There is a strong anti-grad school theme that I see emerging.
Perhaps it's always been there, but I have only rarely been around the people who express their true feelings about educated artists. Kerry James Marshall has made pronouncements about going to school in a Bad at Sports interview. He did go to art school and studied with artist Charles White, and I have never felt that he thought MFA artists did not work hard and encourage our students to become successful artists, another claim against trained artists I have read on Facebook.
Recent chats on Facebook expressly denigrate art schools, art teachers and artists who teach! According to the chats people with formal art education can only teach students to teach because that's all we know! We don't know how to make a living being an artist.
It's hard enough to have to struggle with being an artist, figuring out what you can contribute that some other artist hasn't already done, developing skills and figuring out about getting exhibitions, etc. Not to mention the idea that much of the world seems to believe dead artists are better artists than living ones. But I never expected to be put down by artists who don't have degrees, specifically, MFA degrees. because I have one.
My first experience with this was minor, but memorable.
In about 2005 Nicole Gallery wanted to do a series of Salons. I suggested they be called "A Month of Sundays" for obvious reasons, after she told me when they would be held. I asked several folks to participate for free, sharing their expertise with anyone attending. I spoke, too.
Among the participants I asked was a friend who is a professional framer and conservator, Melanie Janulis, a lawyer and art collector named Clarence Wilson (who has donated art to the Art Institute of Chicago), and Claudette Roper, a documentary filmmaker, writer and artist who teaches at Columbia College.
During a discussion about what artists do, one of the artists attending said it was easy for me because I had gone to Yale!
Other people, on rare occasions, indicate that they believe I have it easier because I have degrees and went to art school. In other posts I will try to explain the process from my perspective. Maybe that will help artists who care to hear from both sides of the issue.
The problem with not going to art school is that you don't know how it works!
The result of lumping everybody into one thing is stereotyping.
Jim Alexander photo above:
After Yale graduation many years ago. My mother had been hit by a car and I wasn't even going, but my sister came to see me march and I was also chosen as class marshall and carried the class banner in the ceremony and enjoyed myself. Then I packed up and my brother moved back to Phila. to nurse my mother back to health. My parents were divorced and my sister and brother were married so I was the one "available" to help out. I was broke and as soon as she recovered I got a job. As a new graduate I would have had to win the lottery to NOT work.