Director’s word

Ecav changes its name to édhéa, the Valais School of Art

For its 70th anniversary in 2019, Ecav will change its name to EDHEA, the Valais School of Art (école de design et haute école d'art). As of today, it is already a fully- fledged part of the HES-SO Valais-Wallis.
The new name of our school highlights its two main educational focuses: a vocational school of applied arts with a strong emphasis on graphic design, and a school of higher education in art.
What are the specificities of EDHEA and how is it different from other art schools in French-speaking Switzerland? Our aim goes beyond the training of future artists and designers. A school such as ours teaches its students not only the skills of the trade (which are, of course, essential), but also how to think about the world and how to develop their creativity in a variety of fields.
“Creativity” is indeed the key word, an asset that can open many doors beyond those of an artist’s studio. The journey of an art school graduate does not necessarily take him or her to the sanctified space of art institutions, but could lead up to a variety of professions in the fields of culture, mediation, art criticism and visual communication.
Our Master of Arts in Public Spheres (MAPS) is recognized well beyond our borders. Furthermore, the public sphere provides a major head of inquiry for our research institute.
In the heart of the alpine arc, ideally located for study and research, EDHEA has about 230 students from Switzerland and several other countries, mostly outside of Europe. We also maintain close relations with our alumni and with a wide network of internationally recognized guests.
This is how our school cultivates and develops the spirit, very close to my heart, of a structure devoted to experimentation and research. Our many projects, exhibitions, publications, conferences and symposiums allow for a transdisciplinary reading of visual arts and for a dialogue with theatre, dance, graphic design or even architecture. I would also like to place a special emphasis on sound in an expanded disciplinary field.
In conclusion, the EDHEA aims to accompany its students on their artistic and/or professional journey by encouraging openess to all disciplines.

Jean-Paul Felley
EDHEA director