“I came to BAI in September 2017 without very much knowledge about what the institute would offer, how I would work or what skills I would leave with upon completion of my stay. My main goal was to leave after three months of the Portfolio Program with an answer to the question of if I wanted to pursue Fine Art as my career. Six months later I’m leaving BAI feeling more fulfilled and inspired than I thought I would – it has exceeded my expectations.
The directors Ralf and Stephanie are excellent mentors in the sense that they have a wealth of knowledge about the art world from business, creative and social perspectives, but they allow you to absorb and enquire at your own pace. The program is structured in such a way that participants must be self-motivated and decide how much or little they want to achieve during their stay, but stimulating discourse, advice and collaborative growth are available at all times from Ralph, Stephanie and the other participants. The atmosphere of the studio, especially if it is a reasonably full block of study, is energetic and motivating. Berlin has a wealth of art events and spaces to explore and the Program encourages participants to expand their artistic practice beyond the studio (sometimes it’s hard to leave… you may get lost in the studio painting, chatting to your mates and living off pretzels from the bakery next door).
If you enroll in the Portfolio Program there is ample opportunity to discuss your work and plenty of constructive critique on what artistic path may be the best for you, how to compile your portfolio and what to include to make you a serious candidate when applying to schools.
If you’re looking for a lot of workshops or intensive teaching, this may not be so much for you – there are stimulating guest lectures, seminars or workshops each week, but this is not an instructive school. It is very self-motivated and more about allowing you to learn about your own art practice and giving you the space and discourse to do so.
Overall I would highly recommend the institute. Many people come for a one-month stay, to experiment in a new setting and be inspired by the art scene in Berlin. I would recommend staying a little longer – the participants are very international and so transient that sometimes it feels as though a month passes in a rush of new faces only to be replaced the next month. Stay a while and you will experience the full value of the creative environment.
Many thanks to Ralf and Stephanie for their positive energy and commitment!”