Throughout the year I often get fantastic emails from PHS Alumni sharing their post high school experience. I am so impressed with so many of past students that I will ask them to share their experiences with my readers. Here is some insight from one such student and some of her recent artwork.....
"Hi, my name is Christa, class of 2013. I am currently a student at Kean University studying Illustration and Art History. One thing I enjoy most about college is that it is very open-ended which gives you a lot of room to spread out and explore your options. What I mean by that is when you enter college you're not restricted. You choose your courses and when they'll be, what you do with your free time and even when and where you'll eat lunch. It sounds simple but it's a great feeling.
Classes are sort of structured the same way, meaning you are the only one setting your limits. What I find that's helpful, is to enter a course with the goal of learning as much as you can. This works for others and not just those pursuing art. There's always going to be that class that you don't want to take but it's required you do, or a class you only take because it's easy. Don't limit yourself, learn all that you can so that by the end of the semester you can say that it was worth it. Who knows, you might find a new interest in a subject that you otherwise never cared for. For me it was art history, which I thought I would hate. So, be brave and try new things, don't be afraid to make mistakes because they help you grow. And ask your professors tons of questions, if you don't ask you'll never know."
This week I have a a 2015 PHS graduate sharing her thoughts about her first semester at college as our guest blogger.
I would like to introduce our Guest Blogger, Tatiana. I have asked her to share some insight into the college application process for a student interested in going to college for any arts related career. Tatiana is currently a senior at PHS and is a student in my AP Art Drawing Studio II class. She is also a student option teacher assistant in my Drawing & Painting II course. In her free time she runs track and cross country, and she plans to pursue studio art in college..............
Applying to an Art College/Program
Hi! I know that sometimes applying to (or even thinking about) art school may seem daunting- sometimes it’s not as clear-cut as a regular university, but hopefully what I’ve picked up throughout the process can help you all out a bit!
The first thing I think is important to understand is the difference between an art college and a regular college/university. At a regular university, the ratio of studio-time to liberal-arts classes is about 4:6, whereas art schools emphasize studio immersion and the art-to-academic ratio is around: 7:3. If you want a fine arts degree and crave studio immersion, than I’d say art school is definitely for you!
The next step: when choosing an art school, I’ve come to realize that it’s important to do a lot of research, and be sure to know what you're looking for- avoiding basing a decision solely off of prestige or some other arbitrary factor. Personally, I plan to major in painting, and I've found that certain schools which are great overall may be lacking in certain departments, which should be considered.
Also, art schools are special in that in a lot of the application they admissions officers are assessing your artistic qualities and fearlessness. That idea is a really motivating factor that should encourage you to take artistic risks and explore a bit. Home tests and essays should be problem-solving opportunities that you should embrace, rather than dread. Be sure not to go too far, but don't limit yourself to the mundane, because you're applying to be both a student and an artist at said institution- plus if you’re having fun in your home test or essay, I think that’ll show through.
Another facet of applying to art schools (and other universities in general) that has been instilled in me: grades do matter. Plus, if your grades are good enough, you can rake in some academic scholarship money, which is always nice.
If you take away any succinct advice, it’d probably be organized, be yourself, and be confident. It sounds like a mystery but trust me, it’s not nearly as hard as it sounds. Have fun, and I wish you all the best of luck in all your pursuits! J
"The arts celebrate multiple perspectives. One of their large lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world."
Mrs. Dorothy Amme
Visual Arts Teacher
Piscataway High School