Several things struck me about the the differences between the American and Australian approaches to fine art education. Firstly, in the US there’s more emphasis on the craft of being an artist – on being able to make art, not just conceptualise it. Second, there’s also more emphasis on turning up, working hard, and doing long hours. And third, there are staff who would have passed their use-by date in Australian art schools – but whose experience and teaching skill sets a benchmark we could well follow. One of these is Budge Hyde, who I was lucky enough to have running my Grad Drawing class.
Budge has been a practising artist and teacher for twice as long as many undergrads have lived. He still puts out more work than any of the grad students I worked with, on top of his teaching gigs at UMass and Greenfield Community College. And on top of this, he’s happy to give time to any student who’s serious about their work – and a strong push along to those who are coasting. His feedback carries the weight of his long experience, and his keen interest in where art comes from, especially the importance of the universal stories from classical mythology. Would that there were teachers like him everywhere.
Budge’s website is at www.budgehyde.com . His work will dispel any crazy notions you may have that we older folks are all stuck in the past.