The artistic creation is not on summer holiday

[2017-07-05] Administrative secretary Robert Djärv has worked at Umeå Academy of Fine Arts for over two decades. Just as long as they have offered summer courses. If you ask him, choosing the selection of courses is all about current interest and being familiar with contemporary trends in the world of arts in order to meet students’ demands. So far, filling the courses has been easy.

This summer, Umeå Academy of Fine Arts offers two courses with 20 places each. Spacial Concepts in Contemporary Art Based on Sculpture, Installation and Public Space, and The Expanded Pictoral Space in Drawing and Painting.

“Offering summer courses is partly to give our students the chance of applying for student finance over the summer, but also to give a boost to the School’s finances,” says Robert Djärv.

He continues by explaining that the School has nearly always offered courses in painting, simply because it is such a classical technique, at the same time as it is a large part of contemporary art.

“Apart from that, we also often offer photography, video, performance and, like this year, spacial concepts. All our teachers are active professionally, and are hence in the swing of knowing what is currently in question within the trade.”

When most people are looking forward to a relaxing holiday, you carry on. How do you feel about that?

“That’s not really how it goes. The summer courses start as the spring semester ends, but we work up until Swedish midsummer three weeks into June. The courses are teacher-led up until then. After that, the students carry on by themselves in July and into the first week of August. The teachers join the class again towards the end.”

“Admittedly, your pace slows down towards the end of the spring semester, and you need to take a deep breath and carry on just that little bit longer.”

Robert Djärv is administrative secretary at Umeå Academy of Fine Arts.
Robert Djärv is administrative secretary at Umeå Academy of Fine Arts. Photo: Per Melander

Robert Djärv explains that it is not just the School’s own students who rise to the bait when it comes to learning that little bit extra over summer. Among the applicants, many come from other parts of Sweden, but also from outside of Sweden. Umeå Academy of Fine Arts sets requirements on the students’ level of artistic experience, which is also assessed in the admissions round, Robert Djärv explains:

“Our courses are advertised, but news about them mostly spreads by word of mouth. After all, it is a small world.”

The grand finale is the exhibitions at the end. Last year, the exhibitions were held in the School’s own gallery in Sliperiet as well as in the newly renovated Scharinska villan cultural heritage building in the centre of town.

Text from staff magazine Aktum no 2 2017
Text: Per Melander
Translation: Anna Lawrence

Top photo: Malin Grönborg

Editor: Anna Lawrence

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