Recurring Activities for all students

In addition to the individual studio work which unfolds throughout the course, every block students have a selection of workshops to choose from. These elective classes are added to the weekly schedule of mandatory classes especially for the level they are on, as well as a series of core activities such as:

Weekly group tutorials or individual tutorials

In small groups of up to 8 students who share similar ideas, techniques and/or artistic interests. Metàfora’s Studio Arts Program has the privilege to count with a set of extremely skilled teachers and talented tutors. We take pride in working with artists who are the cutting edge of Barcelona’s art scene, with experience both in teaching and as artists.

Students have several scheduled group meetings per block and at least one individual meeting with the in-house tutor.

Weekly Paint and Sculpture Labs

An optional weekly consultation space, where you can ask your painting or sculpture teacher anything related to the technique. It is recommended to book your slot in advance.

Extra tutorials

Towards the end of each block all students have the possibility for having extra tutorials with their personal tutor, and other tutors and teachers on the course.

End of Theme Presentations and Discourse Reviews

At the end of every studio block, all students on the course present their artwork to their personal tutors and the rest of the group of students and tutors.

These weeks are among the most intense and inspiring moments of the Studio Arts Program, bringing the group together in all senses through debate and celebration of creativity. The idea behind the presentations or the “Crit” is that students work on preparing a piece of finished artwork and show it in an “exhibition like” format.

Evaluation Interviews

At the end of each Block, once the presentations are over, students have a one-on-one evaluation interview with their tutor. In this meeting they look back on the block together, and discuss work and progress and the proposed grade for the presentation.

Course Contents per Block

Note: The program presented here may be subject to minor changes.

BLOCK 1:
5th September – 14th October

Course specific classes, Foundation Program (Year 1)

Every week we expose the student to different currents in Recent Art History. This class is obligatory for students on the Foundation program and open to all students. It is necessary to have passed this class to access the 2nd Year of Metàfora’s Studio Arts Program. This class gives the students a grounding in the most influential themes in contemporary art since 1945.

Scale is a Dynamic Concept (Recent Art History, Diana Padrón)

In this block we will explore the notion of Modernity in the avant-garde artistic of Abstract Art in the first half of the Twentieth Century up to the end of the 1970’s. From the late 19th C to the mid-20th C, primarily in Europe, we will examine the key modernist “isms”: Impressionism, Cubism, Dadaism, Surrealism, Suprematism, Purism, Constructivism, and Socialist Realism, as well as the rise of abstraction culminating in Abstract Expressionism. Finally we will look at how conceptual ideas filtered through the notion of land(scape) changing the definition of what an art work could be, much like the readymade had done earlier in the century, but in addition expanded the boundaries of art in terms of the material used and the siting of it. Whilst the key element of land art was often its monumentality and its position in a site-specific context, it also related closely to conceptual art in that the planning and photo documentation of execution and final results could often be exhibited in a gallery context, even if the work itself was located elsewhere.

At the end of the block students are asked to complete small test to demonstrate their knowledge on the material exposed. This class is obligatory for all Foundation students, and for Certificate and Diploma students who did not complete them during their first year.

During every Block students on the Foundation Program have a compulsory workshop which helps students answer conceptual questions materially and material questions conceptually, so as to encourage them not to see a divide between art theory and art practice.

Contemporary Painting and its Discourse (Michael Lawton)

Some people want to start painting, but don’t know what to paint. Some people know what they want to paint, but don’t know why. This session introduces the topic of why we choose to paint today and suggests approaches for thinking about painting.

This contemporary painting class is about situating painting in a contemporary context. It helps with both practical questions such as how to work using imagination, abstraction, and combine colors but also theoretical questions such as what does it mean to make painting today, and what makes a painting look contemporary.

Course specific classes, Certificate / Diploma (Years 2-3)

This class introduces students to the theory, philosophers and thinkers that have been, and are still, the most influential on contemporary art, aesthetics and visual culture.

