The school is in the process of SAQA accreditation.
The Andrew Owen School of Art & Design was established in 1990 by A.J. Owen. Andrew Owen studied at Michaelis School of Fine Art (University of Cape Town) from 1980-1984. Andrew worked as an illustration and a fine art lecturer at the Ruth Prowse School of Art in Cape Town from 1985-1989. In 1989 he moved to Somerset West with his family to start his own Art Center.
The school opened its doors in Victoria Street at the Gey van Pittius building in January 1990 and began a series of part-time courses in the evenings. The ultimate intention was to establish full-time courses and finally by 1994 the college enrolled its first full-time graphic design and fine art students (a total of four).
The school subsequently grew and in 1996 an empty plot was purchased on the corner of Helderberg College Road and Main Road and shortly thereafter the building we are in today was designed and built.
The school uses various methods of teaching gained from studying at the Michaelis School and teaching at thr Ruth Prowse. Andrew takes a very graphic (drawing) approach to teaching. His approach emphasizes drawing as the basis of all art, whether it is fine art or graphic design. He is still actively involved in painting (when time permits) and has a great love of the "process" of art. Conceptual approaches are a valid inclusion in the course but the the foundation remains traditional.
Formal aspects of studying composition and colour theory remain an integral part of the course as well as drawing techniques. Sculpture is not a major at the art school but clay modelling and sculpture is included as a vital part of the understanding of form. Illustration is included in the course as an alternative to sculpture and can be taken as a major in second and third year.
In the graphic design course and the fine art course we include photography and computer graphics. The fine art students benefit from computer training as much as the graphic students in today's hi-tech world. We believe in training on the best equipment, this means Apple Mac computers as well as PC. Darkroom techniques as well as printing by hand is incorporated in the basics of the photography course as this is vital as a foundational training of understanding how photography works before using digital.
History of art is also an important part of the course. But the idea is to present it in a more holistic way incorporating a cultural aspect. This includes music and also religious beliefs and philosophy as these are inseparable from art history. History of graphic design, a relatively new study is regarded as a vital part of the design course. There are many excellent books on the subject which are used as the backbones of the courses. The history course is constantly growing and developing as we believe in history of art as a process as well, of exploration in which the lecturer becomes involved in the process instead of merely regurgitating other peoples' books.
81 Helderberg College Road
81 Helderberg College Road
To view a full list of all courses presented by Andrew Owen School of Art click below.