Re-envisioning the Academy



Olive GroveAt present, there are no, or few opportunities, for artists who have completed either a Bachelor of Fine Art degree and or a Master of Fine Arts degree to further their inquiries into the nature and essence of their personal artistic practices. Opportunities that are not structured within the format of the contemporary University rather than a reimagined Academy, an Academy in which the emphasis is placed on the development of the artist rather than adherence to some external formula required by agencies usually unaffiliated or unfamiliar with the demands of artistic practices.

To begin dealing with this need several colleagues and I have organized the VITA Institute for the Arts. The goal and ultimate mission of the Vita Institute for that Arts is to breathe life into the artist through small community workshops in places where culture and history stimulate the artist into visioning new ideas, concepts, and possibilities without restricting the experience by either a rigid format or an artificial grade structure.

The VITA Institute offers Learner-centered workshops based on the idea of Novum Est–something new. These workshops are led by nationally and internationally known artists and offer self-motivated individualized programs of study within the structure of a small yet dynamic learning community.

The workshops introduce participants to rich national and international artistic cultures and heritages. These are not holiday locations but rather locations that are researched with consideration as to how their traditions and environs can be experienced, emulated and applied to contemporary artistic practices providing possible directions for participants’ future studies and work.

Participants are encouraged to investigate her or his own vision of the world while developing skills with a purposeful inquiry and creative expression in locations both nationally and internationally. The Institute also encourages collaboration between visual artist and writers, collaborations that will expand and advance the dialogue between disciplines.

With a Learner-centered approach here your ideas and concepts are your own. Rather than the VITA Institute telling each participant what they should study and/or learn the Institutes workshops offer a general outline of topics and categories, such as the aspects of process, product, and response, from which each individual participant can construct their own personal workshop experience.

You determine your direction supported by the experience of the workshop presenters and your fellow participants. The workshops will encourage each member to investigate her or his own vision of the world. The workshop leaders will establish an environment in which each Learner can investigate a number of techniques, concepts, and principles that will build toward their idea of novum est. S

Committed to the idea of authenticity of place, being there, the workshops offer an opportunity to develop creative skills with a purposeful inquiry and creative expression.

If you are looking for an opportunity for artistic growth and personal development within the framework of a shared experience please contact us at the following e-mail address: