I was a bit surprised at some of the comments made in the feature on Eric Simard (“Artist knows no other way,” May 12) specifically his comments about the art world being “so subjective,” and describing “the reality of painting for his instructors’ likes and dislikes.”
I am a recent MFA grad from Western’s visual arts department and I would think a university publication would be a bit more conscientious about how they portray academic professionalism in the arts. While it’s completely legitimate to be a self-taught artist like Simard, students in visual arts are not given marks based on “likes and dislikes.” They are graded based on how well they fulfill assignment requirements, on their skills and abilities in their chosen media, and on how well they are able to speak and write about their work.
Arts professors have years, if not decades, of training and experience looking at and talking about art. To reduce their evaluations to purely subjective likes and dislikes is absurd.