Open the door to your future

RMIT is a hub for emerging artists, photographers and craftspeople cultivating contemporary culture through learning and research. Find your future at the City Campus Open Day on August 12th.
Open the door to your future

Mikala Dwyer, Square Cloud Compound, Mikala Dwyer: MCA Collection, 2015-2016, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. Photo: Jessica Maurer.

If you’re thinking about a degree in the visual arts or photography, the School of Art at RMIT should be at the top of your list. RMIT is currently ranked 1st for Art and Design in the Asia-Pacific/ Indian Ocean region, making RMIT Art School number one in Australia and 11th globally, according to the world QS Rankings. 


The School has a long history of graduating important artists, craftspeople and photographers and is home to the oldest photography program in the world. Photography students are encouraged to develop their own aesthetic approach to photography and photo-imaging through a rich program of industry training and academic study.

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‘Students thrive here through the exciting and unique process of embodied learning that happens in a studio environment,’ says Associate Professor of Art Mikala Dwyer.  

Like all the teaching staff at RMIT’s School of Art, Dwyer is a practicing artist. With a career spanning more than 30 years, she is recognised as one of Australia’s most important contemporary artists, working across installation, sculpture and performance. 

Mikala Dwyer, The Silvering, 2017. Triple Point of Matter, Foundation Fiminco, Paris.

This real-world professional experience as artists gives the School a depth of knowledge and experience that is enormously beneficial to students. 

‘RMIT staff are a deeply dedicated and vibrant group of artists, academics, and professionals who are passionate about their practice and seeing the students develop their own pathways and practices. It’s exciting to be around such dynamic activity and conversation in the studios and workshops. The students are wonderful, intensely engaged and committed,’ says Dwyer.

The facilities for students at the School of Art include generous studios and several fully equipped workshops including printmaking, a foundry, sculpture, jewellery, gold and silversmithing, and ceramics.

Studying is about preparing students for life and work. ‘An art education is invaluable and can be applied to any career,’ says Dwyer. ‘It can also be the one education that really works for people who have struggled in high school or with more academic tertiary courses.’ 

The School of Art fosters innovative and diverse art practices and research within visual art, craft, photography, public art, and arts management. ‘It’s a profoundly enriching education leading to many career choices,’ said Dwyer. These include artists, film-makers, designers, teachers and academics, curators, and community arts co-ordinators. 

The School of Art is located at RMIT’s city campus in the heart of Melbourne and has been an iconic part of the CBD for over one hundred and thirty years. The campus is surrounded by cafes, galleries, theatres, and parks and is easily accessible by public transport. Its unique location means students have a studio space in the heart of the city. 

The School also hosts an Artist-in-Residence program established to contribute to its international focus, and to develop links with innovative cultural networks. This program brings students into contact with some the world’s leading artists. 

Students are given many opportunities to take up study tours, exchanges, internships and industry placements locally and internationally, giving them an experience of the art world in Australia and beyond. 

‘We maintain strong industry links that help us support art students and researchers in interdisciplinary collaborations, and encourage creative, critical approaches to exploring real-world issues within globalised society,’ said Dwyer.

In RMIT’s School of Art learning ‘is playful but also rigorous, critical and scholarly,’ said Dwyer. ‘Things learnt in pleasure are remembered forever. The friendships developed in art school endure and become important networks that can shape and revolutionise the future of thinking in a city and beyond.’

Find your artistic future at the School of Art Open Day, RMIT City Campus, Sunday 12 August 10am – 4pm. Register here:

Diana Carroll

Thursday 2 August, 2018

About the author

Dr Diana Carroll is a writer, speaker, and reviewer based in Adelaide. Her work has been published in newspapers and magazines including the SMH, the Oz, Woman's Day, and B&T. Writing about the arts is one of her great passions.