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The Art College of Nantes-Métropole

General description of the institution

The Art College of Nantes-Métropole is a college with a national and international reputation.
The School has been a public cultural collaboration institution (E.P.C.C) since 1st January 2010, financed by Nantes- Métropole, the City of Nantes, and the Ministry for the Arts and Communication. The college's main mission is higher education and research in the field of visual arts and art education for all. The college also puts on cultural activities based on the connection between works produced and the media.

In 2012/2013, 235 students will be studying for a career in contemporary art and visual creation. The college is spread over two sites: the Fénelon site in the city centre (5 rue Fénelon) which houses students from the 1st course cycle (L1, L2, L3), technical workshops and the library, and the Félix Thomas site (39 rue Félix Thomas – Tramway line 2: Saint Félix stop) for students from the 2nd course cycle (M1 and M2), and research workshops.

There are two national diplomas available to students: the D.N.A.P. (National Diploma in Visual Arts) awarded after three years, and the D.N.S.E.P. (National Postgraduate Diploma in Visual Arts) at Masters level awarded after five years and registered at level 1 of the national directory of professional certification.


Created more than two centuries ago, the Nantes Art College is currently one of the oldest in France. Following considerable educational and technical changes carried out since the 1960s,  the school (whose current status dates from 1904) is widely recognised nowadays for its dynamism and innovative spirit. Several famous artists can be found among its former students, including Jean Metzinger, Jean Gorin, Jacques Vaché, Benjamin Péret, Claude Cahun, Jacques Villeglé, Philippe Cognée, Pierrick Sorin, Fabrice Hyber, Christelle Familiari, Laurent Moriceau, and Pony Pony Run Run, etc. The aesthetic revolutions of the 20th century which include modern and abstract art, conceptual and minimalist art, multimedia, contemporary art, have all had an important influence on teaching the visual arts. Since the 1960s, Nantes Art College has moved away from the academic model inherited from the 19th century which involved masters' workshops, prioritizing technical education, and compartmentalisation of genres. The new teaching methods prepare students to be innovators and creative designers of visual arts within the contemporary art field.