Metàfora within the Barcelona art context
Metàfora is strongly connected to Barcelona’s art scene. For us it is important that students understand that making art today is about active participation, collaborative work and community. Every week, we encourage our students to go to exhibition openings and art events around the city.
The student experience at Metàfora differs from that gained in big universities with hundreds of students. Our size and independent status allows for a personal and intimate teaching practice and interpersonal connection between students and their tutors, teachers and the office staff. Every student counts and is catered for in an individual manner. We strongly believe that this personal approach enriches our students’ journey towards the professionalization of their art practice.
Nobody can thrive in a vacuum. This is especially so in the case of professional artists.
During our weekly Assembly sessions we inform students about ongoing or upcoming openings. Students also recommend art exhibitions to each other and share invitations, all this with the intention of getting insider information about the Barcelona art scene.
With the help of our local gallerist, artists, curators and cultural manager friends, we help our students understand the different components of the contemporary art scene and how to access it.
It important that Metàfora’s art students feel welcome and at home in this art world which they – by definition – form part of.
Student Exhibitions and Events
Every semester the students of Metàfora’s Studio Arts Program have the possibility of participating in open calls for group exhibitions in galleries around the city. These exhibitions are a great opportunity to showcase artwork in events which attract hundreds of visitors.
At Metàfora, we consider this kind of experience essential for the training of any young artist and we expect everyone to take active part in the preparation of the exhibition: from preparing the press release and promoting the event on social media, to hanging the show and writing artist statements.
Besides the open calls where all students can participate, every semester Metàfora organizes smaller exhibitions or events for intermediate and advanced students on the Studio Arts Program.
These are often small 2-3 person exhibitions in venues central to the local contemporary art scene. Our advanced and intermediate art students also get the opportunity to participate in large art events including LOOP, the Barcelona Video Art Festival.
Working with a Visiting Curator
Every year all art students are invited to participate in two major Open Studio exhibitions held around the grounds at Metàfora. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase their latest and work to the local art community, and family and friends.
This year we are pleased to announce that the June Open Studios exhibition will be designed and carried out by curator Gisela Chillida.
Gisela (Barcelona, 1987) is a prominent young curator in Barcelona’s art context and a talented writer and art critic, who participates in a number of events and exhibitions every year.
As Visiting Curator Gisela will meet periodically with all students during the last three months of the course leading up to the Open Studios exhibition. Eventually she will design and promote the show showcasing the student artworks she learns about during this period.
As a consequence of having a Visiting Curator design the Open Studios, the exhibition will be included in Art Nou, an art festival dedicated to presenting the artwork of young artists. The festival takes place between July and September and is organized by the Association of Galleries of Barcelona who amongst other things, also organize the Barcelona Gallery Weekend.
Collaboration with Barcelona’s Contemporary Art Museum MACBA
Metàfora has recently signed a collaboration act with MACBA, Barcelona’s acclaimed Contemporary Art Museum.
The fact that MACBA has opened its doors to Metàfora’s art students, has given us a great chance to broaden our horizon and dive into an large collection of Catalan and international art from the 1970’s to the present day.
As a consequence to this collaboration all art students staying on the Studio Arts Program for an Academic and Calendar year are entitled to a free “friends of MACBA” card with unlimited access to the museum and its events for an entire year.
Metàfora incorporates several activities in the Studio Arts Program which take place within the museum itself. Our class named “Make MACBA yours” aims to let our students get to know the collection and the archive. The main mission is that our students feel at home at the museum, intimate with its scheduled activities and welcome at all times.
As a special privilege, the public presentation of the thesinas by Metàfora’s 3rd year students is celebrated in the beautiful auditorium of the museum, a great event to decorate any artist’s CV.
Art trip to Madrid
Every year at the end of February, Metàfora organizes a 3-day trip to Madrid to attend ARCO, one of Europe’s largest international art fairs, with the participation of more than 200 prestigious galleries.
As a spin off of ARCO, during this time of the year Madrid is brimming with art events, including an Open Studios festival, many upcoming alternative art fairs, gallery festivals and art parties. We make the most our of our brief visit, enjoying our art-marathon to the full.
Metàfora organizes events especially tailored for the art students. These are designed and led by the accompanying in-house tutors, who have lots of friends and colleagues in the artistic fabric of the Madrid art scene.
Whilst in Madrid, we also encourage our students to also visit important permanent exhibitions and institutions during their free time. We strongly recommend all artists visit the Museo Reina Sofia to see Picasso’s famous “Guernica”, among others, or Museo del Prado to experience Velazquez’ “Las Meninas” and Goya’s and El Greco’s fascinating artwork.
This trip is no doubt one of the highlights of the year, and usually coincides with Block 4. In addition to all the art, this short trip is also a great occasion for students to better get to know each other and enjoy social activities as well as cultural events.
The trip to Madrid is organized as a low budget trip and is included in the fees the first year for students taking the Academic or Calendar year. A small fee applies for all other students and friends who would like to join.
Art Fairs in Barcelona
Barcelona is itself an art hub, home to several exciting art events. At Metàfora we try to include these as much as possible in our activities, encouraging students to feel part of the professional art scene, where they – no doubt – belong.
This is a selection of yearly art events we recommend attending:
- SWAB is Barcelona’s international art fair celebrated every year in October
- the Barcelona Gallery weekend with free talks and walks takes place in September or October
- the Tallers Oberts BCN (Barcelona Open Studios) are held in May. This is an opportunity for students to network by visiting artist studios all over the city.
Making the most of Barcelona’s creative weave, Metàfora also adds its grain of sand to several art events:
- A screening event as part of LOOP, Barcelona’s biggest video festival, usually showcasing advanced student’s video art and usually held in November
- the Art Libris, an artist book festival, where Metàfora habitually participates with a stand in this event for art schools and universities organized by the design school EINA.
- the Art Nou gallery festival for young artists under the guidance of an established visiting curator celebrated between June and September.