What does TAAS Offer

The Alternative Art School is a new kind of art school reimagined for our connected world.

As a global school, we are interconnecting working artists around the world with fellow artists, instructors, and organizations. We do this in a variety of ways.

This is not your typical school. We are utilizing the internet to collapse geographical space, creating classrooms with artists on different continents in real-time and something magical happens.

We offer a structured and intimate global extension of your local embodied art practice. With a growing roster of extraordinarily talented artists, curators, dreamers, and do-ers, -we allow access and connection across a disparate array of experiences and disciplines.

When it comes to art, the question is not how we make better art, the question is how do we make a better society. We have already witnessed that our pedagogical model offers a profound and meaningful experience for the artists that attend. We believe in a form of art that grapples with the lived experience of being an artist from rent to work.

Rather than throwing a student out into the world hoping that the global landscape of business and art galleries takes them on, we want to equip them with the tools to consider and produce alternatives.

Synchronous Courses:

Your instructors are live with you to teach & facilitate discussions. Our small intimate classes, provide opportunities for personal feedback.

Our 7-week courses have weekly Office Hours for their students to sign-up for. Here you can meet one-to-one with your visionary instructor. These classes meet once a week for 2.5 hours.

Our 2-Week Intensives meet three times a week for 2.5 hours.

Both class options include a social and technical Orientation, an End-of-Semester Event, and student life offerings during the whole semester period. Our technical Orientation is mandatory for new students. You will be invited to sign-up for one of these sessions the week before our semester begins.

Student Life Offerings

TAAS is far more than courses, it’s a community. For the whole semester, (Spring 2022 runs for 15 weeks!) students are encouraged to participate in a range of our-of-class happenings:

All Students are welcome to participate in the following programming which is included with their course:

  • Share Sessions: Critiques but with an emphasis on supportive listening wherein you can share proposals, ideas, finished or work in progress, or even practice giving an artist talk. Each student gets around 30 minutes, depending on how many sign up for the session. Share Sessions are hosted by TAAS affiliated artists.
  • Tea Time: Unstructured social get-togethers after Visiting Artist Talks wherein we can digest the talk together.
  • Office Hours: Weekly Student Support by TAAS staff.
  • Visiting Artist Talks: Weekly Artist Talks with visiting artists and hosted by various instructors, students are able to ask questions and engage with guests. Some of our visiting artists and organizations who’ve enriched the digital class experience are Michael Rakowitz, Caroline Woolard, curator Galit Eilat, Jeremy Deller, Ahmet Ogut, and Rashida Bumbrey.

Student-Initiated Opportunities

TAAS is more than a school, it’s a community and our platform allows us to facilitate many ways students can collaborate, share, and communicate outside of classes

  • Create a Crew: Crews are like Clubs, Students have a group messaging board and the ability to schedule group video meetings with each other, share opportunities, and carry on conversations around specific topics. Some current Crews students run are the SkillShare Crew, The Temple: All things Spiritual.
  • Host an Event: We encourage all our attending artists to build community through hosting student-initiated events. In the past our Skillshare Crew has hosted skill exchange workshops, the Temple has hosted spiritual events. We've also had attending artists host artist discussions, readings, and talks!

Frequently Asked Questions

Our fee structure is based on careful consideration of two basic economic factors: affordable art education and paying faculty well.

Each course specifies its price on its individual course page. Prices range from 1250 – 2500 depending on the instructor. All prices are in USD.

We are a new school and it is our goal to make this education environment as affordable as possible. In our inaugural quarter, we secured eight scholarships with forty-five total artists attending. In our second quarter, we secured thirteen fellowships with fifty-six artists attending. We are actively fundraising to make scholarships available.

There are no refunds once you have been accepted, signed your contract, and paid. Courses need to be paid in advance before your first class begins.

Our instructors are giving their time no matter how many students are signed up, so our costs are fixed and as a new school, our flexibility on this front limited.