Postcolonial Theory (Lucia Piedra Galarraga)

A practical class that ensures students are challenged and exposed to new methodologies even when they are in the 2nd or 3rd Year of the Studio Arts Program.

Installation and Sound (Laura Llaneli)

Sound art is an artistic discipline in which sound is utilised as a primary medium or material. Like many genres of contemporary art, sound art may be interdisciplinary in nature, or be used in hybrid forms.

Most of the time, when we do artistic works we give all the importance to what refers to the visual. We think about the video before we think about the sound or how we should place the speakers in the room, for example. This workshop is focused on opening the listening to understand that sound is a very useful tool in our projects.

Once a week we have a class which is dedicated to getting to know the local art scene, while at the same time helping students to develop and refine their artistic discourse: talking about art and getting to know local and no-so-local artists.

Open to all students, but obligatory to all 2nd and 3rd year students.

Tools & Techniques for all students (years 1, 2-3)

Increase your confidence and skills by working through a full range of techniques and aspects of painting with watercolor and drawing. With exercises in color mixing, applying paint and using water washes, and along with plenty of tips, learn how color and composition can transform your painting.

Work the urban landscape using perspective, gesture and expression in painting, light and color and perspective; these exercises are designed to extend each student at their own level, both independently as well as one-on-one.

Technical workshop to understand the characteristics of the clay as a sculpting material. The aim is to make several sculptures using clay in different ways. Modelling solid sculptures and making thin works with internal skeleton required. Instructions for drying, painting processes using specific ceramic enamels, and cooking on the kiln.

This course will introduce participants to photography in the context of contemporary visual culture. Each class is divided into two parts. The first one is informative and the second one is a practical exercise. The classes will be open to specific suggestions from one week to the next. For example, composition, lighting, staged photography, etc… could be considered if enough students are interested. The aim is to make students curious about the medium, and if possible, start specific projects related to some of the themes.

Students are invited to draw in various spaces within the school’s premises. The main proposal of this workshop is to show how simple architectural or structural elements of the room can suggest interesting and creative forms to appear.

These classes form “the basics” for understanding model drawing: construction of the body, anatomy, composition, body expression. Over the academic year this class is a weekly ongoing event, and Piotr makes the most of this different dynamics to help students to develop their own expression and language in drawing.

BLOCK 2:
18th October – 25th November

Foundation Program (Year 1)

Every week we expose the student to different currents in Recent Art History. This class is obligatory for students on the Foundation program and open to all students. It is necessary to have passed this class to access the 2nd Year of Metàfora’s Studio Arts Program. This class gives the students a grounding in the most influential themes in contemporary art since 1945.

Only the Necessary (Recent Art History, Diana Padrón)

In this block we will pay attention to how Minimalism and the conceptual art movement of the 1960s and 1970s completely transformed our understanding of space and materials. Based primarily in New York, the artists involved started creating objects out of raw materials that consisted of basic geometric forms. The goal was to eliminate any kind of reference to the outside world in order to create works that referred only to themselves. For the conceptual artists, this meant that the idea itself could be the work of art. Artists: Frank Stella, Kenneth Nolan, Agnes Martin, Mary Corse, Carl André, Anne Truitt, Richard Serra, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, James Turrell. When referring to Anti-Form or Post-minimalist works, we will take a close loo at the work of artists such as Eva Hesse or Lynda Benglis as well as: Giovanni Anselmo, Jannis Kounellis, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Mario Merz, Josef Kosuth, Robert Barry, Yoko Ono, Lawrence Weiner, Art & Language, Jirí Kovanda, Jenny Holzer amongst others.

At the end of the block students are asked to complete small test to demonstrate their knowledge on the material exposed. This class is obligatory for all Foundation students, and for Certificate and Diploma students who did not complete them during their first year.

During every Block students on the Foundation Program have a compulsory workshop which helps students answer conceptual questions materially and material questions conceptually, so as to encourage them not to see a divide between art theory and art practice.

