Seian University of Art and Design
I recently visited Seian University of Art and Design in western Otsu (near Ogoto Onsen Station on the JR Kosei Line) for the first time. (In Japanese. the university is called Seian Zokei Daigaku 成安造形大学.) I was impressed with their slogan of being an “Art Museum on Campus.”
It is indeed like an art museum with numerous galleries on campus open to the public. I visited of few of the galleries and found out that the university holds a major art exhibition in spring and fall. Right now, painter Brian Williams is showing at the university’s Gallery Art Site until Dec. 1, 2012. Most of the time, the galleries show work by the students. They undergo a screening to get an exhibition slot, so you can bet that the quality is high.
When you arrive at the university, get a campus map of the galleries. There are a few outdoor pieces as well (see photos).
Seian University of Art and Design is Shiga’s sole art university. It’s a small university with about 800 students or 200 students per class from freshman to senior. It offers five programs/faculties and over half of the students belong to the Illustration Program (includes manga). Not so many belong to the FIne Art Program (painting, sculpture, etc.).
They also accept and have a small number of international students, mostly from Asian countries (one is an American from Chicago). International students must be conversant in Japanese. They undergo an interview in Japanese and the university decides whether their Japanese is good enough. They don’t need to take/pass a Japanese proficiency test nor be proficient at reading/writing Japanese.
The university also strives to take an active part in the local community and be an active contributor to the local community. For example, they recently published a well-illustrated brochure created by students to introduce eateries along the Kosei train line near the university.
The university also has a pleasant cafeteria called “Yui” near the lake shore where you can have lunch. The campus is lucky to have views of Lake Biwa. I wish all the students at Seian University of Art and Design the best for a bright career. Web site: http://www.seian.ac.jp/ Google map: http://goo.gl/maps/pEOdj