What is the
Alternative Art School?
The Alternative Art School provides online art courses with the world’s most visionary artists. We are entirely online and cater to working artists from every part of the globe, which allows us to provide an active, invigorating, and non-traditional art-making experience. Learn more about TAAS below.
Our classes are intimate. Our instructors know your name and your work. You are a voice in conversation with other artists.
Our community of international artists ranges in a variety of ways: gender, age, race, geography, class, and experience. We are constantly working to make this a dynamic, engaging community where artists can inspire one another to make great art.
In Addition, every course includes weekly Campus Programming:
Weekly visiting artist talks
Weekly small group feedback session with your fellow TAAS artists
Weekly social hour with your fellow global artists
An Orientation and End-of-Session Event with Instructors and More
All these opportunities are optional and designed to nurture lasting community between attending artists
Want to learn more About TAAS? Reach out at: email@example.com to set up a 1-1 advisory meeting.
Watch our Video to learn more about The Alternative Art School
What our students have to say
“I’m Rebecca McGee Tuck, I’m a student at TAAS…and I’m here to say… How much I love it and what a great experience it is for me to be apart of this global art community”
Rebecca McGee Tuck
“After I got my MFA it became harder to find opportunities to study in community with people, which is ANOTHER thing I found at TAAS”
“The Alternative Art School for me is a place where I expanded my knowledge and network in an international environment”
“I would definitely recommend TAAS to anyone looking for a boost of inspiration or a way to connect with other artists around the world…”
“This is utopia, where everybody learns from each other and can share their work with artists around the world.”
“[Few Online events let you] interact and engage over several weeks with some of the most exciting artists and curators.”
TAAS at a Glance
Live online classes with the world’s best artists and curators
Small class sizes
Your instructors are live with you to teach & facilitate discussions. Our small intimate classes, provide opportunities for personal feedback.
Our Instructors are established, visionary and widely respected working artists.
Student life offerings
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.
Tea Time: Unstructured social get-togethers after Visiting Artist Talks wherein we can digest the talk together.
Visiting Artist Talks: Weekly Artist Talks with visiting artists and hosted by various instructors.
Our 7-week courses have weekly Office Hours for students. 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.
Student intiated opportunities
Create or Join 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.
Host an Event: We encourage all our attending artists to build community through hosting student-initiated events.
Frequently Asked Questions —
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 for any artist who wants to participate in a global community and learn from the best artists in the world. We believe in a community structure that is scaled so every artist is known by name. You are not a number, you are an artist that these world-class artists and curators know. Attending students must be eighteen years of age or older but TAAS students tend to be more mature with an average age of 45. Some of our artist have led robust careers in the arts, while others are getting back in-touch with their practice after raising children, or taking a career detour. TAAS is for creative who are never done learning and dream to connect with peers from all over the globe.
Spring Session is March 10th - May 26th 2023 Summer Courses will be announced in April 2023 Summer Session is June 16th - August 4th 2023 Fall Courses will be announced in June 2023 Fall Session is September 1st - November 10th 2023 Join our newsletter for enrollment email notifications and access to early enrollment.
Our fee structure at TAAS is based on careful consideration of two basic economic factors: affordable art education and paying faculty well. A percentage of your tuition goes directly to support our partial-scholarships and full fellowships. We often say, "we take money from the global north and apply it to the global south to create globally diverse classrooms." Each course specifies its price on its individual course page. Prices range from 1250 - 1750 depending on the instructor. All prices are in USD. We have discounts for multiple classes. Sign up for 2 classes and get $250 off, sign up for 3 classes and get $750 off Every course includes continuous membership to The Alternative Art School's online campus with weekly online events during our Sessions. The programming is structured to facilitate long-form critical exchange and community development among our artists around the globe. These sessions are open and FREE to all current and past students - so you can attend and participate, engage and discuss, grow and build long after your class or classes have ended.
We are a new school and it is our goal to make TAAS as affordable as possible and every student who pays tuition helps support our fellowship and scholarship program! Our financial model is simple, we pay our instructors a livable wage, keep a small admin team and apply the remaining portion of tuition dollars to support our TAAS Fellowships and Partial-scholarships. Every session we take your tuition dollars to support our partial-scholarships, which you can submit to with your application on our Apply page. During our Spring and Fall sessions, we partner with organizations and individuals to host full fellowships open calls. These calls expand our own support capabilities and we are always looking for institutions and individuals interested in partnering. You can find our full fellowships open calls on our website and sign up for our newsletter for keeping up to date. Our Full-fellowship open calls are always location based, and the locations are decided through conversations with our partnered organizations and individuals. Contact us via our contact page if you would like to know more about scholarship and fellowship opportunities!
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 is limited.
TAAS is unique in that our instructors are often working artists with complex schedules, therefore you’ll see amazing artists come, go, and return from semester to semester. Sign up for our newsletter below so you 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 any age to gain a solid foundation in an art practice that engages 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.
Acceptance to a course means acceptance to our school. You don't need to apply again for a future course or to attend any Campus Life events happening in sessions when you're not enrolled. You're just apart of this global community! Returning students are given early enrollment and are automatically given a partial-scholarship.
Why is Campus Programming included? If you ask "successful" artists for advice, they will often speak about their community and the opportunities and individuals they have to thank for the continued support. We've all heard it before, "networking" is important for getting the work out, but Openings are no longer the only way to meet and grow community in the arts. Campus life encompasses several weekly online sessions for artists to meet, workshop, give and get feedback, engage in topic discussions, and attend artist talks. We offer campus programming free of charge to everyone at TAAS because we know that this is incredibly powerful for launching art careers. Just two years in we are seeing the success of our program through our members ongoing achievements.
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.
Nato Thompson 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 is a queer artist and educator with a passion for cultivating communities with creative, holistic learning environments built on compassion and equity. Imrie’s art practice draws from her personal experience as a queer person interacting with the culture of the rural American South.
Born and raised off-the-grid in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas, and educated outside the formal school system, Imrie entered community college at sixteen. Amber Imrie received their BA from UC Berkeley and MFA from Stanford University. They’ve been the recipient of many awards, fellowships, and residencies including the Murphy Cadogan Award and Anita Squires Fowler Award in Photography. Imrie 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. Imrie is currently a founding team member of The Alternative Art School. She lives between Åland Islands, Finland and the Ozark Mountains in NW Arkansas.
You can see Amber’s art on her personal website here: www.amberimrie.com