The Escola Massana is Barcelona’s municipal Art and Design centre. It is located in the beautiful building of the former Hospital de la Santa Creu. Legacy of the Barcelona baker and philanthropist Agustí Massana, the school opened its doors as an academic institution on 14 January 1929.

The Escola Massana’s educational programme encompasses three conceptual areas (visual arts, applied arts and design) for three educational levels: Basic Education (Artistic Baccalaureate), Further Education (Advanced vocational training programmes and a university degree in Art and Design) and Continuous Training (beginners and specialist courses, leading to non-official qualifications recognised by the Education Department of the Autonomous Government of Catalunya, as well as UAB Specialisation Courses, and UAB Free-Choice Credits).

In Spain was the Escola Massana the responsible for disseminating new ideas about the redefinition of applied arts and contemporary jewelry, particularly when the late fifties Manuel Capdevila was commissioned to create the jewelry department and organizes its classes as an open classroom, where they have a place all kinds of ideas and new materials for jewelry, pushing the idea of design above all uncontrolled and stereotyped form. Since its establishment the Department of the Escola Massana Jewelry has always been sensitive to international flows of renewal i redefinition of jewelry. The formal break with the traditions and conventions are faced with an innovative spirit and creative jewelry open to experimentation, diversity, and the expressive and reflective of contemporary art. Contemporaneity to be understood as a look into the future.

The Escola Massana has continued working with the idea that jewelry is an art that comes from direct experience in the building, which rises in the confrontation between ideas and materials, through a dialogue between thought and hands that give shape to the matter.The objectives of the Department of Jewellery are based on the conviction that we need to encourage and promote the comprehensive development, in a humanistic sense of the person. And understanding that the construction of a jewel is an intellectual and creative activity originated in the inner experience of each, determined by the action and direct hand contact with the materials.

The Escola Massana methodology is not based on giving a closed program, but lay the foundation for the student can initiate and develop an open process of experimentation with a projection of future that goes far beyond the strictly academic sphere. The student must meet the creative act in a spirit of risk and personal commitment to the object created by him to be a reflection on the world around him and a materialization of his own mythical world. This process should be undertaken as a personal adventure, which will lead the student to discover their artistic identity and experience to recognize himself through his work.

The individual interpretations of the various artists emerged from the school, their different backgrounds and varied influences, move away the Spanish contemporary jewelry from the uniformity of style. However, viewed from a certain perspective may appear a certain family air, something undefined in common that unites them. Perhaps an idea unites them, open them to new horizons but without losing the sense of identity of the discipline and craft practitioners, working with a matter that is not gold or precious stones, if not a matter made of doubts and desires, curiosity and uncertainty, repetition or unexpected innovations. They work with this kind of matter that will serve to reveal a unique and accurate creation.

This object that from this way of working out of his hands becomes a way of sharing with others, and especially with the possible wearer of the jewel, the unique experience lived during the work process, all that he has found, discovered and finally made visible.

 

Ramon Puig Cuyàs

Head of the Jewelry Department

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