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13 Mar 2020

The MAPS program at the Valais School of Art (EDHEA)

@Maëlle Cornut / EDHEA

Studying at MAPS, Scholarships, and Admissions requirements
EDHEA - The Valais School of Art


Application deadline: April 3 2020 Selection interviews: May 6-7 2020 (on site or via skype) Languages: French and English Study fees: 1000 CHF per year plus material costs (700 CHF)

Petra Koehle
+41 27 456 55 11

Route de la Bonne-Eau 16
3960 Sierre

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The MAPS program

Studying at MAPS, Scholarships, and Admissions requirements

MAPS – Master of Arts in Public Spheres – is an agile multi-sited program which foregrounds travelling and displacing as part of its experimental approach to artistic research. The two-year program is part of the HES-SO University of Applied Arts and Sciences and is geared to artists, who wish to explore the relationship between art and environmental, political, cultural, and media-related dimensions of the public sphere. 

The program is composed of eight stations per year, each consisting of 7-10 days, in which the student's work becomes a starting point for continuous reflections and artistic exchange. These fluid node points with their various forms of (un-)learning, include research activities, seminars and workshops, screenings, performances, exhibition making, collective discussions and face to face discussions. Stations are conceived by visiting lecturers, students and tutors and foster highly concentrated and convivial moments during which the participants interrogate the public spheres by intervening artistically, investigating environmentally and socially engaged art practices, considering writing and publishing as an artistic practice, working with postcolonial, queer and feminist theories, and adopting alternative approaches to pedagogy. In between the stations, the artists continue their research individually or within self-organized Study Groups, a process that is supported by tutors. Due to the program's pluri-national context, collective exchange usually take place in English. However, Arabic, French, German, Italian and Spanish are frequently spoken languages among tutors and students and navigating in-between linguistic spaces has become a common practice.

The MAPS home base is located in the alpine town of Sierre in the canton of Valais. Surrounded by an idyllic landscape, the valley is also witness to (post-)industrial development and has become an international laboratory for studying the effects of climate change. Situated at the crossroads between several language borders, Sierre is well connected to various regions of Switzerland as well as to Italy and thus offers access to a broad view on cultural practices. From here we operate and provide fundamental infrastructure.

Half of the stations take place in Valais, the other half in exchange with national and international institutions as well as independent initiatives with which MAPS has established a sustainable network. Recent partners and hosts include, among others, the Istituto Svizzero di Roma (IT), the Vilnius Academy of the Arts and the Nida Art Colony (LT), TRAIN – Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation of Chelsea College of the Arts London (UK), the Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella (IT), Walking Encounters in Psarades (Florina School of the Arts, Greece), the FAR Festival in Nyon, the Arsenic (Centre d'art scénique contemporain) in Lausanne, the collective Mesa 8 in Conception (CL) and the CIC (Contemporay Image Collective) in Cairo.

Current research questions investigated by the faculty include art and labour, politics of attention, environmental crises, speculative narratives, transformation through repetition, critical site-specificities as well as feminist, post and decolonial art histories.

Collaborations with art residency programs such as the Villa Ruffieux (Sierre) or La Becque (La Tour-de-Peilz), offer a fluid transition between the program and the ensuing artistic career. The program's sustainability is also founded on the regular contributions of alumni whom MAPS support as artists, cultural agents and co-researchers.

Petra Koehle, Federica Martini, Kadiatou Diallo, Barnaby Drabble, Robert Ireland, Jérôme Leuba, Eric Maeder, Anne-Julie Raccoursier, Aurélie Strumans

Recent Guests

Martina Angelotti, Mabe Bethonico, Dayron Carrillo Morell, Cecilia Canziani, Eduardo Cruces, Alexios Dallas, Anna Daneri, Silvie Defraoui, edition fink, Céline Eidenbenz, Patricia Ellis, Samia Henni, Kadiatou Diallo, Lucie Kolb, Vana Kostayola, Antonio Lavarello, Federico Luisetti, Zen Marie Cecilia Canziani, Sarah McLaren, Callisto McNulty, Uriel Orlow, Jannis Osolin, RELAX, Stalker, Despoina Zelfkili

Applications and Requirements

Required qualification: Bachelor's diploma in visual arts and/or equivalent training and experience. Applicants must submit their application in English or French by April 3, 2020.
Admission conditions, precise dates, registration forms, study plans and timetables can be consulted and downloaded on the EDHEA website:


EDHEA scholarship
The EDHEA scholarship supports students who wish to work intensively on site during their Master's studies. The scholarship consists of one room in a 3-room apartment with kitchen and bathroom in Sierre (additional costs for electricity and water are paid by the student). Candidates who would like to apply for this scholarship additionally enclose a short letter of motivation with the note 'EDHEA scholarship' (max. 1 A4 page) to their MAPS application. Selection criteria are the financial urgency and content-related persuasiveness of the application. 

Wyss Foundation scholarship
The Wyss Foundation scholarship is a fellowship for international emerging artists from Latin American, Asian, African and Middle Eastern countries. It is awarded to selected MAPS students by the Hansjoerg Wyss Foundation. Eligible candidates who wish to apply for this scholarship additionally enclose the Wyss Fellowship form (EDHEA website) to their MAPS application.