In Brest, the art school “forced to make budget choices” – Brest

Director, number 2, and three executives of the administrative and technical team have left Eesab Brest in recent months. Is the Brest site in crisis?

” No ! As in many companies, the covid crisis has prompted many people to think about their careers and their lives. For example, our accountant decided to leave the region to look for his family. Others have passed competitions, or wanted to attain a rank at the end of their career, such as the head of technical teams, and found a position elsewhere corresponding to this category.These departures took place in a very short time, but correspond to professional development needs in managerial or technical positions , or simply life choices. We are experiencing the same problems on the other Eesab sites, in Lorient, Quimper and Rennes”.

Does this also apply to the positions of administrative manager and director*, who left a year and a half after arrival?

“These are personal choices: they didn’t want to go any further and it’s not up to me to speak for them. After that, their arrival was not easy: it followed the departure of the historic management of Brest, Yannick Lucéa and his deputy Grégory Guérin, who had been there for ten years. It was undoubtedly difficult for the newcomers to run such an establishment, especially as they discovered higher education and contemporary art for the one, and this function of school management for the other.”

Where are the recruits to replace these quarters?

“We have reformed a team, with arrivals planned for early October. The deputy director, recruited this week, will arrive in mid-November. For the time being, only the position of director remains: the call for applications is open until September 30, and the choice must be formalized by December. We have even created a position of coordinator for our “Design Lab”, a junior company created within the school to professionalize our students”.

We have to make choices to keep the budget, and that it is mainly spent on the purchase of materials and pedagogy

An email from the director sent to the teachers last July announced the cancellation of the integration days, the “Days”, as well as conferences or study days, citing financial difficulties. What about?

“We didn’t do any “Days”, but we did a pre-return with workshops and proposals internally or with our partners. After that we had to make financial choices, but like all Eesab branches. 85% of our budget consists of personnel costs, with an index point increasing, and we also have to deal with the increase in material costs. So we have to make choices to keep the budget within limits, and that it mainly concerns the purchase of materials and pedagogy, with an increasing number of students”.

Have you identified opportunities for additional resources?

“We have potential resource relays: continuing education, but also our Design Lab, for which the coordinator can work to monitor project calls, research for funding and partnerships. And we’re also happy to see that our public courses are nearing completion.

We have 225 students in graduate school. More than half of them come from outside Brittany, proving the appeal of our school

Does the city of Brest support you enough?

“Yes: she is very involved outside the school, has been there for support all year. We have a sympathetic ear, because she is aware of the situation of the school. And we are working with them on a very large project: the renovation of the Neptune space. Work should start in a year.

How does this exercise present itself in addition to these difficulties?

” Great! We have 225 students in senior school, 70 of whom are in the first year, which is a fairly rare level here. More than half of them come from outside Brittany, which proves the appeal of our school. And we have nearly 290 students, aged 6 to 82, for public courses”.

* Jean-Baptiste Gabbero actually left the Brest site of the École supérieure d’arts de Bretagne on September 16, 2022, after announcing his choice to the management of Eesab in mid-July.

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