Craig Robins' Free "Art+Research" School Still in the Works, Pushed Back to 2010

For all its recent advancements in the field of art, the key piece that Miami is missing is a top tier art school. Local developer Craig Robins, founder of Design Miami/ and a key figure in bringing Art Basel to Miami Beach, is looking to change all of that with his controversial and potentially revolutionary free art grad school. 

Writing about the plan last year for New York, former New Times-er Brett Sokol described the tuition free school as a potential haven for aspiring conceptual artists. 

Unlike at Columbia and Yale, there won't be any formal M.F.A. degrees awarded to those who complete the two-year program, which will revolve around a topical theme that changes with each entering biannual class. Accordingly, don't expect to see the "resident artists" hunker down in front of easels and live models. "Most art is conceptually based now. It's art based on an idea," says [Yale instructor Steven Henry] Madoff. "It didn't turn out that the twentieth century's most influential artist was Picasso. It turned out it was Duchamp ... We don't need to do foundation courses, how to draw, how to sculpt ... You don't need three credits for American Art History From 1945 to the Present."

Though, some had problems with its focus on conception over technique, while the staff at UM's existing MFA program wondered why Robins wouldn't just support the existing program. Believe me it needs it. I took a few photo classes while at UM, and the classrooms were practically sheds -- especially compared to the lush leather chair filled, board room-like classrooms of the business school.

AFP caught up with Robins, and he's still very much committed to the plan. Though, the slated opening of September of this year has been pushed back until 2010. 

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Kyle Munzenrieder