Enriching the Arts

Art Education in Alberta

Fine arts programs offer valuable experience

During September this year, students of all ages will be going back to school. Some of these students will be attending a fine arts school – whether at an elementary, junior, senior or post-secondary level. The Alberta Education website states that fine arts programs “Encompass art, drama and music in which students are involved as creators, performers, historians, critics and consumers.”

The Royal Academy of Arts in Britain is one of the oldest fine arts schools in the world.

The Royal Academy of Arts in Britain is one of the oldest fine arts schools in the world.

History of Fine Arts Schools

While the Alberta Education curriculum requires that at least the basics of art be taught to students, there are some schools that make teaching the fine arts the main focus of the curriculum. A fine arts school can be defined as “An educational institution with a primary focus on the visual arts, especially illustration, painting, photography, sculpture, and graphic design.”

The Ecole des Beaux-Arts, located in France, is possibly the first example of a fine arts school. Founded in 1648 by Italian Cardinal and noted art collector Jules Mazarin, the institution educated the most talented students in the visual arts, included painting, drawing, architecture and more. The Ecole des Beaux-Arts is still open today, allowing contemporary artists to hone their craft.

The Royal Academy of Art was founded over a century later, in 1768, by King George III. The goal of the Academy was to promote the arts in Britain by establishing a system of training and judgement regarding the arts and exhibiting artwork that met that system of standards. Today, the Royal Academy Schools are the oldest art institution in Britain.

Fine Arts Schools in Alberta

Alberta is also home to a variety of fine arts schools. Some of these schools, such as St Dominic’s Fine Art School in Calgary, the Alberta High School of Fine Arts in Okotoks and the Victoria School of the Performing Arts in Edmonton, offer fine arts education to students at a K-12 level. The Alberta College of Art and Design is the only post-secondary school in Alberta with an exclusive focus on fine arts education.

To be considered a fine arts school at an elementary, junior or senior high level, a school must integrate art into its academic subjects by linking the arts with other core subject areas. These schools can also offer their students the opportunity to specialize in different kinds of art – such as drama, music or the visual arts. At a post-secondary level, the institution must have an exclusive focus on the fine arts.

By integrating the fine arts into all areas of the academic curriculum and allowing students to create, collaborate and criticize artwork, fine arts schools are enabling children and young adults to be creative, critical and explore their talents as artists. As the new school year begins and students return to school, they will be challenged to grow as artists and develop their skills further through these programs.

ASA and TREX Address

Crossroads Art Centre
#302 - 1235 26th Avenue SE
Calgary, AB T2G 1R7
ASA Phone: (403) 265-0012
TREX Phone: (403) 262-4669

ASA Membership Login

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Donate Now Through CanadaHelps.org!


Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software