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San Francisco’s Top Art School Plans Closing After Almost 150 Years – The New York Times

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The San Francisco Art Institute will not accept students for the fall semester after almost 150 years in operation, ending the legacy of a once-storied school that produced famous artists like Annie Leibovitz, Kehinde Wiley and Catherine Opie.

The institute announced Monday in a schoolwide letter that it plans to suspend classes after the spring semester. Graduating students will receive their degrees in May, but faculty and staff were told to prepare for mass layoffs. One senior official close to the decision-making process said the school was likely to close because of mounting debt.

“We are looking down the barrel of a gun,” Gordon Knox, the college president, told faculty during a town-hall meeting in late February. Like many art schools across the country, declining enrollment and financial hardships have plagued the institution for years. In 2017, S.F.A.I. spent millions on a second campus on the city’s waterfront. This year, the school abandoned another costly project to build new dormitories. The final straw for the faltering institution was when discussions to merge with a local university collapsed after the coronavirus sent the Bay Area into a lockdown. Pam Rorke Levy, the institute board’s chair, estimated the university’s total debt was around $19 million but likely to increase because the school is not earning revenue during the health crisis.

“While we remain hopeful there is a strategic partnership that will allow this commitment to continue,” Mr. Knox wrote to students and faculty on Monday, “we are realistic that this will not happen any time soon in the face of an unprecedented global pandemic.”

The school is currently closed because of the coronavirus. Students learned it was facing closure as they sheltered in place and adjusted to sometimes-haphazard online instruction in studio art and sculpture. “What institution is going take me now during coronavirus?” asked Rebecca Sexton, a 28-year-old pursuing a dual-degree graduate program. “It’s hard to know what exactly will happen,” added Ms. Sexton, who was expecting to start writing her master’s thesis next year.

Corinna Kirsch, an art history lecturer, said, “I’m really sad that a vibrant community where you could still see artists walking around barefoot on campus has come to an end.” Founded in 1871, S.F.A.I. claims to be the only fine arts school dedicated to contemporary art. It gained an illustrious reputation on the West Coast for courting faculty members like the photographers Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and Edward Weston.

In 1931, the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera painted “The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City” in the school’s gallery. Faced with its current financial crisis, administrators have floated the idea of selling the Rivera fresco, which has been appraised for $50 million. “When you have an asset that’s that valuable,” Ms. Levy explained, “there’s always a discussion.”

“As a small college in an expensive town we are feeling the pain,” she added.

The San Francisco Art Institute joined a growing list of more than a dozen art schools across America that have faced bankruptcy in the last year. In February, the Watkins College of Art made headlines when it announced a planned merger with Belmont University, a Christian institution in Nashville — a decision that led students and professors to protest over concerns about freedom of expression.

“Every art school is dealing with economic hardship in one degree or another,” said Massimo Pacchione, who was the school’s director of student experience until being laid off this week. “Education is increasingly seen more as an engine for economic advancement rather than a pursuit of passion.”

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Vancouver Art Gallery, Royal B.C. Museum launch free digital activities for the whole family – CBC.ca

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The novel coronavirus has forced museums and galleries to shut their doors, but a couple of British Columbia’s biggest have made it possible to enjoy some of what they have to offer from the comfort of your couch.

The Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG) and the Royal B.C. Museum (RBCM) in Victoria, B.C. are now offering live, interactive events online on a regular basis while people are holed up at home to slow the spread of the virus.

Every Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. and Friday at 4:30 p.m., the VAG will stream conversations with guests from local and international arts communities as part of its new digital Art Connects series. The events are free and anyone can join using the web-based video conferencing tool Zoom.

The series kicked off March 31 with two curators giving viewers an in-depth look at the VAG’s newest exhibition The Tin Man Was a Dreamer: Allegories, Poetics and Performances of Powerwhich was meant to open in the gallery the week the building closed.

“It’s a way that we can feature international artists during the situation,” said VAG’s interim chief curator Diana Freundl.

Freundl said she has already seen an enthusiastic response from the public, with more than one hundred people registering for the first event within days after it was promoted.

You can find out more details on how to participate in VAG’s Art Connects events here.

