The spring session offers an exhaustive exploration of Paris’ artistic scene. Mornings are dedicated to Language class at La Sorbonne, while afternoons are spent studying art history and making art.
I was connected with artists and art critics who enabled me to turn my Visual Research Project into an artistic experience that will remain memorable – Jeta Mulaj is currently a philosophy student at Villanova University.
Language Class (120h)
French language courses are taught at the elementary, intermediate, or advanced levels at the Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne with other international students. The groups are limited to 15-20 students of similar levels, and are based on grammar, oral practice, phonetics, and literature for the more advanced levels. Grades are based on final tests and a separate phonetic grade. For more details, check our Sorbonne page.
The Art of the Museum (60h)
This seminar is devoted to understanding the role that museums and other cultural institutions play in shaping our vision, and in developing a more critical relationship to them. Students analyze the relationship that museums and exhibitions’ settings create between the viewer and the works of art. Fundamental questions raised in this class are : what kind of art do we see in museums? How is art history written? How do we interpret artworks? How do we understand them depending on context, experience, or knowledge?
Most classes take place in museums, historic monuments and art galleries, notebook, sketchbook and camera in hand. They are prepared by theoretical readings (general texts on the aesthetic experience and articles on the various roles of museums), and followed by discussions and written presentations. Throughout this course, we have in-depth discussions of individual art works, we visit some of the most famous art museums in the world : le Louvre, Orsay, Pompidou, Branly, Picasso and Rodin museums, Palais de Tokyo, Jeu de Paume (or Maison Européenne de la Photographie), Musée de la Cinémathèque, art galleries and many more.
One of the most important purposes of this course is to make the students more active and self-confident viewers, able to use the museum as a source for their own creations. We help students develop a more personal relationship to the often awe-inspiring and overwhelming display of culture that Paris is famous for. To this aim, assignments and grades will encourage personal exploration of the infinite artistic resources of Paris, through a collective students’ blog featuring short exhibitions reviews, personal reflexions, sketches, or creative works (photographs, drawings, ideas) inspired by the works seen in museums.
This seminar is taught by academics, and provides ample opportunity to meet professionals : artists, museum curators, gallerists, etc.
Creative workshop (60h)
“Creativity takes courage.” Henri Matisse
The aim of this class is to examine the notion of “creativity” and how to develop it through a structured approach, a notion that may seem paradoxical at first.
How do we encourage invention, imagination, creation in a context like Paris – a city filled with images and traditions “to suffocation”, as artist Sherrie Levine once said? How can we establish a dialogue with the city, with the masterpieces of art history, and collaborate with each other as we explore forms of creation? How do the interactions between the art student and the surrounding world nourish or stifle her voice ? This workshop explores contemporary creation, and confronts the students with their own creative blocks or limitations. After several sessions of research, meetings with artists, innovative exercises, collective discussions and short projects, the goal will be to create a personal project (drawings, photography, video, performance, intervention) within the space of Paris. Visiting and observing the city helps the students reach an understanding of creative processes and of themselves based on analysis, drawing, sketches, photographs, short videos and presentations.
Research Project (90h)
The semester culminates in the personal research project, which is made by the student supervised by an advisor, who will be an artist, professional, or academic according to the type of project chosen by the student.
The personal project can take a variety of forms. Essays will generally be supervised by academics (art history professor, museum curator or other). But most students chose to make art, with projects in photography, video, installation, performance, dance, painting, drawing, sculpture, creative writing. In this case, the project is supervised by a French artist, and sometimes made collectively with him or her.
The personal projects are collectively exhibited on the last week of the program.
PSAC is a small program, which means that we will enthousiastically support your creative developement, and find the ressources and contacts that your need.
So, depending on the student’s interest, school requirements, and majors, we regularly arrange electives, which will be taken either for an extra fee, or replace another component of the curriculum.
For instance, we have set up dance classes, drawing classes, typography classes, cello classes, voice lessons, photography, script-writing, video.
Electives you may wish to take are discussed during the application stage.