TAAS is for artists, makers, and doers at every stage of their artistic life. We believe strongly that this mixed-level experience is an incredible opportunity.

TAAS is for artists who want to participate in a global community and learn from the best artists in the world.

We believe in a scale of community structures so here an artist does not get lost. You are not a number, you are an artist that these world-class artists and curators know.

The uniqueness about TAAS, is that our instructors are often working artists with complex schedules, therefore you’ll see amazing artists come, go and return from quarter to quarter. Join our newsletter to never miss when we open enrollment and announce our Course Line-up.

TAAS is not accredited. We do not believe an education at TAAS should replace a basic holistic liberal arts education. We instead offer this as an opportunity for artists of every age over eighteen to gain a solid foundation in a kind of art that engages with the world. We stand by the education we offer and are doing it to make the world a better place.

While TAAS is not a non-profit, we certainly encourage those with means and a big heart to support this initiative, its students, and instructors. We offer sponsorship opportunities at all levels.

Returning students are given early enrollment.

Our Team

Nato Thompson

Nato Thompson is an author, curator, and what he describes as “cultural infrastructure builder”. He has worked as Artistic Director at Philadelphia Contemporary, Philadelphia Contemporary, and Creative Time as Artistic Director and as Curator at MASS MoCA.

Thompson organized major Creative Time projects including The Creative Time Summit (2009–2015), Pedro Reyes’ Doomocracy (2016), Kara Walker’s A Subtlety (2014), Living as Form (2011), Trevor Paglen’s The Last Pictures (2012), Paul Ramírez Jonas’s Key to the City (2010), Jeremy Deller’s It is What it is (2009, with New Museum curators Laura Hoptman and Amy Mackie), Democracy in America: The National Campaign (2008), and Paul Chan’s Waiting for Godot in New Orleans (2007), among others.

He has written two books of cultural criticism, Seeing Power: Art and Activism in the 21st Century (2015) and Culture as Weapon: The Art of Influence in Everyday Life (2017).

Amber Imrie

Born into communal isolation and raised outside the formal school system, Amber Imrie is a queer visual artist and educator with a passion for creating alternative communities that cultivate a holistic creative learning environment built on compassion and equity.

Imrie was raised off-the-grid in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas. Mostly homeschooled, Imrie had tested out of high school, entered community college at sixteen. She received her BA from UC Berkeley and MFA from Stanford University. She’s been the recipient of many awards, fellowships, and residencies including the Murphy Cadogan Award and Anita Squires Fowler Award in Photography. Amber Founded and ran an art magazine called Venison Magazine from 2014-2017, a pop-up residency called Camp Venison, and has facilitated artistic dialogue in and outside of formal education. Imrie has taught at a variety of institutions, including UC Berkeley and Stanford University. Amber is currently a founding team member of The Alternative Art School

Imrie’s art practice draws from their personal narrative and the culture of American Southern rural life from a queer perspective. Imrie has exhibited nationally and internationally and attended several art residency programs both within and outside the United States. Imrie currently lives in Åland Islands, Finland with their partner.

Theresa Rose

Theresa lives and works in her beloved hometown, Philadelphia, PA, as an artist, educator, and arts organizer. Her passion for the city fuels the content of her studio and curatorial practice. Rose’s mixed-media works on paper pay tribute to the complex beauty found in the urban environment.

Her curatorial work equally uses the urban landscape as a site for play and social possibility. From testing the urban soil and offering free soup, (Futurefarmers’ Soil Kitchen) to new forms of economy in the culturally dense 9th Street Market (Jon Rubin’s 9th Street Stock Exchange), her projects continue to explore the possibilities of urban life.

Rose earned a BA in Art Education from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, and MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She is also a certified Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga teacher. Her work has been part of exhibitions at Fleisher Art Memorial, Institute of Contemporary Art, The Print Center, Little Berlin, Crane Arts, and Seraphin Gallery.