Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo (ALU) was founded in 1972 as a higher-education institution and a member of the University of Sarajevo. Academy comprises six specific departments: Art Education, Painting, Sculpting, Printmaking, Graphic Design and Product Design. During their studies at the first and the second cycle, ALU students are also offered different groups of elective courses in the areas of multimedia, photography, pedagogy, psychology, conservation and restoration, theory of design and marketing, lighting design etc. In the 2006/2007 academic year, Academy of Fine Arts of the University of Sarajevo joined the 4 + 1 Bologna system of education.
Since its establishment, Academy has admitted 2,723 students and by the end of 2019 it recorded a total of 1,584 graduates of undergraduate studies. The postgraduate studies were introduced in 1983 and master programmes in 2010; by the end of 2019 a total of 251 students were awarded the master’s degree.
After the reorganization of curricula of the first cycle (BA) of studies, in accordance with contemporary trends in higher education, Academy also began to reorganize curricula of the second cycle (MA) of studies and, besides the existing ones, introduced new master programmes in the area of photography and art education.
Doctoral studies in art and design, as the third cycle of studies at ALU Sarajevo is in the preparatory stage. It is conceived as an interdisciplinary study of art and design which will, in the spirit of previously gained experience, include both creative-artistic and formal-theoretical, i.e. academic aspects of design. The professional and theoretical education of future doctors of art and design will open the road toward a meticulous evaluation of the creation of visual art, its analysis and synthesis, starting from their own creative practice.
Aimed at contributing to the protection of rich and highly endangered cultural-historical heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and due to the evident and urgent need for professionals, Academy introduced studies in the area of Conservation and Restoration, which are delivered together with the Faculty of Science of University of Sarajevo.
In the spirit of long-term development and nourishing of professional relations, cooperation agreements with 12 academies from the country and the region (40ALU) were signed in Sarajevo in October 2012. This agreement is the basis for defining and developing specific programmes in the area of artistic, teaching, academic and research activity, such as joint participation and representation in international artistic and research projects; promoting mobility of teachers and students, organizing collective exhibitions, symposia, seminars, art workshops and publications; mutual assistance in educating students and developing teaching staff.
Besides regional cooperation, over the past 50 years of its existence Academy has built significant ties with international partners and other players such as representatives of economy and industry, as well as with diplomatic missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This confirmed its leading role both in the area of higher education in visual arts and design and in forming ties with the potential labour market for its students. Participation at many international exhibitions, as well as received awards, activity in the public and cultural life in BiH and beyond are evidence that knowledge gained at ALU gives its alumni the opportunity for multiple opening and advancement in areas such as multimedia, digital art, interactive art, up-to-date pedagogical trends, visual communications and design and other areas in related domains.
In the ALU Gallery, Academy wants to open the door for the flow and exchange of different views, ideas and expressions in the area of visual art and legitimately take the initiative of animating and educating public at large of Bosnia and Herzegovina about the significance and importance of art in contemporary society, primarily due to the fact that over the past twenty years art has been moved to the margins of society. Enriching of the programme of ALU Gallery would provide artists, students, teachers, former associates as well as all the interested parties with a spot for re/presentation of art, a critical-dialectic framework for reflection on the significance and position of art in the society, as well as information on current tendencies in art. The three major topics of the programme are the following: