How to introduce an institute of art? This is probably the most difficult task for a place that is many things: an institution, with norms and rules, and a community with idiosyncrasies and moods. It still seems like a luxury today to be able to encompass these two elements, as well as the courses, the teaching, the learning, the discovery of one’s self, one’s practice through the encounter of others, artists, friends, individuals, and practitioners who try things out in ways that are not «innovative» or «experimental», but just investigative, insistent, curious, empathic, humble, and yet stubborn, personal, and full of hope for a work, a process, a performance, a gesture that will help to connect.
The Art Institute is constituted by all the individuals who are part of it, the regular teachers, the staff, the technical team, the many guests who come, and—crucially—the one hundred young artists who study with us. The bachelor and master programs are well differentiated; the schedules and activities are not the same. But the social space of the Institute is one. The studios are shared, students decide at the beginning of the year where they want to be, and the many and great workshops offer as an opportunity to share space and skills independently of the program you are in; the weekly artists talks, the biannual symposiums, and many other informal opportunities that bring us all together.
One of the most important elements of our bachelor’s program is the environment. We are small in scale, and therefore we can put all our effort into our students, into motivating them and creating the quality of experience in studying art, from access to great workshops to conversations with teachers and guests to the many seminars. Care, nearness, and continuous guidance are keys to our method of introducing you to the world of art.
The master’s program is oriented towards curiosity […], a force that encourages you not only to like what others do, but to commit to forms of making that mark a difference, that offer resistance to conventions. Since the world is turning more and more into a very normative space, where freedom is not a given, art may provide us with eccentric spaces of quality where a different sensing of matter and the relations between forms of life can be preserved.
Head of the Art Institute
Head of Administration / Coordination
Lena Maria Thüring
Inka Ter Haar
Francesca von Habsburg
Nuno Da Luz
Susanne M. Winterling
The Art Institute is part of the Campus of the Arts (campusderkuenste.ch), situated just ten minutes away from Basel’s main station. Articulated around its main building, a silvery tower, the campus is a hub for creativity and artistic practices. In addition to the Academy of Art and Design, the campus is also home to the House of Electronic Arts (hek.ch), as well as other institutions and companies active in the areas of art and design.
Students are provided with a personal studio space that they can freely use and access anytime. Several workshops with professional support are also at your disposal at the Institute: