This week, Tate Modern is transforming itself into an art school. And it's open everyone – even if you can't draw for toffee.
'This Is An Art School' is a week-long event that's been set up by Central St Martins students who have partnered with the Tate. It's part of a wider programme of events called Tate Exchange, which explores how – and if – art makes a change in society. As with all art schools, there'll be lectures, seminars, workshops and studio spaces, all coming together to form what is promised to be a 'cacophony of creativity'. But where in most schools all the creativity is conducted in private, here it will all happen in public view – flipping the idea of the educational process on its head.
The agenda is to champion art as a vital subject in both school and higher education, and to show that art schools aren't just daft places where everyone wears polo necks and smokes copious amounts of weed. In fact, the Tate has actually gone so far as to take a stand against what they describe as a 'systematic assault on arts education in the UK' in recent years, calling out art's increased isolation in the school timetable and its conspicuous absence in the new English Baccalaureate qualification.
Those – like me – who've been to art school won't need converting. But if you're unsure about the value of art education, head to the South Bank this week, find out for yourself and make up your own mind.
'This is an Art School' runs at Tate Modern until Sunday. See website for details.