The Corcoran College of Art + Design is Washington’s only four-year accredited institution for education in the arts.
Situated only a block away from The White House in its renowned turn-of-the-century Beaux-Arts building, the Corcoran Gallery of Art has long been an integral part of our nation’s capital. When it was founded in 1869, the 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, occupied the White House.
When the Gallery first opened its doors in 1874, “art students immediately flocked to the museum to observe, sketch, and paint copies of the collections famous works,” according to the Corcoran’s website.
The Gallery’s founder, William Wilson Corcoran, made sure that art education was central to the work of Gallery and donated additional funding that was ultimately used to open the Corcoran School of Art in 1890, two years after his death. The school has been known by its current name since 1999.
Today, more than 600 students at the Corcoran College of Art + Design pursue a wide range of Associate, Bachelor, and Master degree programs in the visual arts. The College also offers part-time credit and non-credit classes for adults and teens through its Continuing Education department. I know this first-hand. I’ve taken several drawing classes at the Corcoran in the past, and am currently enrolled in a ceramic tile-making class.
My class meets once a week for a three-hour session on Wednesday nights. Sure, it makes for a long day, but it is worth it. I’m learning a new craft. I’m using new mental and creative muscles. And I’m getting a hands-on appreciation for the timeless art of tile-making, which has changed little over the last several hundred years.
Most important, with each tedious step of the tile-making process, I am re-affirming what I already knew: there are no short-cuts to success in the creative arts. You learn by doing and do by learning.
The same can be said for success in business. Executives and managers must constantly challenge their employees through creative training programs that excite new thinking. In turn, employees must be willing to use new muscles, and put them to work through practice and application.
Marrying business and education — like marrying art and education – will make for a beautiful relationship and lead to many happy returns.