Royal Academy of Arts
Thu 18 May 2023
6:30 pm - 7:45 pm
What is the value of art training? image

Our panel discusses how relevant formal art training is to the recognition of artists in the art world today.
This event can be enjoyed in person at the Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, or via a digital livestream.
Artist Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, artist and Keeper of the RA Cathie Pilkington, and gallerist and curator Jennifer Gilbert examine how the art world defines, engages with and values art made by artists with and without formal training. The event will be chaired by art critic and author Hettie Judah.
For generations, an artist’s art school has influenced their standing and reputation in the art world. Yet throughout art history, many artists have developed their practice outside of formal institutions. Methods such as self-teaching, community or intergenerational sharing of knowledge and, more recently, collectives and supported studios have produced an array of creative talent.
Taking place at the Royal Academy, home to both the RA Schools and the Summer Exhibition, the world’s oldest open submission exhibition, this discussion explores the definition and value of formal and non-formal training and considers how the art world engages with those who have developed their art practice in different ways.
Yinka Shonibare CBE RA is an interdisciplinary artist known for his exploration of colonialism and post-colonialism within the contemporary context of globalization. He has exhibited internationally and his works are in notable museum collections across the world.
Cathie Pilkington RA is an artist whose work engages with the canonical history of figurative sculpture, using a diverse array of props, materials and studio furniture. She was Professor of Sculpture at the RA Schools from 2015-2019 and in May 2020 was elected Keeper of the Royal Academy Schools.
Jennifer Gilbert is a gallerist, freelance producer, and curator, working with self-taught, disabled, neurodivergent, Deaf and overlooked artists. In 2017 she launched the Jennifer Lauren Gallery to showcase and empower artists who create works outside the mainstream art world and art history.
Hettie Judah is chief art critic on the British daily paper The I and a regular contributor to art publications including Apollo, Frieze and ArtReview. She is also a broadcaster and lecturer and her recent books include How Not To Exclude Artist Mothers (and other parents) and Lapidarium.