Sculpture (Marc Larré)

Certificate / Diploma (Years 2-3)

This class introduces students to the theory, philosophers and thinkers that have been, and are still, the most influential on contemporary art, aesthetics and visual culture.

The Use of Semiotics for the Understanding of Visual Art (Rubén Verdú)

One of the ways to crack the mechanics of communication is to analyze the inner works of the sign. Wait… communication? Why should we care? If anything, art is, above all, the manipulation of the sign, we could even say that art is the manipulation of the sign to the most extreme. The study

of meaning-making is at the core of all this. We are going to venture ourselves into how this works, into the multifaceted mechanics of semiotics and its entrapments, especially its entrapments, because at the end, as you will see, it is the entrapments that we love to delve in.

A practical class that ensures students are challenged and exposed to new methodologies even when they are in the 2nd or 3rd Year of the Studio Arts Program.

Four Paintings and a Virginal (Michael Lawton)

In this class students will be asked to answer a weekly question by making paintings, thinking about what it can be used for, and what it can’t; when is painting an appropriate medium to work with? If the answer is always, then what does it sound like when we speak in painting?

During the first block we will make the most out of our collaboration with Barcelona’s Contemporary Art Museum, MACBA. Every we go there to explore the collection in under the title “Make MACBA Yours”.

Open to all students, but obligatory to all 2nd and 3rd year students.

For all students (Years 1, 2-3)

Piotr Perski will demonstrate fundamental techniques and guide you through a series of exercises to help you understand the structure of the human body, exploring ways of seeing the body in three dimensions.

Piotr’s innovative and entertaining methods will give you a solid start in understanding portraiture and basic painting. Throughout these classes you will work with live models  and printed images of the human body. Students will use acrylic paint, explore “a la prima technique” and do a full colour large scale painting on canvas or wood.

In this class students will gain understanding of why, when and how to make a mold. The class will cover the different type of molds and their uses and the focus is on learning the process, step by step, of obtaining a good rigid or flexible mold. We will be working on testing diverse types of resins, choosing the right one depending of our project. there will be one part dedicated to understanding of the chemical reaction with hardeners, working and cure time, mixing ratio and managing methodology. Naturally, this block of classes include a range of items around safety habits for preserving health.

This workshop is dedicated to different printmaking techniques such as Screen Printing, Woodcut and Linocut, and Monotypes. We will learn concepts like image transfer, print edition, numbered copies, types of inks and supports, framing, and value on the market. There will even be a paper making lab. Students learn to use both traditional and contemporary tools, with the goal to gain basic skills for a professional edition project. Usually we end up with a “Printing Market Exchange” among all the participants.

Working on the series of geometric patterns with ruler and handmade compass , overlap ( transparent and opaque forms), rhythm, movement and direction, order and balance, scale, composition

These classes form “the basics” for understanding model drawing: construction of the body, anatomy, composition, body expression. Over the academic year this class is a weekly ongoing event, and Piotr makes the most of this different dynamics to help students to develop their own expression and language in drawing.

BLOCK 3:
16th January – 22nd February

Foundation Program (Year 1)

Every week we expose the student to different currents in Recent Art History. This class is obligatory for students on the Foundation program and open to all students. It is necessary to have passed this class to access the 2nd Year of Metàfora’s Studio Arts Program. This class gives the students a grounding in the most influential themes in contemporary art since 1945.

The Ground on Which We Stand (Recent Art History, Diana Padrón)

During this block we think about site-specificity, or not. About where we are, what is happening there, what is happening to the whole planet perhaps.

The ground on which we stand is changing because of what we as a species have done to it.

But also, (politically speaking), where does this land stop and another begin. Who decides that?

Can an artwork be specific to where we are now, and intended to be shown in a specific place, that
tells me a story of ours, whilst also reflecting on what it is like to be living now, and so people from anywhere can appreciate it, whilst still feeling local?

At the end of the block students are asked to complete small test to demonstrate their knowledge on the material exposed. This class is obligatory for all Foundation students, and for Certificate and Diploma students who did not complete them during their first year.

