Artists Debate Whether the Discipline Needs a Doctorate

Artists Debate Whether Their Field Needs a Doctorate 1

Greg Kendall-Ball for The Chronicle

Nil Santana, an instructor of graphic design and photography at Abilene Christian U., is studying for a Ph.D. through the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts.

John S. Powers used to rely on a mix of intuition and impulse to create his art.

Then he spent four years doing what very few artists do: earning a doctorate.

After completing his Ph.D. from the University of the Arts in Berlin, he found that his sculptures, many of which are exhibited in public spaces, became more thematically complex and reflective of his scholarship.

Red Object II, for example, was installed last year in Berlin on the foundation of what was once the