From 2012 to 2014 I was a student at Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney University's amazing art school on heritage grounds just outside the city. I feel beyond privileged to have gone here; the lecturers and professors at the university gave me the boost I needed to find my voice in the art world, and believed in me more than I ever had before. I ended up graduating in 2013 with two art prizes, and then going back for a year of Honours where I completed my thesis in 2014. I was planning on going back for my Masters next year or the year after, but Sydney University has other plans:
At the end of this year, they're shutting down the whole art school and "combining" it with the University of New South Wales art school, COFA. There's so many things wrong with this; 1, COFA has an entirely different approach to the arts and is more design based. 2, COFA wouldn't have the specialist facilities that make SCA great (ie: glassworks, a full printing lab and kilns) and allow it's students to freely work and discover their practice. 3, many teachers, lecturers and staff will LOSE their jobs during the merge, and students who are half way through their thesis and practice may very well lose their supervisors too, which is an integral part of the degree. Further more, Sydney University has ALREADY removed the Bachelor of Fine/Visual Arts and this degree will no longer exist after this year.
I'm really disgusted - so many galleries, clubs and art venues have shut down in the last few years in Sydney and this seems to be the final straw. There is no money being put aside for the arts anymore and if Sydney wants to call itself an international city and play with the big kids, this is a total step in the opposite direction. There's even talks to merge the other art school (NAS) in Sydney to make one giant one, which sure may sound great on paper but is a total slap in the face for any artist who wants to be able to choose different disciplines and ways of thinking for their studies.
So please, help us save SCA!! There is a facebook group here that will tell you everything and a petition to sign: https://www.facebook.com/letscastay/
A lot of you are on the other side of the world - and I am too now, as I live in Paris these days - but every voice counts and when it comes to art, I believe it's universal.