The Arts Academy in Split is a higher-education institution covering the fields of arts and the humanities. Our fields of interest are theater, film, music, fine arts and applied art, design and art theory. Our academy, among other things, is respected due to this complexity. We think it is important to engage in art, to creatively visualize and create artistic artifacts, to compose and interpret music, to act on both stage and screen, to realize art projects, and to explore and protect artistic creative endeavors. We are confident that our activity in each segment is worth the joint effort in the many years that follow, full of socializing and mastering the demanding material we have prepared for you, based our personal experience in the transfer of knowledge. The Academy offers serious and attractive study programs, and by complying with them, you will meet the demands of yourself, of us, and of society as a whole. The programs are constantly updated and adapted to reality, making sure that we do not forget the mission by which we affirm faith in creativity and the freedom of expression above all. The most important thing in life is the right to express oneself and feel the freedom that comes from this right. If we are aware of the fact that we are the contemporaries of the events around us, then the future is ahead of us, and we take measure of the world and equally participate in creating an environment for the creative life. Of course, it is not an easy road to the state of feeling that we are able to change relationships for the better, with the conviction that what we are doing is right and useful for everyone. This state is slowly reached with persistence and discipline. Ignoring the obligations we will never reach. Apart from exceptional, inspired moments, we solve problems gradually, from the simple to the more complex. Valuable artistic achievements consist of harmoniously complex details. As with the creation of a general image of the world, we must undergo a process of growth, domination, conflict and balance that accompanies us at all levels in the different situations of life. It’s not easy to find a place for yourself in the rapidly changing world, and habits that rely on cemented knowledge give way to fast, generational changes in behavior. You do not have time to grow up, and the rules of the game have already changed. The only solution is steady growth, permanently climbing the ladder of learning and practice, both in one’s specific area of interest and in the field of general culture. Believe me, we are on the same “bed of nails”. We, meaning people of a mature age, need great courage to cope with the impulses and energy of your youth. Preparing for a professional life means to change yourself because interacting with you will determine our common future.
I like to say that art is a matter of intuition. Intuition is the direct knowledge that precedes intellectual reflection. I believe that you have already felt this state when it seemed to you that thought comes later, after experience. Delicate are the bonds, and thin are the borders of these states, and art provides them in abundance, they only need to be linked. The Academy creates and maintains these opportunities as its core mission, but only in cooperation with you. It is up to you to observe and follow the successive content of your program for years, which is logically arranged to facilitate your studying, and the outcomes of this program are applicable to the profession you chose. Serious study simultaneously returns the effort given, through pleasure and a feeling of usefulness, and it ultimately results in an easier path through life and a decent place in society, because it is difficult to fight for the place in society that belongs to us only rightfully and justfully, and it is still harder to keep it. They say that learning is an investment in oneself. If the result of learning is the ability to acquire new knowledge for the purpose of understanding the totality of life, then that is fine, but if the result of investing in yourself is the measurable outcome that you will apply to a poorly paid job to create added value for another, then it is not. Learning is a value by itself. Competences and outcomes are only points in the field of obtaining knowledge. They are defined by social agreement and are subject to constant change. You will be asked to recognize them and make an effort to further advance them. The time within which all this happens is flowing and irreversible. Things you can move, but time you cannot, you can only use it better and better. Do not waste it in vain. Give yourself the task, at the beginning, to keep to the schedule of lectures. I am sure your regularity will help you in mastering your course material. It is both a requirement and well-meant advice. Being a regular student under the attention of a professor is of double benefit to you because knowledge is mainly passed on vertically, from older to younger, while respecting work and life experience. Occasional inversions and exceptions are recorded as statistical data, and the horizontal exchange of experience is a matter of generational interactivity. What matters is the belief that you can learn something new and learn how to refine it within three, four or five years. Of course, you can also extend your study time if you do not study regularly, but not infinitely. Regular study allows you to further refine and persist in the field you chose. Irregular study often results in interruptions and the irreversible abandonment of great ambitions.
Motivation can suddenly fail, and all you have left is the regret that you have not been persistent. Additionally, regular study is to be your successful five years of life you will experience with deep breath, work and have fun, and experience effort and pleasure because they go together. Let your time spent “at and around” the Academy be fruitful. Be responsible, first to yourself, and this responsibility for yourself is a form of self-esteem, a feeling of your own capability when you are affirmed as a complex person willing to progress in the work you are inclined to do, in the love toward the people you are inclined to be with, in the obligations that will give you better insight into current problems, and in a future that is rich in brave decisions, thus deprived of discouragement, passive suffering and consequently a lasting dissatisfaction. You will not buy self-esteem at the store. It is obtained with painstaking work. Work is a value that constantly transforms from one form to another. Remember that when you take hold of a brush, chisel or bow, when run your fingers over your keyboard and when information slides from one medium into another. The result is an artistic or scientific work, the fruit of your creativity, and there is no creativity without investing effort: playing, painting, modeling, reading, and research. In the case of when you create a work of art or reproduce something in your own way, you are an artist, and when you study your work and prove its value, you are a scientist. Science and art come from the same source. The pre-historic print of the hand in Altamira is the simultaneous result of the rational and intuitive activities of humankind. With all due respect, you are just at the entryway of the Arts Academy, before you lie years of learning and taking exams. Only the persistent among you will feel the advantage of a higher education. Only the patient will obtain a master’s degree with pride, perhaps in this same place in which the entryway becomes the exit station to the world of proving yourself. Your ideas will be evaluated, some will be rejected, while some realized with support. Anyway, from this position the way to your life is open to you. You have a motive, you have goals which lie ahead: in the short-term – bravely sit for your first exam dates and successfully pass your tests; and in the long-term – complete your undergraduate studies as a requirement for enrollment into the graduate level. However, if you do not pass your first exam, and do not pass the next, and you swerve away from the planned path, do not lose faith in yourself and do not lose sight of your goals. With a little more extra effort, it is possible to get back on track. After every failure which is the result of a bad decision, laziness, inactivity or inertia, more effort and more energy is needed to get back “in the race”. To be educated with a good factual base and the knowledge of a graduate is a success in itself and a guarantee of both growth and success. Without a proper education, your right to make decisions will be taken over by someone else. Others will determine the rules of the game for you, which is by no means to your advantage. Ultimately, this is always a question of knowledge, regardless of the vocabulary that formulates it: general knowledge, specialist knowledge, public knowledge, secret knowledge. Wherever you go, the thought follows, “Do I know this really well or do I just have a surface understanding?”
Therefore study successfully and be happy!
Full Professor Mateo Perasović