Importance des Beaux-Arts dans l'enseignement artistique : Un Appel à l'Action

Importance of Fine Arts in Art Education: A Call to Action

I am one of those who love art because it allows me to delve into the heart of humanity. With a strong interest in ethnomusicology during my undergraduate degree, I explored cultures through their music. What depth… what happiness! You will understand that for me, all forms of art have their place! Imagine my surprise when Denis Jacques told me about the complete disappearance of Fine Arts teaching in educational institutions. I couldn't believe my ears! Institutions did not stop offering courses in music theory, analysis or even instrumental techniques when they opened up to so-called contemporary music.

How on earth did Western visual arts come to break with 2000 years of such rich artistic roots!?!

Driven by the need to understand, I invited Denis Jacques, artist, eminent defender of Fine Arts and founder of the Académie des Beaux-Arts de Québec, to a Facebook Live. Here are the reflections from this meeting and interactions with participants.

The Disappearance of Fine Arts Teaching in Institutions

The gradual disappearance of Fine Arts from classrooms and art studios is a direct consequence of the lack of flexibility in the educational approach to Fine Arts offered at the time.

Denis, with his unique perspective, painted a rather bleak picture of this situation: from the emergence of Impressionism, the Fine Arts began to lose ground, relegated to the background by the modern movements that dominated the field of artistic battle.

And yet, voices like that of Fernand Leduc, signatory of Refus Global, while seeking renewal, wanted to maintain a link with traditional techniques, marking an evolution of art rather than a rejection. This vision of an art that evolves in harmony with its heritage is, in my opinion, what allows the greatest artistic freedom for all.

Today, we are facing a swing of the pendulum where the teaching of Conceptual Art makes no room for the learning of Fine Arts in educational institutions. And to reassure you… or not… this situation is not unique to Quebec and Canada but indeed global!

Why Study Traditional Techniques

In our conversation, Denis Jacques delved into the essence of traditional Fine Arts techniques, elevating drawing, painting, and sculpture beyond mere creative tools. For him, these disciplines are the beating heart of artistic expression, a language in its own right. By mastering this language, artists hold the key to unlocking the doors to creativity.

Denis also shared his concerns about the current trend in art education, which seems to forget these foundations in favor of a more conceptual vision of art. He argued that without a solid understanding of these basics, artists might feel limited. For him, true artistic innovation arises from this dance between technical mastery and freedom of exploration, proving that it is by diving deep into the roots of art that one can rise to new horizons.

The declaration for the recognition of Fine Arts

At the heart of our exchange, Denis Jacques passionately expressed the fundamental importance of Fine Arts, not only as a discipline but also as an essential foundation of cultural enrichment and personal development. His deep conviction pushed him to create a powerful statement, pleading for a marked and significant return of the Fine Arts within our modern art education.

Declaration for the recognition of Fine Arts

In sharing this statement, Denis Jacques highlights the crucial importance of providing aspiring artists with an education that fully embraces the diversity and richness of the visual arts. This involves creating a space where tradition and innovation coexist harmoniously, allowing artists to draw on a rich heritage while exploring new creative avenues.

The “Declaration for the Renaissance of Fine Arts” is not just a plea for change; it is a manifesto for a future where art in all its diversity is celebrated and cultivated with passion and determination.

The Academy of Fine Arts: an example to follow

Denis Jacques made his commitment a reality by founding the Académie des Beaux-Arts de Québec, a beacon of inspiration. The Academy illustrates how the Fine Arts, embracing both tradition and innovation, can evolve in the modern world.

The Academy creates a space where artists can refine their technique while exploring new creative avenues, affirming that mastering the fundamentals is essential for any artist wishing to fully express their potential. If you would like to know more, I invite you to visit the Academy’s website:

The Renaissance of Fine Arts in Art Education: Necessity and Innovation

Reflecting on our passionate discussion with Denis Jacques and the multiple voices that were raised during our Facebook Live, one thing becomes evident: the renaissance of Fine Arts in our art education is not simply a matter of aesthetic preference, but a vital necessity for the future of future visual artists, our culture and our society. Denis' statement and the living example of the Académie des Beaux-Arts de Québec show us that it is possible to weave together the threads of tradition and innovation, creating a rich and diverse artistic fabric that celebrates all forms of expression.

This exchange reinforced my conviction that art, in all its splendor and complexity, should be accessible to all, serve as a bridge between cultures and eras, and act as a mirror reflecting the depth of human experience.

Your Participation is Crucial

I invite you to join this movement for the renaissance of Fine Arts by helping us create a list of actions to take for the renaissance of Fine Arts here!

Whether by supporting initiatives like the Academy of Fine Arts of Quebec, by discussing the place of Fine Arts in our education with those close to you, or simply by exploring and creating art yourself, each action counts.

I wish us a world where art is not only appreciated for its beauty, but also recognized for its essential role in our collective and individual development.

Amélie Pigeon

Vice-President of PygmaliART

1 comment

  • René Cecil

    Tellement pertinent, je suis de la vieille école où il était important d’observer et dessiner de manières précises, c’était parfois laborieux car les critères étaient importants, bien dessinés ne suffisait pas il fallait aussi y ajouter de l’émotion autant dans le coup de crayon que sur le sujet. Le problème aujourd’hui est que les « profs » n’ont pas appris le dessin donc ne peuvent pas l’enseigner c’est trop demandant, donc on parle plus d’un concept que d’une image qui n’as pas besoin de mot pour exprimer sa raison d’être. Merci pour cette publication

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