The Bruce High Quality Foundation, the mostly anonymous artist collective founded by a group of Cooper Union alumni, will reopen its free unaccredited art school, the Bruce High Quality Foundation University (BHQFU), in a new location, on the 3rd floor of 34 Avenue A.
The school, which was founded in 2009 on West Broadway with classes like “XXXtreme Performance Studies,” “The Artist at Work” and the recurring workshop class “What is a Metaphor?”, began as a response to the “$200,000-debt-model of art education.” The first class emphasized a collaborative spirit: it was called “B.Y.O.U.” (Build Your Own University), and in it, according to a course description, students talked about “admission procedures, rubrics of success, governance, etc.” An open house at the new location, on Sept. 9 at 4 p.m., will pick up the discussion where they left off.
“This Open House will be an opportunity for people who have participated in the past and people who are interested in participating in BHQFU’s future to connect with each other and start brainstorming,” BHQF said in an email interview.
The stakes are arguably higher now, though, considering that Cooper Union—New York’s free and esteemed credited art school—will start charging graduate students a steep tuition of $19,275 per semester in the 2013-2014 academic year. (To quote the BHQFU website, “Something’s got to give.”)
“BHQFU will function by inviting artists and thinkers to collaborate on the development of BHQFU’s curriculum and programming. In this sense BHQFU will be continuously recreating itself. For now we’re meeting with lots of people, talking to them about ways they may want to be involved. We haven’t settled on specific programming for the fall. The plan for the first ‘semester’ is to bring people together, and engage them in a conversation about what BHQFU can be, building toward a collaboratively developed program for 2013.”
Gearing up for the reopening, BHQF made a 30-day tour of U.S. art schools and institutions to discuss the state of art education today, and what it could become in the future. They made the journey in a stretch limo painted to look like a school bus.