Metàfora was founded in 1999 by artist Jette Bjerg and artist and art therapist Carles Ramos. Inspired by their training at Universitat de Barcelona, Goldsmith’s College, London and the Royal Academy in Copenhagen, they designed Metàfora as a creative hub, an art factory with two different lines of work: studio arts and art therapy.
At Metàfora, Jette and Carles are accompanied by a team of professionals – experienced academic staff and administrators – all working on making Metàfora a wonderful place to work and study.
Over the past two decades Metàfora has grown and evolved, extending its activities over several types of training at university level. After working with both the University of Barcelona and Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Metàfora has continued as an independent institution, in charge of its own course designs and teaching methodology.
Metàfora’s core objective is quality teaching and individual attention to our students. Every year we welcome around 45 studio arts students, as well as several large groups of art therapy students, without loosing sight of this goal.
What kind of School is Metàfora?
Unlike traditional art schools where technical know-how is the sole focus, at Metàfora we teach tools and artistic techniques classes, but we also believe the central ideas behind the art work are important. So, we do not only want to teach our students how to make art. We also want them to think about what they are making and articulate their ideas.
Every week we teach painting, life drawing, sculpture, printmaking. These classes are accompanied by several core-activities aimed at helping our students develop their artistic discourse, their style and language alongside other aspects of their art practice.
Though introduction to Recent Art History, Critical Theory and debate groups, Metàfora’s students learn and gradually grow into becoming critical beings, capable of formulating independent ideas and expressing them artistically.
The practical workshop and theoretical input culminate in recurrent Discourse Reviews, “crits” or artwork presentations, where all students show their work to the rest of the students and tutors.
At Metàfora, students and teachers are consistently involved in the deliberation about content and discourse of the work. We expect our students to be ready to take socio-political responsibility seriously in their art, and proudly hold close awareness of the important issues which culture and humanity is faced with today.
Who are our Students?
Metàfora is a small, independent art school with a varied student population. There are an estimated total of around 50 international art students on the course at any given time. The Foundation Program will normally host around 25 students, whereas the Certificate and Diploma have slightly more reduced student groups.
In the student group there is usually a number of students between 18 to 23 years old, who are traveling the world, pursuing a meaningful start of their adult life. This group of students is supplemented by other students who tend to be 25 or older, with previous studies and professional experience, perhaps considering a change of career, or a return to the arts.
Many students come to Metàfora with the idea of of learning about the contemporary art world and becoming a part of it. The difference between Metàfora and university programs in Fine Arts lays precisely in the emphasis we place on professionalization. These students often come with previous studies and a desire to consolidate their artistic practice.
Naturally, there is also space for students come to Metàfora as cultural nomads, simply to get a different perspective on life and their own creative potencial. Some are on a sabbatical stay away from their current job or studies, and some are students, who after some years of studies or professional activity are longing to return to the dream of a creative practice.
Space and Facilities
Metàfora is spread across three old connecting factory buildings, which together add up to about 1.400 m. The school is located in the area of Sants, a 10 minutes metro ride from Barcelona’s city center.
The school’s historic architectural traces give the space it’s very special charm. It is no doubt a privilege to inhabit the space, especially considering that many industrial spaces like Metàfora are quickly disappearing all over Barcelona.
In addition to large areas and individual studios, Metàfora houses several classrooms and project spaces. For specific projects like large scale painting, installation building, photo shoots or video projection, students can book extra space to work in.
Metàfora is a small independent school, yet our facilities count with a tool room with welding-stations, woodwork and power-tools, a press for working with dry-needle or lino-cut, and small facility for working with with screen printing. There is also an area dedicated to clay.
The patios are probably the preferred spaces of most art students, mainly because of their plants and warm atmosphere. On sunny days students work here, or simply spend their leisure time chatting about life and art.
Metàfora has three main outdoor areas: a small courtyard with a separate greenhouse space with beautiful light (loved by students for presenting work), a large courtyard with a turtle pond (inhabited by our mascot, Laurence) and several seating arrangements, and a back entrance with a lovely atmosphere of a forgotten Barcelona.
The students’ studios are open throughout the day between 9:00 – 23:00, seven days a week. All studios have division walls and are equipped with basic furniture, with the availability of keeping studio easels. There is Wi-Fi around the entire premises.
There is a small kitchen area by the main courtyard and students are welcome to eat their lunch at school.