Drawing dinosaurs

The province’s flagship museum is offering activities for kids every Wednesday at 11 a.m. starting April 1. 

First up for the wee ones at RBCM is learning to draw a dinosaur with Victoria Arbour, the museum’s paleontology curator.

And not just any dino, but Buster, one of the first and most complete skeletons of a mountain dinosaur found in B.C. that Arbour helped identify and name.

Victoria Arbour looks over items from the paleontology collection at the Royal B.C. Museum. Arbour is looking forward to answering children’s questions about dinosaurs while teaching how to draw them. (Brandy Yanchyk/Canadian Press)

“I’ve got dinosaurs on my brain a lot of the time,” said Arbour Tuesday in an interview on On The Island.

She said drawing is a big part of her scientific research and she will be encouraging kids to ask her whatever they want to know about dinosaurs while they draw.

All that is needed to join Arbour is a Zoom connection, paper and a pencil.

And grownups, there is something at RBCM for you too.

Every Tuesday and Thursday at noon, the museum is offering online chats with curators and archivists to learn more about what they do, and how they do it from home these days. 

To find out more about participating in RBCM’s online programs visit here.

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Museum challenge has people to recreate famous works of art at home | Mapped – Daily Hive

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Channel your inner artist and bring some creativity to your quarantine with a challenge from the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California.

The museum issued a fun competition across their social media channels on Wednesday enlisting fans to recreate their favourite pieces of art with three household objects.

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“Thousands and thousands of re-creations later, we’re in awe of your creative powers and sense of humor,” the museum wrote in a blog post.

According to the post, the challenge was inspired by Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum.

However, they’ve updated and adapted the playful game by using digitized, downloadable works from Getty’s online collection.

The competition has seen thousands of submissions from around the world of people utilizing the materials in their homes to create their own renditions of some of the most iconic pieces of art.

Getty Museum also provides helpful tips for those who may feel creatively stuck in forming their masterpieces. The full list can be found in the blog post.

“The only tools you need for this activity are your imagination and a picture of a work of art you like or find interesting,” the post describes.

Participants are instructed to browse the online collection and select a keyword to search for ideas.

If you have a particular household item that you think would work well, you can also begin by searching for that as your keyword.

Once you have an idea in mind of which piece of art you would like to create, the next step is to find the right materials.

“Any objects are fine: from a blank piece of paper to your most elaborate hat,” the post explains.

“You can stick to 3 and see what you come up with, but you’re welcome to use as many as you like.”

Getty Museum also encourages the incorporation of pets to add a fun flair to your submission.

And with that, you are ready to create!

If you plan on posting to social media once you’re finished, be sure to use the hashtags #betweenartandquarantine and #tussenkunstenquarataine.

Here are some of our favourite submissions:

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ARTS AROUND: Rollin Art Centre looking for artists to exhibit in 2021 – Alberni Valley News

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MELISSA MARTIN

SPECIAL TO THE NEWS

Although the Rollin Art Centre is currently closed to the public due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Community Arts Council is still accepting artist applications for the 2021 calendar year.

Don’t miss this opportunity to have your own art exhibit or group exibit. Application forms are available online at www.alberniarts.com. All submissions must be sent by email to admincac@shawcable.com.

The deadline for applications is April 30, 2020.

SHOW POSTPONED

Due to Covid-19, the Celtic Chaos fundraising performance has been postponed (not cancelled). A new date will be announced as soon as possible. All tickets will be honoured.

WORKSHOPS CANCELLED

The watercolour workshop with Victoria artist Joanne Thomson and the Fun Flowers painting workshop at North Island College have both been cancelled. Email admincac@shawcable.com for a full refund if you were registered to be in either of these workshops.

GALLERY AND EVENTS

In response to the growing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and for the safety of our communities, the Rollin Art Centre gallery will be closed until further notice. This means that we will be postponing all performances and programs until further notice. If you have any questions or concerns about the gallery and programming —or are looking for a way to be creative during this period! —please reach out to admincac@shawcable.com.

*If you have any questions regarding cancelled/postponed events or programs, please email at the above address.

Melissa Martin is the Arts Administrator for the Community Arts Council, at the Rollin Art Centre and writes for the Alberni Valley News. Call 250-724-3412.

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