Member Spotlight - Southwest School of Art
First, I must say the obvious. San Antonio has enormously talented artists – musicians, writers, visual artists, etc. And, over the last decade or so there has been an ever-evolving recognition of the significant role the arts and cultural sector plays in San Antonio’s economic vitality and overall personality. Fortunately, this shift mostly offset the threat to the viability of most arts and cultural organizations brought on by the recession, and recently, it seems that San Antonio has attracted some exceptionally well-qualified and lively new leaders, which bodes well for the future?
What do people like most about taking
classes at the Southwest
School of Art?
Some like that we offer classes for all levels; some like that the classes are offered at convenient times of the day and week; some like that we teach so many different art forms; and ALL like the value they get – exceptional facilities, excellent faculty, and high-quality instruction overall for a reasonable price. In fact, we subsidize all of our classes.
The school has been a part of downtown San Antonio for decades.
How has the downtown location attributed to the school’s success?
The School’s location has contributed to its success in that the first campus, the Ursuline Campus, is a beloved historic site, San Antonio’s first school for girls, with its striking architecture in a lovely setting – a real downtown oasis. The inverse is also true – that the SSA has been a catalyst for the vibrancy of downtown. In the 1970’s our neighborhood was a blighted area, but the preservation of the historic site and the growing activity here gradually influenced other development. Today we’re the hub of a wheel that includes the Central Library, Baptist Medical Center, the Cadillac Lofts, several hotels, the Museum Reach of the River Walk, and the soon-to-be Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.
It seemed to us that San Antonio should be the site of the only independent college of art in Texas. In addition to the opportunity, we knew we were ready for the next step in our evolution. So, after thorough research regarding the capacity of our facilities, our accreditation readiness, and financial projections, we began developing curriculum, raising money for scholarships, planning capital improvements, and recruiting students. Our first academic dean, Dr. Eddie Dupuy, who has most recently been the graduate dean at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), will begin his post on May 1st.
Do you have any advice for someone considering enrolling in the new degree program?
My advice is pretty simple: make sure your application materials are top notch. We are only accepting 25 students in the first “legacy” class, and applicants will be selected based on four factors: 1) artistic ability, 2) academic achievement, 3) character, and 4) motivation. The applications are already on our website and will be accepted starting in October.
you think that all of the new downtown housing options will inspire students to
Absolutely, yes! We have included information about them in the materials we are distributing to prospective students.
We are all partners in making downtown San Antonio a great place to live, work, play, and learn!