During every Block students on the Foundation Program have a compulsory workshop which helps students answer conceptual questions materially and material questions conceptually, so as to encourage them not to see a divide between art theory and art practice.

Site-Specific Installation (Anna Irina Russell)

Certificate / Diploma (Years 2-3)

This class introduces students to the theory, philosophers and thinkers that have been, and are still, the most influential on contemporary art, aesthetics and visual culture.

Queer Theory (Ariadna Guiteras)

A practical class that ensures students are challenged and exposed to new methodologies even when they are in the 2nd or 3rd Year of the Studio Arts Program.

Ecofictions (Paula Bruna)

Decades of science fiction cinema have formed an archive of images of possible futures that forge the collective imagination. In view of this, we ask ourselves: how does science fiction cinema deal with environmental conflicts? What eco-social futures are possible according to this imaginary? To what extent are the futures that are being proposed to us conditioned by the current model of social organization and the idea of progress of modernity? Why is it so difficult to think about non-apocalyptic futures? Can we imagine alternative scenarios to those proposed?

In this workshop, we will deal with science fiction as a tool for the analysis of contemporary socio-environmental problems and for the forecast of the possible future scenarios. Through the viewing of movie clips, and with the support of selected texts, we will analyze the relationship between futuristic cinema and the way in which we imagine the future. We will learn formulas to expand the imaginary of what is possible beyond dystopian visions, and we will apply them in the construction of our own imaginaries through collage and stop motion animation. At the end of the workshop, students will create their own “animated ecofictions”, that is alternative imaginaries that seek to respond to the apparent limitation of our society when it comes to imagining a non-apocalyptic future.

For all students (Years 1, 2-3)

Join this workshop focusing on still life and portrait in drawing and acrylic paint where Piotr Perski will group personal objects from his home into still life arrangements, creating the subject matter for blocks of classes.

Piotr will demonstrate his own and other artists’ methods of painting, their ideas on composition, how to approach the subject, lighting and shadows, colour mixing and paint application.

Under his guidance the class will work on their own still life, with the opportunity throughout the workshop for one-to-one discussions and assistance.

This is a useful workshop involving participants in making big structures and furniture on wood. It is all about cutting, carving, sanding, joining, polishing and varnishing. This workshop often ends with fun design of useful elements for the school, such as big tables for coworking, outdoor chaise-longues, stools and benches, shelves for garden plants. The class teaches students to work with solid blocks of wood, using chisels, gouges and sanders, and students become familiar with both hand-tools as well as power-tools. A basic safety course is included in this course.

The classes will teach you to import and organize your footage, to trim clips and add them to a timeline, the use of multiple tracks, the use of video effects and transitions, and everything you need to get you started!

We will work with Premiere Pro, After Effects and other similar programs.

We recommend to bring your laptop.

During this workshop, students work with the limits of the human body. They will learn how to design the performance with the body movement and body radius in the form of group and personal interventions.

These classes form “the basics” for understanding model drawing: construction of the body, anatomy, composition, body expression. Over the academic year this class is a weekly ongoing event, and Piotr makes the most of this different dynamics to help students to develop their own expression and language in drawing.

BLOCK 4:
6th March – 19th April

Foundation Program (Year 1)

Every week we expose the student to different currents in Recent Art History. This class is obligatory for students on the Foundation program and open to all students. It is necessary to have passed this class to access the 2nd Year of Metàfora’s Studio Arts Program. This class gives the students a grounding in the most influential themes in contemporary art since 1945.

The Trivial and the Meaningful (Recent Art History, Diana Padrón)

This block examines the explosion of the mass media and its expression in Pop art and those movements that relate to and derive from the consumer’s society emerging in the mid and late 20th c. as well as the Information Age and Postmodernism.

At the end of the block students are asked to complete small test to demonstrate their knowledge on the material exposed. This class is obligatory for all Foundation students, and for Certificate and Diploma students who did not complete them during their first year.

