The management of the Ecole supérieure d’art d’Avignon is far from easy. This is the challenge that the young (33 years) teacher-researcher Morgan Labar decided to take up. This will be the first experience in art school management, and even just directing, for this normalien, author of a thesis in art history on “regression and superficiality in the arts since 1960”. Until now, he has been a teacher-researcher at the University of Paris Sciences & Lettres, which brings together 11 very diverse schools (ENS, Ecole des Chartes, Les Mines, etc.) and at the National Institute of History of art.
With around a hundred students in total, the Avignon school is one of the smallest art schools in France. Its budget of less than 2 million euros is largely financed by the City. This was also the subject of a serious crisis in 2016. While the school had been without a director for 2 years (from 2012 to 2014) and had just lost its historic premises in the center of Avignon in favor of the Lambert Collection, it has to deal with a further reduction in the city’s budget. Dominique Boulard, the director at the time, and the students began a showdown with the municipality, which decided not to open a new class of students for the year.
The situation calmed down with the arrival of a new director in 2018, the Mexican Alfredo Vega-Cardenas who ultimately did not stay for only 3 years. The Avignon school has the particularity of offering a classical training in artistic creation but also a training in conservation-restoration of works of art. It delivers the traditional DNA (bachelor’s level in 3 years) and DNSEP (Master level in 5 years) but has put on hold its higher art research diploma (DSRA). The school is located on 2 sites, which does not promote communication and team spirit.