The teaching of visual arts - formerly called "plastic arts" or more broadly "fine arts" - seeks to meet the challenges of our early 21st century: Environmental degradation, massive destruction - including cultural property –may result in unprecedented migratory movements, fundamental crisis of politics, increasing inequalities and the dismantling of a social contract.
Faced with this gloomy observation, it is worth remembering that art is a form of resistance.
Beyond the militant character, we should see in artistic and cultural practices, through their transdisciplinary character and their fragmentation, alternatives to the services of societies. The artist is not only a "creator" of forms and media. He/ She is an enterprising actor.
Since 1943, year of the creation of the School of Painting of Alba that will become later the School of Visual Arts, the women and men who have studied there and / or taught, -from César Gemayel to Yvette Achkar through Shafic Abboud and Michel Basbous, - participated in the constitution of a modern project in Lebanon, in parallel with pioneering movements in Baghdad, Damascus or Cairo. More recently, starting in 2015, the new programs initiated by Jalal Toufic, as well as the courses he thought, for instance "Art Provoking Thought", have not only helped to regenerate the School's pedagogy but also to replace it within the artistic scene and, more broadly, the city.
It is from this perspective of openness to the world and creative review reinvention that he designed the Bachelor and Master programs. They aim to train people with both artistic "know-how",- acquired methods and production techniques- and "critical thinking- know how to think"-capability to analyze and operate. The School of Visual Arts aims to be both an agora open to debate and criticism and a laboratory of experimentation.
Dr. Gregory Buchakjian
Acting Director of the School of Visual Arts