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Four well-established departments form the new Valand Academy

News: May 28, 2012

Four well-established departments are now to merge into one Academy. On 1st July 2012 the School of Film Directing, the School of Photography, the Valand School of Fine Arts and the Department of Literary Composition, Poetry and Prose at the University of Gothenburg are to form the Valand Academy. Mick Wilson, artist and writer, and currently Dean at GradCAM, the Graduate School of Arts and Media in Dublin, is to be head of this new department.

On 1st July 2012 the Valand Academy, a new arts institute at the University of Gothenburg, will come into being after a merger of four well-established departments. The aim of this merger is to create a dynamic inter-arts environment that will enable us to promote subject development, foster innovative teaching and learning practices, and where new fields of research in the arts can also emerge.

In this new and exciting environment for Film, Photography, Fine Art and Literary Composition students will be given the opportunity to develop, expand and explore their artistic practice and actively engage in current processes of change within the arts – in both Swedish and international arenas.
The Valand Academy will be headed by Mick Wilson, Head of Department, and Mats Olsson, Deputy Head of Department, who is now temporary Head of the Valand School of Fine Arts.

Mick Wilson, who is an artist and writer with a doctoral degree from the National College of Art & Design, Ireland, is currently Dean at GradCAM, the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media – which is an institute divided between the National College of Art & Design and the Dublin Institute of Technology; he has also been Head of Department at the Department of Fine Art at the Dublin Institute of Technology from 2007-2012.

Mick Wilson is a prominent figure within higher arts education in Europe. He initiated and now leads the European networking project for the enhancement of third-cycle (doctoral) arts research and education – SHARE; he is also an active member of EARN, a network the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts is also a member of together with 10 other European visual arts institutes. Mick Wilson is much in-demand as a guest lecturer and has also been the co-organiser of a number of international conferences.

- It is a great honour, he says, to be given the opportunity to join the community of internationally respected artists, writers, filmmakers, photographers and curators based here in the University of Gothenburg.
- The importance of education and research rooted in the critical imaginative practices of the authors of public culture – film, photography, literature, art – he continues, is increasingly recognised across the globe. Given Swedish intellectual and cultural contributions to global public culture, joining colleagues here at the University of Gothenburg offers an exceptional opportunity to develop as an educator, researcher and artist and to learn from the communities of practice based here in the city and the wider regional and national milieu.

Anna Lindal, Dean at the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, the University of Gothenburg, is very pleased to recruit Mick Wilson to the Faculty.
- I consider Mick Wilson an intelligent, empathic and dedicated leader who has a sharp intellect and a great interest in people, Anna Lindal says. His long experience of leading arts institutes together with the strong international perspective and the networks he brings along with him to the Valand Academy will mean a great deal for this department.

The Valand Academy is the result of an extensive development project at the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, the University of Gothenburg, which was launched at the beginning of 2010. From 1st July the Faculty’s seven departments will become the following three departments: the Valand Academy, the Academy of Music and Drama and HDK – School of Design and Crafts.

With about 39,000 students and a staff of 5,700, the University of Gothenburg is one of the major universities in Europe. Most of its eight faculties are located in central Gothenburg. The University’s education and research maintain a breadth and quality that have earned recognition in the form of numerous awards, including a recent Nobel Prize, and a steady stream of applicants at all levels. www.gu.se.

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