Learn more on www.esbama.fr

Montpellier Art School (ESBA) is a higher education institute, which awards the three-year National Diploma of Art (DNA) option art, and the five-year Higher National Diploma, or Masters, in Artistic Expression (DNSEP), option art. MOCO ESBA trains artists, designers and professionals in the field of contemporary art. 

Now part of MOCO public cultural cooperation institute, ESBA – Montpellier Art School, is a school of excellence, resolutely international in its vision. The school offers students total immersion in the MOCO project. 200 new students will join ESBA in autumn, 2018/19. The school has just received a record number of applications - 300 files for 50 first-year admissions. For the first time this year, 100% of all ASBA students have decided to continue studying in Montpellier.

The dynamic curriculum provided by a teaching staff of 22 artists and multiple guest lecturers (artists, curators or critics), stimulates students in developing their singularity and creativity. Students are immediately encouraged to be creative and outreach at national and international levels.

A vibrant artistic hub in synergy with the two MOCO exhibition venues

Since 2017 and the creation of MOCO, the curriculum has been revised to bring students fully into the life of the centre, by encouraging participation in activities at La Panacée and the MOCO Hôtel des collections (the two exhibition venues of Montpellier Contemporain):

  • Meetings and workshop visits to the school for students in grades 4 and 5 organised with the artists, curators and critics, invited by the centre of contemporary art. 
  • A wide programme integrated into the students’ curriculum, of conferences, round tables and projections at La Panacée.
  • Internships for all 2nd and 4th year ESBA students in the programming department (exhibitions / mediation), technical or communication teams.

Artists, curators, art critics and art professionals invited by MOCO for exhibitions, artistic residencies or cultural projects will also fully engage with ESBA students. Two major educational programs have been set up to promote experience sharing, meetings and collaborations with professionals from the world of art:

  • A curator invited for the year to the exhibition of ESBA graduates 

After Bernard Marcadé, who was invited to work with the 5th year students on the exhibition Kermesse in 2018 at La Panacée, it is Stéphanie Moisdon’s turn to work with ESBA future graduates this year, on a unique new concept for the 2019 exhibition. She will also participate in the work to be produced by MOCO in order to provide young artists with critical texts on their work and an essential tool to launch their careers in the professional network of contemporary art.

  • An artist invited for the year for an artistic project with students

In 2017/18, Bob & Roberta Smith, British artists invited by La Panacée for Activist, first retrospective, conducted a series of workshops with students as well as an exhibition in the ESBA gallery. In 2018/2019, Fabrice Hyber is working on a specific in-situ project via meetings, co-construction and workshops with students and the MOCO team.


A university residency within an art center, in partnership with the CROUS

The only art centre in France to have a university residence, La Panacée welcomes 59 art students each year. The apartments, managed by the CROUS and located within the art centre itself, are half occupied by ESBA students, allowing them to fully immerse themselves in the artistic life of the venue, through projects developed with the MOCO public department. The programme “Rooms with views”, for example, offers them carte blanche to design a special event, in connection with the summer exhibition of La Panacée.

Launch of a postgraduate programme to support MOCO ESBA students on an international curriculum.


Season 6 : an original new postgraduate diploma

As part of its international development, in 2018, Montpellier Contemporain created an innovative system of international art and research residencies for 6 ESBA graduates. After obtaining their DNSEP, graduates have the opportunity to apply for Season 6 programme. The 6 young artists selected will then develop their artistic practice for a year and build a professional network through involvement in major artistic events. The program revolves around participation in MOCO partner biennales and major international exhibitions.

For the 2018/2019 year, seasonn 6 will be held at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India in 2019, the Venice Biennial in Italy and the Istanbul Biennale in Turkey, in 2020.

Programme supported by the French Institute

6 award winning artists in 2018-2019:

Nicolas Aguirre, Geoffrey Badel, Mona Kim, Corentin Mestre, Quentin Helgouach and Chloé Viton

Montpellier Contemporain, a synergy tool open to the city, helps to position Montpellier and its territory as an active artistic place to be. Since 2017, the establishment has been developing numerous artistic cooperation projects with sites and players of the contemporary art scene in France and abroad.

Since 2018, two new partnership projects for artistic, curatorial and exhibition residencies have been set up, one locally and the other internationally.



Alumni : new partnership programmes for aid and support for Young artists from MOCO ESBA. 

Castle Capion, Aniane

  • Located on the Hérault Wine Route, which has acquired a solid international reputation, Château Capion, owned by Oleg Chirkunov and managed by Rodolphe Travel, plans to open the site to artistic and cultural activities. Since 2018, Montpellier Contemporain and Château Capion have joined forces to launch a strong original partnership to support young and locally trained artists. The creation of an original annual art residency program between a public contemporary art establishment and a private winery, allows young artists from ESBA, whose work is still little known or disseminated, to develop a research and production project , thus gaining visibility locally, nationally and internationally, through a summer exhibition at Château Capion. After Chloé Viton’s residency and exhibition Primitive Metamorphs in 2018, Baptiste Rocca, artist from MOCO ESBA, will reside in April and exhibit in the summer of 2019.


  • Post-Production – programme organised by the art schools of Montpellier (MOCO ESBA) Nîmes (ESBAN), Pau-Tarbes (ÉSA Pyrénées) and Toulouse (ISDAT), in partnership with the FRAC Occitanie Montpellier (FRAC OM), dedicated to the professional and artistic integration of young graduates


  • Mulhouse 09 Biennale of Contemporary Art

The City of Mulhouse is organizing a biennale of contemporary art for young artists from French, German, Italian and Swiss Art Schools. The event aims to present and promote young contemporary creation on a European scale, in partnership with Basel International Fair, Art Basel and the Ministry of Culture.

The aim of the event is to bring together European art schools for an exhibition, and to ensure the representation and promotion of artists on a national and international scale, on the side lines of one of the most prestigious arts events of Europe, the Basel Contemporary Art Fair

Artist proposed by ESBA for «Mulhouse 019»: Noemi Heinrich

In addition, MOCO also supports young artists and groups of young artists from ESBA, with partner locations for residencies, exhibitions and productions such as:

The Invisible Films for Ekiem Barbier’s film, Quentin L’helgoualc’h & Guilhem Causse, Knit’s Island (which follows Marlowe Drive made during their studies at MOCO ESBA). This film has just obtained the SCAM Dream Draft Scholarship for the first digital writing session of 2018, and the development grant of the CNAP and the CNC (DICREAM), of the Occitanie region and EDIS endowment fund.