During every Block students on the Foundation Program have a compulsory workshop which helps students answer conceptual questions materially and material questions conceptually, so as to encourage them not to see a divide between art theory and art practice.

Collage (Michael Lawton)

Certificate / Diploma (Years 2-3)

This class introduces students to the theory, philosophers and thinkers that have been, and are still, the most influential on contemporary art, aesthetics and visual culture.

Optopia. The Evolutionary Stages of Visuality (Rubén Verdú)

What role will the image play in a future that is increasingly determined to overcome the limitations of the human species? What promotes and motivates the prolific mediation of screens? Why this type of mediation and not another? Any answer to these questions draws, right from the start, a scenario of possible futures that will have a great impact on all those disciplines that give the visual phenomenon a central position in their practices. It is crucial, therefore, to understand the processes that leads us to privilege everything that stimulates the eye and, of course, to understand why it is so configured and not otherwise.

A practical class that ensures students are challenged and exposed to new methodologies even when they are in the 2nd or 3rd Year of the Studio Arts Program.

Artist Books (Anna Pahissa)

Link Seminar (Laura Llaneli)

Once a week we have a class which is dedicated to getting to know the local art scene, while at the same time helping students to develop and refine their artistic discourse: talking about art and getting to know local and no-so-local artists.

Open to all students, but obligatory to all 2nd and 3rd year students.

For all students (Years 1, 2-3)

Paint in oil and acrylics layers using various techniques such as transparent and opaque acrylic, over-painting, painting monochromatic studies, using colour backgrounds, stencils and masks, on different supports including paper, canvas, wood, metal, transparent plastic in small size.

This class teaches students the exciting melting and joining process of the ARC welding. Be familiar with electrode rods, the power station and its three wires, and with grinding and polishing machines. Students practice of the starting spark, running a weld bead, cleaning and polishing the joint. Naturally, the class includes security systems and personal health protection while welding by making a small metal sculpture.

In this eye-opening workshop students learn how to use Stop Motion to produce artistic projects. We look into early cinema, the uses of stop motion in contemporary art and also, why not, advertisement. With basic equipment, like mobile phones, we discover apps and software available to make our lives easier. At a later point students work with Premiere or iMovie to produce projects more professionally.

A gesture is an action that has significance: the gift of bunch of flowers, or the movement of the pencil on the sheet of paper. Drawing gesture is the action of the hand and drawing tool as they follow the movement of the eye while it scans the figure.

The activity of looking is selective and goal-directed: the eye darts over the field of vision, seeking and selecting pertinent features in the field, and dovetailing these with the mind’s means of making sense of them.

Gestural drawing is one that follows the eye’s search for meaning; it should be quick, seeing and placing the whole figure almost at once.

These classes form “the basics” for understanding model drawing: construction of the body, anatomy, composition, body expression. Over the academic year this class is a weekly ongoing event, and Piotr makes the most of this different dynamics to help students to develop their own expression and language in drawing.

BLOCK 5:
24th April – 7th June

Foundation Program (Year 1)

Every week we expose the student to different currents in Recent Art History. This class is obligatory for students on the Foundation program and open to all students. It is necessary to have passed this class to access the 2nd Year of Metàfora’s Studio Arts Program. This class gives the students a grounding in the most influential themes in contemporary art since 1945.

Body and Limits (Recent Art History, Diana Padrón)

This block aims to give an introduction to Performance and Body Art practices mostly characterized by their rejection of a clear narrative, the use of chance-based structures, and direct appeal to the audience altogether challenging the conventional values of more traditional art forms.

At the end of the block students are asked to complete small test to demonstrate their knowledge on the material exposed. This class is obligatory for all Foundation students, and for Certificate and Diploma students who did not complete them during their first year.

During every Block students on the Foundation Program have a compulsory workshop which helps students answer conceptual questions materially and material questions conceptually, so as to encourage them not to see a divide between art theory and art practice.

Performance (Laura Llaneli)

One of the most popular classes, this workshop is taught by artist and in-house tutor Laura Llaneli. In this module students are encouraged to experiment with the body in all its facets: through examples of artist who work with time, space and context, students test their own and others limits.

