FAS hosts forums on Fine Arts program suspension

Fine Arts DSC point to ‘neglect’ from FAS

The Fine Arts program at Queen’s has been under revision for 10 years.
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The Faculty of Arts and Science (FAS) took a step forward in deciding the future of the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) at Queen’s in October.

BFA community members were invited to third-party facilitated consultations over the past month to discuss how a temporary admissions suspension to the program could be used for refurbishing fine art instruction and determining what resources are required to keep the program afloat.

During October, consultations were held with BFA students, faculty, staff, and members of student and university leadership. The FAS denied The Journal access to the consultations.

Presidents of the Fine Arts Department Student Council, Lauren Russo and Claire Dobbie, have been involved in the formal process for a temporary suspension of the BFA since it was first proposed in September. 

READ MORE: FAS considering suspension of fine arts program

“As clients who pay to be a part of this institution, we are not satisfied with the services of the FAS on this matter,” Russo and Dobbie said in a joint statement to The Journal

“If they cared about the student experience they would hear the nearly unanimous opposition of a freeze from the Fine Arts Department, Art History/Art Conservation Department, and various other faculties, and decide against a freeze of admissions.”

The BFA admits 30 students annually. The FAS notes students should expect to pay an additional $1,200 for materials in addition to their tuition to participate in the program.

In 2012, the FAS announced a suspension of the BFA, which was reversed later in the academic term.

“We are concerned that they will use our frustrations as a means of evidence to frame the Fine Arts Program as the problem, when the real problem is the neglect we’ve been facing from the FAS for 11 years,” Russo and Dobbie added.

Russo and Dobbie, both of whom are set to graduate this year, are concerned a BFA admissions suspension undermines the validity of their degrees with future employers.

“The FAS are taking the idea of a freeze way too lightly. We are met with empty promises that “everything will be fine” when in reality, current students will be left with no security that their graduating degree will be viable,” Russo and Dobbie said.

Since the first suspension was proposed in 2012, a potential solution has been departmentalizing the BFA with another program.

A merger between BFA and the Film Department was proposed at the time. Now, Art History is being suggested as the BFA’s new home.

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