Jeannene M. Przyblyski
The education we offer at CalArts is an invitation to join a rare community of working artists, writers and critical thinkers. Our primary emphasis is to help students develop their own unique strengths and visions as individuals; and yet we also challenge them to develop the knowledge, skill and versatility to work with colleagues—to create collaboratively and across conventional disciplines. In some métiers, the need for collaboration is obvious: conducting an orchestra or directing a narrative film requires the energies of many others. But even in solitary pursuits—the painter alone in her studio, the novelist alone in his study—we recognize artists as agents of change on multiple fronts, culturally, socially and politically. Through rigorous programs combining investigation and critique, we work with our students to enable them to have an impact on our communities through their art—and to apply the power of creative thinking in unexpected ways to address problems of the world.
Social innovation is creative innovation: It is the result of people who dare to think beyond what they already know—and who strive for what they can only speculate may be true. In a new student-initiated feature of campus life, “Institute Commons,” we are setting aside blocks of creative free time during which students from across the Institute meet, brainstorm and experiment together, begin joint projects, and develop work outside the curricula. Institute Commons complements the already full slate of activities at school—in the classroom, in the studios and shops, in performance, in production, or teaching in the Community Arts Partnership (CAP) youth arts education program. Our students are in a position to capitalize on a truly enviable range of artistic resources in order to prepare for professional lives in the arts. As they define their own successes as they go, they will also remain, for the rest of their lives, part of a network of CalArtians that now spans the globe, continuing to open uncharted territories.
Dr. Przyblyski was appointed provost of CalArts in 2012. She previously was vice president and dean of academic affairs of the San Francisco Art Institute, and served on numerous Bay Area arts boards and commissions. A visual artist and art historian, she has long championed the arts as a means for civic engagement.