Every student has an individual work space. In addition, a large industrial hangar provides exhibition space for work in progress. Laboratories for photography, IT, sound recording and video editing, an engraving studio (wood, etching, lithography and serigraphy), a workshop, as well as machines for working with wood, concrete, metal and casts, can be used by all students.
The ECAV visual arts programme is organised over a period of three years minimum.
It proposes a modular degree course, the content of which is divided between:
Students are introduced initially to all practical skills, and can then make choices and begin to explore their own creative impulses. Their progress is dependent on the number of modules successfully completed, following assessment each semester by a panel, or in the form of examinations, written work or participation in workshops.
After an initial introduction to different disciplines, students are increasingly encouraged to work according to artistic choices that motivate them. These choices determine the techniques and media toward which they will gravitate. They will have an opportunity to develop their practical work under the direction of teachers of their choice and to benefit from workshop experiences shared with other students.
Workshops are designed to give students the technical and conceptual tools that will allow them to accept the contemporary challenge of artistic production.
A number of workshops are proposed:
Workshops combine different disciplines, reflecting a desire to be in the vanguard of the gradual erosion of traditional barriers between artistic genres, while at the same time remaining within definable, workable frameworks.
Theoretical courses pursue three complementary goals:
to broaden knowledge of the history of art
to exercise and hone critical perceptions of art in-the-making
to provide theoretical tools for cross-disciplinary reflection
Theoretical courses lay the foundations for an analysis of how art is perceived, ranging from traditional concepts of the Beautiful to post-historic ideas of art.
During courses and seminars, students acquire the ability to associate and juxtapose different ways in which art is produced and perceived.
In concrete terms, these reflective activities allow students to understand the socio-historical contexts of artistic practice and to refine their ability to formulate, consider, criticise and self-analyse.
Each semester, three or four workshops lasting from one to two weeks are run by guest artists. Organised independently of the school’s other activities but nonetheless complementing the latter, they allow students to become familiar with different artistic approaches.
As part of these workshops, visiting artists may if they wish organise a public meeting which all interested parties – either within the school or outside it - may attend to acquire a fuller appreciation of their artistic approach.
Lastly, speakers, theorists and artists are invited each semester to discuss certain problems and critical perspectives linked to work done by students as part of their degree course. These public talks are also open to all interested parties.