century, the Famous Artists' Course, was a correspondence school. What matters is the information that's delivered, and good information requires top professionals working in the field today, something TAD has in abundance.

Thank you very much, James, for the awesome presentation you gave.

Rockhopper said...

fantastic online education, however checked out the costs involved. Really expensive for me, so unfortunately going to self educate.

It will take longer to learn, but not hit the pocket as hard.

Which is a shame, as hanging out with other students would be great.

James Gurney said...

Thanks, everyone. There are a lot of ways to get a good education. Rockhopper, I sure understand, because I had to leave a brick-and-mortar because of lack of funds.

If you're self educating, I know a couple of books that I could recommend....

CraftyAndy said...

Now if I can just find work as an artist, I'll be set.

DavidStill said...

I'm in my first semester of TAD, and I've been enjoying it very much! Even though I'm still just in the foundations part, I think the program is very well rounded and covers a lot of aspects of picture making. Composition and idea generation is pushed from the start, and that has been a difficult but rewarding challenge for me, being used to the more technical classical atelier style of art training.

I'm sorry that I missed your lecture as I hadn't started yet last semester, but will you maybe return some time in the future?

Kim Winston-Jackson said...

Are they any good books or other resources out there for learning perspective?

James Gurney said...

Kim, the one by Ernest Norling is the one I grew up on, and it's very good.