Contemporary Art Academy Launches First Global Online Art Education Platform

photo to Peter Kwong.

The international art community is witnessing a groundbreaking collaboration as curator and artist Zavier Ellis, noted for his work with the gallery CHARLIE SMITH LONDON and initiatives like THE FUTURE CAN WAIT, YOUNG GODS and the UKRAINE SUPPORT PLEDGE, teams up with artist and former Elephant Academy manager Mathew Gibson, a highly-regarded artist/educator. 

The resulting partnership has led to the establishment of the Contemporary Art Academy. This new online platform aims to tackle the affordability crisis in art education by offering high-quality courses led by leading figures in contemporary art, all at accessible prices.

Driven by their shared belief in the transformative power of education, Ellis and Gibson bring a wealth of experience to the table, spanning gallery management, curation, artistic practice, teaching, and residency program direction. Ellis emphasises education’s pivotal role in shaping his career, citing his academic journey at Manchester University and his MA in Fine Art at City & Guilds as transformative experiences. Similarly, Gibson underscores the empowering nature of education, highlighting its role in unlocking personal potential and fostering genuine engagement with the art world.

At the heart of the Contemporary Art Academy is its flagship course, PERSONAL PRACTICE (PG1), which is tailored for artists looking to enrich their practice within a supportive community. This 8-week online program offers live sessions, individual and group critiques, seminars, and presentations, providing participants with a comprehensive exploration of artistic development. Graduates of PERSONAL PRACTICE (PG1) gain access to subsequent courses like CRITICAL CONTEXT (PG2), PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE (PG3), and GALLERY SECTOR (PG4), each priced at an affordable £300.

The impact of the Contemporary Art Academy is tangible, evidenced by testimonials from PERSONAL PRACTICE (PG1) alumni. Participants expressed a profound gratitude for the course’s enhancing artistic dialogue, fostering camaraderie, and supporting personal growth and mental well-being. Zavier Ellis added, “We were immediately encouraged by the response. Many artists who completed PERSONAL PRACTICE (PG1) told us the course had given them confidence and made them feel less isolated. It also became apparent that we were building a strong community, and these factors quickly became primary motivators for us”.

As the Contemporary Art Academy continues to evolve, its founders remain committed to democratising access to quality art education. The Academy seeks to empower individuals to realise their artistic aspirations and engage critically with contemporary culture through diverse courses catering to artists at various career stages. Mathew Gibson expressed, “It’s incredibly fulfilling to establish a supportive environment where artists can freely share their creativity and ideas. Our online platform allows individuals from remote areas to connect with fellow practitioners, fostering a genuine sense of community. The dedication and enthusiasm displayed by artists participating in these courses unexpectedly inspired us. While we anticipated a positive reception when developing the courses, the level of commitment and energy exhibited by the artists truly surprised us.”

Contemporary Art Academy represents a paradigm shift in online art education. With his distinguished career in curation and artistic endeavours, Ellis brings invaluable expertise, while Gibson’s contributions to the Elephant Academy and other initiatives offer a fresh perspective. Together, their collaborative efforts promise to redefine the landscape of art education in the digital age.

The website provides detailed course information for those eager to explore Contemporary Art Academy’s offerings. Follow @contemporaryartacademy on Instagram for the latest updates and insights from the art education sphere.

Top Photo L to R Zavier Ellis and Mathew Gibson Photo Peter Kwong

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