Art college education

The study of „clear“ and „applied“ art is carried-out at 3 art public colleges: Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (, Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (, Academy of Arts in Banská Bystrica (, private Academy of Music and Arts of Ján Albrecht in Banská Štiavnica ( and 3 faculties of other colleges (VŠ): Faculty of Arts (architecture, design and visual arts) of Technical University in Košice (, Faculty of Architecture of Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava ( and study programmes „Furniture and Interior Design“ at the Faculty of Wood Sciences and Technology of Technical University in Zvolen ( These are flagships of art school system in Slovakia.  At all these schools the teaching is under way in the first level (academic degree of bachelor [Bc.]) and in the second level (academic degree of Master of Art [Mgr. art.]; engineer [Ing.], engineer-architect [Ing. arch.]) of college education as the case may be. 

Many study programmes (however, not at every from above mentioned colleges) have the accredited also study programmes of third level (artistic and academic degree “Artis Doctor” [Art.D.], research and academic degree “Doctor of Philosophy” [PhD.]).

Some pedagogic faculties secure the study of teaching profession of visual/fine art, art of music as the case may be but it concerns education of pedagogues, above all, for 1st and 2nd level of basic schools, ZUŠ (Basic Art School) and CVČ (Centre of Leisure Time), that is, it concerns not education of artists preparing themselves for concert activity, alternatively creative artists. Specialized art colleges educate alike in science study programmes of corresponding art: theatre science, film science and multimedia, music theory, musicology, theory and history of architecture and design. Classic and applied science on art in various areas of sciences on culture and cultural connections are accredited at faculties of various universities and colleges predominantly of humanistic and societal-scientific focus. It concerns mainly science of music, history of visual/fine art, linguistics and science on literature, culturology, aesthetics, ethnology, culture management, library sciences or culture sociology and the like.

Applied art that we rank into the category of cultural and creative industry is being teached at art colleges (e. g. architecture, industrial/graphic/consumption design, multimedia, theatre management and management of art) as well as at universities of technical focus (e. g. Faculty of Architecture.

The study of artistic branches comes out predominantly from Central European tradition which is concentrated on quality mastering the technology and on theoretical control of the history and connections of given art. The students acquire apart from theoretical knowledge chiefly a number of techniques which develop their skills and the possibility of practical trying-out of given skill.

The pedagogues are mostly renowned artists of practice which do not give up their artistic practice even during their acting at the school. So natural synergic processes come about when students/artists together with pedagogues/artists perform with each other, they create work of art as the case may be. So the students learn from their pedagogues and they create a natural competitiveness them simultaneously that develops natural artistic creativity.

All study programmes meet corresponding accreditation criteria and they are developed in coaction with Bologna EU process. The Bologna process is initiative of which aim is building-up of European college space. This aim should be accomplished by help of harmonization of academic titles and character of the study for individual branches. Also the guarantee of standards of quality in the whole Europe should by part of it. The study programmes are opened within the programmes Erasmus + and Erasmus Mundus to bilateral agreements and to students and teachers mobilities and exchanges. The colleges are engaged/involved into various artistic networks and international projects as well as into interesting partnerships with institutions of public and private sector (e. g. Slovak National Theatre, Slovak Philarmonic, Slovak Centre of Design or Volkswagen, Chirana Stará Turá and so on).

Academy of Performing Arts (VŠMU), Academy of Fine Arts and Design (VŠVU) as basis of Slovak art college educational system

Development of the Slovak theatrical and musical life as well as of visual art life linked-up on the state of domestic but also wider European traditions, thinking, philosophy aesthetics, literature, cultural and school institutions of the nineteenth and of the first half of twentieth century. In years 1919 to 1949 the focal point of meaning and development is shifted at Musical and Dramatic Academy for Slovakia in Bratislava. In 1941 it has been renamed on the State Conservatory. The presumption for carrying-out the educational process in the highest artistic – pedagogic workplaces enabling supreme education of artistic talents, which were yet missing in the given time, was created by rise of Academy of Performing Arts and Academy of Fine Arts in 1949.

From the beginning of their existence the both schools have already very demanding mission: in complicated period after WWII to secure in their study programmes the upbringing and education of sufficient number of high-quality creative artistic workers for uncommonly quickly developing cultural institutions, theatre and singspiel scenes, musical bodies, broadcasting or creative artists in free profession which were able aesthetically and unfortunately also ideologically to reflect the then time. In certain time lapse they have been able to do so for the same aim also for the film and developing television environment. The National Theatre in Bratislava and newly-opened State Theatre in Košice with opera, drama, operetta and ballet ensemble as well s with singer´s ensemble, ten further Slovak drama scenes, numerous orchestras  awaited new actors, film and theatre directors, dramaturges, scriptwriters, scenographs, orchestral conductors, choirmasters, opera soloists, top orchestral players, choir singers, choreographs, dancing artists, répetiteurs.  Developing concert life required prepared concert artists and also tasks of education of high-quality pedagogues for rising art schools have been in the increase to schools. The mission of the VŠMU and VŠVU, however, would be not quite possible without preparation of educated art theoreticians and critics which would see as far as beyond the horizons of contemporary development in each time and they would shift it further.

