A Fragile Equilibrium: Undergraduate Art Education and the University

Elisabeth Findlay (Griffith University)
2017 Conference

In recent years there has been considerable discussion of practice-led research and how the work of creative practitioners can be reconciled with the metrics of the University system. There has been much less consideration and reflection on the undergraduate degree and the impact of the University framework has had on the formative years of art school students. This paper examines the relationship between undergraduate art education and the institution of the University within an Australian context. It focuses on the realities, tensions and possibilities of art education as embedded within a University. It asks what value is there in art schools being part of an educational institution that was not originally designed for artists? What are the tensions and elisions with other traditional disciplines? The paper argues that we are at a watershed moment in the history of art education and that art education in the 21st century requires new parameters and ways of thinking.

Download Full text PDF (140.17 KB)

About the author

Associate Professor Elisabeth Findlay is the Deputy Director (Learning and Teaching) at the Queensland College of Art at Griffith University. Prior to joining Griffith in 2015, Elisabeth worked at the Australian National University as the Associate Dean (Students) in the College of Arts and Social Sciences. Elisabeth has received numerous awards for excellence in teaching and in 2007 was recognised with a national citation for outstanding contribution to student learning. In 2014 she was elected as a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. As an art historian her specialisation is in Australian art and portraiture.