Escuela Afuera Curriculum

The most salient feature of the school’s curriculum is that there isn’t a great authority that can give you facts about art that will make you a better artist.  What we can do is share ways of thinking about and experiencing art differently – in effect, teaching you how to teach yourself.

The visual arts “classes” will be composed of five major parts:

  • Meditation Games
  • Group and individual games
  • Art challenges (assignments)
  • Independent work in your art
  • Open Crit

Another major part is the time you spend with the group, talking about life and art.
in Meditation Games, we will explore the idea of “becoming” something else, projecting the feeling of your body into different spaces, and breathing games.  You might, for instance, play with feeling color with your whole body, as opposed to only seeing it with your eyes.

In Art Challenges, we will use the game methods developed in theatre (for instance, see Augusto Boal in Theatre of the Oppressed), LARPing (live action role playing), as well as the types of art challenges used in schools such as Paris School of Art, Cal Arts, and London School of Art.  We will also examine visual archetypes in art, and ways of looking at art more deeply. We will explore “responsive drawing,” in which the artist is asked to not only mechanically record, but to emotionally interpret their subjects.
In Independent Work, you will work on your own art, in whichever way you choose. 

Each day, we will convene for “Open Crits,” in which participants talk about their own work, and the group provides feedback.  This is based on the Open Crit methodologies used in schools all around the world, but most notably developed at Cal Arts.
While the curriculum is intended to provide a framework for the school, it is also meant to be flexible, depending on the input of the participants, and their own need for self-determination.  In other words, it will be a collaborative and participatory experience.