September 12, 2015
1.) What's your earliest memory of making art?
I don’t really have many, because I wasn’t very into art as a child, but I loved making things, whether it was out of Legos or wood.
2.) Did you take a lot of art classes in high school?
I did not. I was homeschooled, but also concurrently attended community college. Although I had the opportunity to take art classes, I didn’t until I knew I was going to apply to CIA.
3.) Why did you choose to attend an art + design school?
I decided that an education in design was as important as the technical side of jewelry, so I will complete my education with a degree in art + design as well as hands-on training and certification.
4.) What made you choose CIA?
I’m from Baltimore MD, and wanted to attend a school with an excellent program, but not too far from home.
5.) What made you choose your major?
I had previously interned at a jewelry store prior to coming to CIA, and knew exactly what I wanted to do. I realize it doesn’t happen like that for most people, but as soon as I began working there I knew that it was for me.
6.) Is having your own studio important to your education?
Having a studio allows me a space where I can focus. The best part is the environment it provides. It is secluded enough where I can focus, but also allows for people to pop in and bounce ideas off of me and vice versa. Having friends who have a passion for the same things as me creates a melting pot of ideas where everyone has suggestions and solutions.
7.) How are your relationships with CIA faculty different than your relationships with your high school teachers?
It is more intimate, in that we have one-on-one time to discuss work and ideas. I can always ask them questions and advice.
8.) Tell us about your internship.
I worked at a fine jewelry store in Baltimore where I repaired and fabricated jewelry. CIA prepared me because the faculty has high expectations and standards. Working at the store, I wasn’t overwhelmed because of my previous experience at school.
9.) What one thing about the CIA experience surprised you the most?
How much time I spend at the studio. Coming here I was told students usually spend 50 hours or more outside of class working, and I didn’t believe that, but it’s definitely true. I enjoy every minute of it so it doesn’t seem like that much time.
10.) How do you like Cleveland?
There’s lots of opportunities here in University Circle, and it is easy to get around town.
11.) What would you say to a high school student considering attending CIA?
There’s no better place where you learn and have fun doing it.
Above: Alex Bitzel in CIA's Jewelry + Metals studio.
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