What is the purpose of having formal training in art?
I have always been under the impression that any formal education, at least at an advanced level, is all conceptual. You learn basics/concepts that you then have to apply to something new in your professional life. If so, then could it be argued that the only purpose of an art education is to learn the technical basics of the trade? Maybe it is just me, but I feel that going to school and focusing your study on abstract patterns teaches the student very little. Obviously there are certain things to be gained from studying patterns, but taking that approach in an educational setting, sets the artist up for nothing but that path. Similarly, if you went to school to be a mathematician, and they only taught you the basics of addition and multiplication, you would leave with a very limited set of future options. So, would it be best to have an education in traditional techniques, or a more "open" mentality geared toward expression? Both approaches can yield financial success and scholarly praise, but would having a solid background in realism, lighting, etc provide you with a better chance at having success in whatever style you pursue?