The Theatre and Music Faculties were the first two faculties of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava which has been established by Law Nr. 88 of the Slovak National Council from June 9, 1949. In full version of cited law it is stated the planned opening of four study branches: musical, dramatic, dancing and filmic branches. Two originally opened branches (the musical and dramatic ones) were transformed into two faculties, music faculty and theatre faculty in 1953. Also study branch “theory and history of art and puppeteer´s creation” was soon developed at the Theatre Faculty; at the Music Faculty (later Music and Dance Faculty) also the branch of dancing art. The film branch with its deportments/chairs has come to the opening as far as in 1990 in form of Film and TV Faculty. In the present day all three faculties provide also education in relevant branch of management and production of art.

The Academy of Fine Arts arose also on June 9, 1949 when the Slovak National Council published the law on its establishing. It has been the first college in Slovakia focused on complex study of fine art. It arose on the threshold of the period marked by totalitarian regime of former Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and therefore 40 years (1949 – 1989) it struggled with pressures of cultural and political dogmas asserting socialist-realistic doctrine in the art. Mainly thanks to artistic background of pedagogues and their human approach to the students at teaching the school it has often succeed in resisting, and the departments, which got into awareness of general public, became legendary like the “schools” of particular pedagogues to which the whole generations of graduates are avowing.

After fall of totalitarian regime in November 1989 the period of radical conversions happened at both colleges. The original concept of schools like top institutions educating the future artists, however, remained preserved.

Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava

It has three faculties at which it is taught:

Theatre Faculty – dramatic art/acting (profession), theatre directing and dramaturgy, scenic and costume visual arts, puppeteer´s creation, theatre management and theory and criticism of theatre. The Faculty operates own theatre scene Theatre LAB (also smaller scenes Studio “Kaplnka (Chapel)”, Studio “Burkovňa”) which in its 60-years tradition has produced-out over 400 unique theatre staging and at which the students and doctorands present their staging, performances and projects and it organizes the Istropolitana Project: the international festival of theatre colleges which built up itself great reputation and recognition not only within Europe since 1977 but of the whole world and within which it came to the confrontation of young artists from more than 67 countries.

Film and TV Faculty – direction of feature film, direction of documentary film, animated creation, camera creation and photograph, scriptwriter´s work, editing/cut composition, sound composition, artistic criticism and audiovisual studies, production and distribution of audiovisual work and visual effects. The faculty organizes the “Áčko” yearly – international festival of student´s feature films, documentary and animated films and it operates the cinema “Klap”. It also cooperates with various commercial and public subjects on the projects of multimedia carriers for educating in various branches and it participates in important film festival projects.

Music and Dance Faculty – keyboard instruments, string and wind instruments, singing, church music, composition and conducting, chamber playing, music theory and dramaturgy and management of musical art, pedagogy and choreography of folk dance, classical dance and modern dance. In the present day the faculty operates one of acoustically most high-quality concert hall in Slovakia – the Concert Hall “Dvorana (Atrium)” in which it organizes the concerts for public in various cycles as well as student´s recitals and concerts, dancing hall Lab 1 (small dancing studio which dedicates itself to various classical also new techniques of dance) and festival of contemporary music Orfeus.

Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava

It tries to interconnect utility and free visual disciplines in its ateliers. The student has possibility to make a choice of atelier which leads him to clear forms and techniques of selected art but also the atelier where he dedicate himself to linking and application of more forms and techniques:

Architecture in which main attention is paid to the creation of architectonic space, to possibilities and specifics of expressing by help of this medium and of looking-for various manners of rise and generating of architectonic form with emphasis on visual and composition aspect.

Photography and new media is atelier in which the students become acquainted with photograph as art medium. The stress is laid on thought and visual and technical mastering of the assigned theme/topic.

Printmaking and other media – two principles are developed in teaching of free graphics and illustration: from general model to own individual visual art image; and to impulse of own individual image which determines the preview of the reality, spatial feeling and modelling.

Intermedia familiarise with visual art possibilities of technical image in the sphere of movable image. The emphasis is laid on mastering of technological bases and their application in accordance with visual art idea and content.

