Malmö art academy in Sweden at risk of closing

Sweden’s Malmö Art Academy will be evicted from the premises it has occupied for 21 years in 2017, raising fears the art school may face permanent closure.

The city government has given Lund University, the institution that runs the academy, a year to vacate the building, citing a dire need for space for elementary and secondary schools, Hyperallergic reports.

The academy, founded in 1995 and which counts among its alumni the artist Nathalie Djurberg, has given itself until June 30, 2017 as a deadline to move.

Although there are plans for a campus that would unite Lund University’s music, theater and art academies with its interdisciplinary arts centre, 2020 is the earliest the project will be completed and, without temporary solution in place, many fear that this will force the art school to close.

Solfrid Söderlind, Dean of the Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts, hastened to deny these rumors via a press release:

“Lund University has no intention of closing the academy, and the city of Malmö has expressed its intention [of] help prepare a viable solution before the academy has to move… So there is no question of closing or closing the Malmö Academy of Art.

It appears Söderlind’s words did not reassure academy students, who only learned of the planned expulsion this week and immediately launched an online petition in response. Urging Malmö city council and city government to save the academy, the petition has already garnered nearly 6,000 signatures.

Malmö Art Academy in Sweden. Photo by jorchr via Wikimedia Commons.

On the petition’s website, artist and Malmö Academy lecturer Emily Wardill said, “To lose this institution in Malmö is reckless and myopic,” adding:

I am livid at the thought that a school of this quality, which has grown for more than 20 years, can be dismantled in 6 months. The Malmö Academy of Art is an essential part of artistic culture not only in Sweden but internationally. Since 1995 it has been a place of excellence inviting esteemed artists and thinkers such as Jürgen Bock, Anders Kreuger, Linda Norden, Michael Portnoy, Joachim Koester, Sarat Maharaj, Gertrud Sandqvist, Hal Foster, Joao Ribas, Kirsty Bell, Haegue Yang, Jimmie Durham, Matts Leiderstam, Julie Ault, Apolonija Šušteršič, Rosa Barba, Lea Porsager, Maj Hasager, Mary Kelly and Martin Clark to name a few. . It takes years to build such an unusual and distinctive place of learning and only days to destroy it. Please, let’s not be reckless enough to take away one of the greatest aspects of this town.

Meanwhile, Johan Österholm, a student at the academy said:

To deprive this Academy of a premise, to stop or “pause” this continuous flow of accumulated knowledge that the Academy creates would be absolutely devastating, not only for Malmö but for the entire Öresund region and Sweden as a whole. This decision has all the signs of being hastily made just in time for the school semester to end (and the students to disperse for the summer) and the elected municipal officials to go on vacation (thus becoming unreachable for others). further discussions). We students are going back to our offices – I strongly encourage politicians to do the same.

Representatives of Lund University will meet with the city of Malmö on June 28, “in order to create clear conditions for the work of the Malmö Art Academy in satisfactory premises”, according to Söderlind.

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Mildred D. Field