September 05, 2014
What's your earliest memory of making art?
As a child, I would be found anywhere with a crayon in hand and ideas bigger than I could capture. I would draw everything I could see and things that were found only in my imagination. My mom embraced it as the walls in our house were turned into canvases.
Did you take a lot of art classes in high school?
I was blessed to go to a high school that had a strongly supported arts program. I took all the art classes I could cram into my schedule. I took every fine arts course, ending with Fine Art 4AP, along with digital photography, ceramics, painting, and drawing classes.
Why did you choose to attend an art + design school?
I chose an art and design college mostly because I could not see myself anywhere else. My sister went to an academic university and visiting her showed me that was not what I wanted.
What made you choose CIA?
My senior year of high school I would drive into Cleveland and pay for life drawing classes at CIA. My high school art teacher encouraged us to do so, and living roughly thirty minutes away made it possible. The more I came, the more I fell in love with campus and the school.
What made you choose your major?
It was hard not to choose ceramics. I originally came to the school for drawing. Freshman year I took the craft elective since I enjoyed working in clay during high school so much and enjoy working with my hands. Being in the Ceramics Department felt like home. I got to know Professor Judith Salomon really well and that just sealed it. The faculty, the fellow students, and the all-encompassing curriculum that they teach were the most interesting things I found here.
Is having your own studio important to your education? And how about interaction with classmates, is that important to your education?
I love having my own studio. I joke that I live in there because I spend more time in there than my apartment. It is a place where my ideas flow freely, I can brainstorm with my peers, and I just have it as my art space. Without it I would not do as much and my work wouldn’t be as good. I need to interact with others to be a good artist. My peers motivate me and push me to be the best I can be. We support and inspire each other.
How are your relationships with CIA faculty different than your relationships with your high school teachers?
I had a good relationship with my high school faculty, but I still felt like a student. With my faculty here, however, I feel more respect as an artist and more like an adult. The faculty listen to your ideas and teach you in a way that is more guidance than telling you what do to.
Have you had any internships? If so, where and how did you like it?
I had a summer internship as a studio assistant for a ceramic artist. I got to see what she does every day, how she manages her time, and I learned about everything involved with art fairs and studio work. I’m glad I was able to do this.
What one thing about the CIA experience surprised you the most?
The thing about CIA that surprised me the most was the sense of community, not only with the small student body, but in connection to the area around the college. Another aspect is how big such a small school can feel. Graduating from high school with about as many students that go to this school in total was initially an off-putting factor, but I've grown to love it.
How do you like Cleveland?
I have always loved Cleveland. It is rough around the edges in the sense of being an old steel center, but it’s a wonderful emerging art community and great with its support of the arts, at CIA and beyond. Playhouse Square is one of my favorite places to go visit and see what's playing.
What would you say to a high school student considering attending CIA?
I'd say visit and don't be afraid to talk to a student going here. I found my niche here and it’s hard to determine if a place is right for you by looking at it through a brochure.
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