Frances Stark

  • University of Southern California Roski School of Art and Design MFA students and faculty at Michael Heizer’s Double Negative, 1970, Overton, NV, June 23, 2011. Photo: Sean Kennedy.


    IN AN ERA when creative economies are leading the hypermonetization of every aspect of life, from attention and identity to privacy and time, it’s not surprising that this country’s most progressive models of art education are under attack. In fact, the liberal arts and humanities are besieged across the board, increasingly expected to justify their funding, even their very existence, in universities and beyond. We are witnessing a massive cultural shift when we see the corporatization of higher education—with its top-down power structures, bloated bureaucracies, “synergistic” partnerships

  • Frances Stark

    LA’S ART SCENE continues to propagate with unwarranted optimism, like the palm trees that we natives call “volunteers,” the ones always poking through the cracks between the curb and the sidewalk. One simply can’t keep up with all the sprouts and weeds, let alone the bushes and trees. We have no fewer than nine art schools in the region with competitive MFA programs, meaning that every year an average of about 180 (mostly) young artists complete their studies. So every two years LA churns out 360 degreed individuals—and that makes for a massive circle. That vastness doesn’t even account