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Mission and vision

Dear future artist or designer,

Founded in 1663 by painter David Teniers the Younger, the Antwerp Academy was one of the first art schools in the world. In addition to that she was also one of the first artist initiatives. We are proud of that. Over the past few centuries the Academy with her historical campus has become an icon in the international art world.

Like many art schools, the Academy had to reconsider its identity in the 20th century, when the radical avant-garde movements questioned the importance of tradition and technical skill. Now avant-garde itself has become part of history, and art education has absorbed many of its ideas.

Today the world of art and design can seem unclear, and is constantly changing. Social media and global changes go hand in hand with scepticism towards existing role models and expectations. Some expect this age to become as groundbreaking as the early Renaissance or the historical avant-garde were.

What is the role of an art school in the first half of the 21st century? An art school is more than a school. It is a place for thinking and doing, with a broad cultural and social relevance. The Antwerp Academy wants to be a lab where traditions and technique interact with current affairs and artistic problems.

An excellent art and design school can only exist in a place where material exploration and mental reflection meet. With our historical campus, and our tried and true studio method, we want to investigate how the artist and designer of today shapes tomorrow. Drawing, theory classes and artistic research are an essential part of your education here.

As part of the exciting Antwerp art world, and through collaborations with national and international art institutes, the Academy shows itself to be a vital part of various networks. Studying at the Antwerp Academy means becoming part of an inspiring international learning habitat with students from 95 countries. The Academy is a breeding ground for talent ánd a network.

Even at an art school you must be self-taught. You meet young artists and designers with different backgrounds, which allows you to learn more about yourself. Teachers, researchers, guest teachers and fellow students of the Academy will all help you during this process. Individual research and collective creation complement eachother. A critical and creative attitude makes you flexible and tough. This way, you are prepared to face the challenges of a quickly changing (art) world.
I hope to welcome you at the Academy!

Johan Pas
Head of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp