Resulting from a joint decision by Angoulême and Poitiers to unite their resources and create a regional school, ÉESI is subsidised by the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the Regional Council of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the two municipalities that host its facilities and the GrandAngoulême.
The school prepares students for the French equivalent of the BFA (the three-year Diplôme National d’Arts Plastiques) and MFA (the Diplôme National Supérieur d’Expression Plastique). The three disciplines offered by its Art option – comic art, digital art, emerging practices – put the emphasis on exploring the relations between thought, criticism, the production of visual works and research. In partnership with University of Poitiers, a master’s degree in comic art completes ÉESI’s graduate level offer. In addition, ÉESI opened in 2016 an international course in comic art, a one-year programme (School diploma) designed for young foreign comic artists.
The pedagogical project is implemented by a team of theoreticians and artist-teachers, accompanied by assistants, media librarians and technicians, all involved in various aspects of the contemporary arts. Perspectives are further broadened by workshops, seminars, lectures and visits by outside professionals and experts.
ÉESI is especially attentive to the relations that students develop with the art world(s). That is why students are encouraged to travel and to work with established artists or in cultural institutions, and to participate in local and international events and festivals. Every day, ÉESI’s national and international partnerships help open up new perspectives, new ways of bringing together theory and practice, research and art, and finding and transgressing new frontiers.
By encouraging experiment and awareness of new developments in all the arts (music, cinema, literature, the performing arts, etc.), as well as the dialogue with other fields of knowledge (science, cultural studies, human sciences), the different components of the ÉESI teaching programme, from the first degree to the postgradute program on Document and Contemporary Art and, since 2016, the PhD "Practice and theory of artistic and literary creation in comic art" offer students and budding artists an environment and resources to learn and produce.