Director’s word

Over the last few years, the Valais School of Art (EDHEA) has been undergoing a profound transformation of its organisational structure. The aim of this transformation is to offer students the best possible training and tools in the fields of graphic design and the visual arts.

Our four-year graphic design course is now widely recognised across Switzerland. Students at the Valais School of Art work on real projects in partnership with companies and institutions in Valais as an integral part of their training. After obtaining the Federal VET diploma, a third of our students go on to study at university, while others go directly into professional activities.

In the field of visual arts, we have seen a sharp increase in applications from all over Switzerland and abroad for our Master of Arts in Public Spheres (MAPS) in 2021. Our courses emphasise artistic practice, since practical application is at the heart of all UAS training. We are able to provide this training thanks to the support of experienced professors who also work as professional artists. The combination of such high-quality teaching and a great geographical location in the heart of the Alps but close to major urban centres is what makes the Valais School of Art an ideal place to study.

The start of the 2021/2022 academic year brought a new opportunity for prospective students: the opportunity to enrol on a new course that focuses on sound in contemporary art. The Bachelor in Sound Arts, which is the only course of its kind in French-speaking Switzerland, allows students to acquire technical skills, theoretical knowledge and artistic skills. Studying sound and understanding the crucial role it plays in art also opens up opportunities for interdisciplinary work and studies, incorporating fields such as music or the performing arts.

The introduction of this exciting new course coincided with the August 2021 launch of the architecture competition held by the Service Immobilier et Patrimoine (Real Estate and Heritage Service) of the Canton of Valais. The competition calls for designs for a future campus that will bring together the Valais School of Art and the Valais School of Couture in Sierre, on the site of the old Usego halls. This competition, which is open to the international community, represents a major step forward. It will culminate with the construction of a functional, high-performance building that is perfectly suited to a school of design and arts in 2026.

The new school will open up development opportunities in the field of contemporary creative arts—opportunities that are rare in Europe—and will also create a new artistic hub in Valais. However, the Valais School of Art will always remain a school with a human touch, where ideas are exchanged and projects can take shape in an environment that fosters creativity.

Jean-Paul Felley