October 04, 2016
Q + A with Glass major Alyssa Ziemba
How did you choose CIA?
I chose CIA because it had an environment that was friendly and exciting when I first toured the school. It had a lot of different options, which made me feel like I had a lot of different choices that I could make and not just stay in one space. Originally, I came here for graphic design, and along the way my freshman year, I took electives, and I changed to ceramics, and then I changed to glass eventually. It was a decision I’m really glad that I made.
Discovery process: What were the things that helped you form your thinking about what you wanted to do?
The departments were very open, and I was able to come and explore a lot of different processes and different types of departments. I was able to play around in each of the craft departments.
I was really into all of the design aspects, and I still am, but it was just not hands-on enough for me. I found the craft departments, and I found that I really enjoy processes.
What advice would you have for younger students who are thinking about what they want to do?
I’d say to keep your options open first and foremost. Go in with the idea that you may want to do something, but be open to other opportunities that might come your way. That’s what I experienced. I was dead-set on graphic design, and then I poked around in different departments and thought, “Wow, it’s really much larger than I thought.”
What was your art experience in high school?
They had an art department there. It wasn’t very specific, it was just Art I-IV — lots of colored pencil and pastels, and oil painting here and there. They did not have ceramics or anything like that.
What do you like about glass?
I enjoy that there are so many different options. You don’t have to stick to just glassblowing. There’s also flamework and casting. Recently I’ve been working with silkscreening glass powders, and I’ve been making butterflies and flowers with that process. It’s so interesting how you can tie printmaking into glass.
What has been your experience with faculty?
The CIA faculty has helped me so much to develop who I am as an artist. They’ve been so open to new experiments, ideation, helping me develop new processes and let me do what I’m interested in rather than sticking me on a path and just trying to push me in one direction.
What was the value of your foundation year to your overall development as an artist?
Foundation year was really helpful in coming up with ideas for myself rather than just assignments. It helped me draw better. It helped me with coming up with ideations for myself rather than just doing ideas that people have given me.
What’s the housing situation like?
The school housing for me is really important. It’s so nice to live across the street. I’m able to get up in the morning and just walk right across the street to school. It’s such an advantage to me. I’m able to do so much more, and I’m able to get here early and leave late and not feel bad about it.
You visited other art schools when you were thinking of where to go to college. How did CIA compare?
They all looked very fun and very promising and interesting, but the environment at CIA was so much different. Just walking through the doors, and everything about it was very welcoming and very friendly, and it felt so open. And I’d never experienced that before. I feel at home here.
For more information about this or other CIA news, contact us here.