Talk and workshop by Prof. Samuel Sztern

Talk and workshop by Prof. Samuel Sztern, Director of IENBA (Instituto Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes) Fine Art School, University of the Republic Uruguay.

TALK – Tuesday 7 February 2011, 10am -12noon, CCW Research Seminar Room, Room E305, Block E, 3rd Floor, Chelsea College of Art & Design

The story of the IENBA, the students-led reform of the 1950-60s and their current research on pedagogical models for teaching art at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. The IENBA teaches using a pedagogical approach based on the theories of Herbert Read, John Dewey and Ovide Decroly. Their original curriculum was devised by the student body who took over the running of the school in the early 1960s. After being closed by the military in 1973, it reopened in 1995 to continue a programme of art education focused on fostering the development of creative and aesthetically sensible citizens.

Part of SLAAG (Studying Latin American Art Group) seminar series.

Places are limited, please RSVP to:

WORKSHOP: Tuesday 7 February 2011, 2pm – 4.30pm, Rooms BG01 and BG02, Block B, Ground Floor, Chelsea College of Art & Design, Millbank London SW1P4RJ

Practical demonstration on the pedagogical approach at the IENBA for teaching collectively to a large number of 1st year Degree students.

In collaboration with FLAG (re-turning the educational turn)

The workshop will consist on a drawing exercise and group discussion. You will need to bring your own materials:

A pencil and a black pen or marker

A couple of sheets of A3 and A4 paper

Scissors and a glue stick

A drawing board or similar hard surface to work on

This workshop is open to all students from any course, staff or interested people from outside the University of any ages and backgrounds

About the IENBA and its pedagogical approach

The IENBA (the only official art education institution in Uruguay) has a peculiar story as an art school, where the students played a significant role in its development. In the 1950s it was run as a dependency of the Secondary School Board of Education, and operated with an out of date academicist curriculum. When a group of students attended the Biennale de Sao Paulo and realised how out of step was the teaching with developments in modern art, they decided to take action.

They organised themselves in weekly General Assemblies, and through successful networking with the University Student Union, and by lobbying the University authorities, they secured the acceptance of the school as a dependency of the University of the Republic. They also researched a developed an experimental curriculum based on the educational theories of John Dewey, Herbert Read and Ovide Decroly.

When the staff of the School proved unable to accommodate the demands for reform from the students, an institutional crisis ensued that saw the staff resigning en masse to force a halt to the students demands. The students grabbed the opportunity and several of them applied for all the vacant posts. They were appointed as members of staff, and effectively took over the running of the school throughout the 1960s, where they implemented the new curriculum, universal free access without admission exams or application procedures, and a programme of interventions in the city that included popular sales in street markets, painting of facades of buildings, and campaigns of “citizen aesthetic sensibilisation” through posters and billboards.

This radical pedagogical experiment was cut short when the army closed the School in 1973, in the wake of the military coup. Whist all Faculties were closed for a period of time, the Fine Art school was the only one that never reopened. Military tanks were brought into the building and destroyed all the facilities, setting on fire the school archives. It was the only educational establishment in the country that was kept closed until 1985, when democracy was reinstated and the School reopened. The programme of study was reformed in the early 1990s to a certain extent, but retained most of the key principles from the 1960s reform.
Senior staff in the school – including Prof. Sztern – are involved in action research projects to bring experimental art education models to primary and secondary schools. They see this as a fundamental process of enabling all kinds of people to develop an interest in art that might lead to them becoming artists, but more fundamentally, to encourage creative agency as integral to citizenship. The IENBA operates an open access policy. It provides free education to final degrees and there are no exclusionary criteria or admission procedures to study at the School. The pedagogical model they use has been adapted to be able to teach large number of students from very diverse educational backgrounds.

These events have been organised by PhD student Ana Laura Lopez de la Torre, in collaboration with: SLAAG (Studying Latin American Art Group) and FLAG (re-turning the educational turn). With support from Jim Pearson CCW Erasmus/Exchange Coordinator.


One response to “Talk and workshop by Prof. Samuel Sztern

  1. Director IENBA, Samuel Sztern en el Chelsea College of Art and Design,

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