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The Hochschule der Bildenden Künste Saar (HBKsaar) is the Saarland’s only university of art and design. It was founded in 1989 and emerged from the initial “Staatliche Schule für Kunst” founded 1924 which changed to a “Schule für Kunst und Handwerk” in 1964, both with a strong tradition of arts and crafts. From 1971 to 1989 the school join together with the current University of Applied sciences.
Since 1989 HBKsaar has developed into one of the most important creative training centres in the greater region of Saarland-Western Palatinate-Alsace-Lorraine-Luxembourg-Wallonia. HBKsaar is a public institution with about 500 students and offers a challenging and fulfilling education in subjects that are current and relevant to the artistic and creative fields.
Internationally renowned artists and designers assure an education of high quality.
The open study structure and the interdisciplinary orientation of the teaching as well as the distinctive emphasis on practical project-based work enable the students to be constantly involved in real work processes with concrete tasks. Consequently exhibitions and project presentations regularly emerged from the teaching and research projects at HBKsaar and give innovative and creative impulses in the whole region.
HBKsaar has maintained the tradition of the Saarland school of Arts since 1924 which is associated with famous names like Boris Kleint, Frans Masereel, Peter Raacke, Robert Sessler or Otto Stein.
The main campus of HBKsaar is situated in the Saarbrücken city centre. It houses the main administrative offices, the studios and lecture rooms, a wide-ranging library, a media and equipment pool, the school’s archive, well-equipped workshops for photography, wood, metal, model making, printing, computer and a video and sound studio providing the students with a comprehensive range of artistic, creative as well as scientific skills and experiences. The HBKsaar also maintains a facility in the UNESCO World Culture Heritage Site of the Völklingen ironworks. This site is approx. 10 km from Saarbrücken and offers the students an exceptional industrial and cultural working environment. Besides studios and workshops different experimental laboratories and project-based facilities for all artistic and design disciplines are housed in the Völklingen location.
The Institute for Contemporary Art in Saarland, situated in Saarlouis, is an affiliate institute of HBKsaar. It offers information about the artistic projects in the region as well as substantial data about the development of Fine Arts in Saarland. This archive is made accessible for study and research work.
In June 2010, HBKsaar inaugurated its own gallery, providing all students with the possibility of getting in touch with the development of contemporary exhibition culture through conceptual projects. It shows works of graduates as well as international artists and designers. In that way, the gallery functions as a showcase to the public and produces dialogues with relevant questions on society and arts.
The HBKsaar, together with the University of Art in Nancy, regularly organises glass seminars and design workshops in the Centre International d’Art Verrier in Meisenthal, a commune situated in the Vosges mountain range in neighbouring Lorraine. Students are introduced to the techniques in glass work under the guidance of international renowned designers.
Besides the regional connection to scientific and cultural institutions and enterprises the HBKsaar has established international educational links with a great number of schools of art and design in Europe, Asia and North America.
The international orientation, the practice-based teaching as well as the interdisciplinary concept which integrates the fields of art, design and research offer a stimulating study environment for students from all over the world.