Certificate / Diploma (Years 2-3)

This class introduces students to the theory, philosophers and thinkers that have been, and are still, the most influential on contemporary art, aesthetics and visual culture.

Art & Objecthood: Greenberg, Fried, Graham Hartman (Michael Lawton)

Recent trends in philosophy seek to update the ways through matter, objects, bodies –in a word, reality, can be took in account in thinking. These have also entailed a powerful effect on refreshing the ways artists focus on the material layer of the art, after some decades of discursive and linguistic prevalence. Graham Harman, a major figure of the so-called OOO (Object-Oriented-Ontology), has even declared concerning the possibilities of acquiring real knowledge of reality that “aesthetics is the root of all philosophy”.

A practical class that ensures students are challenged and exposed to new methodologies even when they are in the 2nd or 3rd Year of the Studio Arts Program.

Walking Workshop (Marc Vives)

Sound art is an artistic discipline in which sound is utilised as a primary medium or material. Like many genres of contemporary art, sound art may be interdisciplinary in nature, or be used in hybrid forms.

Most of the time, when we do artistic works we give all the importance to what refers to the visual. We think about the video before we think about the sound or how we should place the speakers in the room, for example. This workshop is focused on opening the listening to understand that sound is a very useful tool in our projects.

Once a week we have a class which is dedicated to getting to know the local art scene, while at the same time helping students to develop and refine their artistic discourse: talking about art and getting to know local and no-so-local artists.

Open to all students, but obligatory to all 2nd and 3rd year students.

Make MACBA Yours (Marc Larré)

One of the most important missions of an art school like Metàfora is to show its students not only to make art, to talk about art and to reflect on it. It is central that, as promoters of contemporary art, we sometimes pull the students out of the studios and present them with the contemporary context, the art scene.

As part of our studio arts program, we organize periodical visits to the temporary art exhibitions and the permanent collection, but also a more direct activity which we have baptized “Make MACBA Yours”.

For all students (Years 1, 2-3)

How to create an abstract painting with deep personal and aesthetic idea? How can a scale of the painting change its perception and why?

During these workshops Piotr Perski will give a historical background and basic tips and rules related to abstract painting. He will will start each painting day with a discussion of a painting and then a demonstration of how that painting is done along with thoughts, theories and ideas that are behind its execution.

Students are invited to create abstract pictures from the personal aesthetic idea and philosophical or literature interests in big scale format with previous analysis of micro and macroscopic pictures of a nature or cosmic space.

Oriol Texidor, in-house tutor and the artist who will be giving this workshop often works in land art, amongst other things.During these sessions he will explain what land art is and guide the students to create their own artwork.

Land art, variously known as Earth art, environmental art, and Earthworks, is an art movement that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s. As a trend, “land art” expanded boundaries of art by the materials used and the siting of the works. The materials used were often the materials of the Earth, including the soil, rocks, vegetation, and water found on-site, and the sites of the works were often distant from population centers.

In this workshop students learn the whole process for a screen printing edition, from preparing the photolith, coating the screen, exposing it to the light, developing, registering the support and printing. We will print on paper but also on different supports such as canvas, t-shirts, wood, glass or metal. Advanced students will learn the CMYK technique! Usually we end up with a “Printing Market Exchange” among all the participants.

During these workshop, Piotr Perski will teach portraiture (basic structure), parts of the face , lines and emotions, natural expression , likeness in a half-length portrait.

He will show students how to create a series of group portraits or family portraits working with  unusual materials such as old photos, tracing paper, paper plates and napkins. The portraits can depict not only the physical realistic aspects of the model, but can also integrate personal feelings, senses, and attributes.

These classes form “the basics” for understanding model drawing: construction of the body, anatomy, composition, body expression. Over the academic year this class is a weekly ongoing event, and Piotr makes the most of this different dynamics to help students to develop their own expression and language in drawing.