Painting is atelier in which it deals with medium of painting from viewpoint of examination of its various aspects and of stimulating to the independent thinking in this medium. In the “Ateliéry (Ateliers)” the pedagogues/representatives of more painter´s schools and approaches have their ateliers.

Conservation and restoration is divided into restoring of stone statues and stone elements of architecture, restoring the wooden sculpture, restoring of works of visual arts created on paper, restoring of wall paintings and restoring of suspended pictures and table paintings whereat the main goal is conceptual, technical and technological building-up of restored object and of function of its particular expressing elements, comprehension of painter´s and sculptor´s work in all its genres, in its historical development also in the present day and in context with starting points which determine the restorer´s process. 

Sculpture, object, installation is atelier focused on acquirement of theoretical and practical knowledge from sculptor´s creation it is aimed technologically at modelling, casting and at using of heterogeneous materials. From conceptual view of point the pedagogues of the ateliers go after effort of student for finishing creating of fragments, shifts from reality to own interpretation and free spatial compositions, and namely in ateliers Object and statue, or Statue in architecture and in public space.

Theory and history of art is, above all, service workplace providing to other ateliers the background of teaching of theoretical subjects being connected with study subject in historic philosophical and esthetical context. At the same time it is also research workplace of the school.

Textiles is study programme, the aim of which is to familiarise the students with textile material like visual art means, by help of which they can develop their aerial and spatial feeling. They acquaint themselves with the texture also structure of material, with its colour acting and textile techniques which are immediately bound to the given material.

Applied art includes metal, jewel, glass and ceramics and wide spectrum of tasks reaching out from the outlining / drawing-up of petty objects up to serial production, from the free creation up to the design of utility articles.

Visual communication is based on comprehension and mastering of basic principles of visual communication and on tasks of graphic design in creation of visual communication.

Design goes after mastery of basic principles of designer´s creation with emphasis on creative procedures and comprehension of material and technological limits and subsequently complex approach to designer´s process. It is divided into product, industrial and transport design.

The VŠVU controls as the Institute of Science and Art as active innovation tool bettering not only creation but also its reflection, further it operates the gallery Medium as a part and at the same time the superstructure of conception of artistic-pedagogical process at the school. It presents the exhibitions of actively acting foreign artists (predominantly of pedagogues at the European or oversee art colleges) furthermore the presentations of conceptions of the international visual art schools by form of individual departments/chars, ateliers, results of works of international symposiums and salons and last but not least it maps the creative activities of departments/chairs and ateliers   of VŠVU, its pedagogues, doctorands and students.

Academy of Arts in Banská Bystrica

The Academy of Arts arose in year 1977 and it succeeded to establish itself among public colleges in Slovakia for the up to now history. The AKU has 3 faculties, and namely:

It is the Faculty of Performing Arts which secures the study in composition and conducting, in keybord instruments, orchestra instruments and in vocal interpretation.

The Faculty of Dramatic Arts that secures the study in theatre dramaturgy and direction, filmic documentary creation, film dramaturgy and profession of screenplay and acting (profession).

The third is the Faculty of Fine Arts which secures the study of graphics, intermedia and digital media, painting, sculpturing/sculpture and theory and history of fine art.

Jan Albrecht Music and Art Academy in Banská Štiavnica

The school came into existence on January 19, 2011 as private college and it provides the education in two study programmes: Musical interpretation and theory and Musical creation a theory. Like the only school it dedicates itself also to jazz and improvisation.

Faculty of Arts of Technical University in Košice

It gained the accreditation in year 1998 and it provides education in bachelor study and master´s study in branches Design and Visual/Fine Arts and in engineer´s study in the branch of Architecture.

Faculty of Architecture of Slovak Technical University in Bratislava

It is educational, scientific, art and project institution in the area of architecture, urbanism a design. The pedagogical activity lies in securing of wide specialized preparation of students with focus on separate creative artistic, project and designer´s activity in the field of architecture, urbanism, landscape planning and design in designing the objects of housing, civil, industrial and agricultural buildings, in rebuilding of towns, renewal of monuments, in designing of interiors and exhibitions but also in planning and design activity in area of landscape creation and of large territorial units, of building-up and rebuilding of housing estates and their influence on the environment.

It provides the study of various branches of architecture in following institutes:

Institute of Architecture of Residential Buildings

Institute of Architecture of Public Buildings

Institute of Ecological and Experimental Architecture

Institute of History and Theory of Architecture and Monument Restoration

Institute of Structures in Architecture and Engineering Buildings

Institute of Interior and Exhibition Design

Institute of Urban Design and Planning

Institute of Industrial Design

Institute of Visual Arts and Multimedia