Tag: studio art

My Decision to Apply to Grad School + An Update

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So a few years ago, my plan was to go to grad school right after graduating from JMU. At the beginning of my senior year at JMU, I did research and started the application process. I even did a pre-application online portfolio review. By December, however, I was feeling super doubtful of my plan. It was a mix of emotions really. I was eager for a break from school, worried about the expenses, and also doubtful of my chances of even getting into a good program. In the end, I decided to not apply that year and I was okay with my decision.

Fast forward a few months to the summer after my graduation. I was applying for teaching jobs in every school district within an hour of Roanoke and waiting for interviews that never came. I went through some personal changes that were hard for me to deal with and I looked for ways to stay busy. I signed up for a few online classes and worked on art projects. It was around this time that I started to reconsider my plan yet again.

I finally admitted to myself that I still wanted to go to grad school for art and I decided to go for it. I started the process earlier, did more research, and contacted some of my former professors. I applied to four low-residency programs (SAIC, MICA, Lesley, MassArt), none of which are in Virginia. Low-residency, by the way, means that most of the course work is done from home. Residencies take place in the summer, and this is when you stay on campus for several weeks of intense work and time with visiting artists.

MFA programs are pretty competitive, as they typically accept only small groups of students (15-30) each year. One of my priorities is to go to a school that is well-known for its art program. Of course, the higher ranked the school, the more applicants there will probably be. Two of the schools I applied to are among the top ten for fine arts grad programs in the U.S. (according to US News–although a high ranking isn’t always a guarantee that the program is great). That said, I tried to be optimistic about my chances of getting in, but I was also mentally preparing myself for rejection.

I have received one rejection letter so far, and that one was from MassArt. Normally I would’ve been super disappointed, but it just so happened that I opened another letter first, and that one was from SAIC (School of the Art Institute of Chicago). And yeah, I got in!! I was so thrilled because SAIC was my first choice and also because I really didn’t think I would get into the #2 fine arts school in the country. The low-residency program is actually being introduced to SAIC this summer, so I will be among the first 35 students to be in it.

I will definitely share more details as I get them, as well as let you know the status of my applications to the other two schools. I’m so excited for this next chapter of my life to begin and I look forward to sharing it with you all :] Thanks for reading!

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I Graduated!

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It feels like I just graduated from high school yesterday, but here I am, a college grad. I have mixed emotions about the whole thing really, and I don’t think it will truly hit me that I’m not going back until August when I’m not packing up the car with all my things to move back to campus. It’s bittersweet for sure. A big part of me feels very ready for this next step (whether I can clearly tell you what that next step is exactly…well that’s another story). I graduated cum laude and I’m super proud of my accomplishments. I’m excited to see what opportunities may present themselves to me. I’m excited for something different and new.

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Don’t get me wrong, though, I am pretty nervous about the future. I’m still in the job-searching period of my post-grad life and waiting anxiously for an offer. Right now, I am looking for a position as an art teacher hopefully not too far away so that I can live at home for a little while.

I do miss JMU and the people I became friends with there. I miss the beautiful campus and the feeling of independence I had. It’s kind of sad knowing I’ll never go back there as a student. I’m also not looking forward to paying off my loans… There are definitely some perks to being done, though. I get to be around for more family stuff and spend more time with my boyfriend and friends who live here.  I also don’t have to move all my stuff again (for a while at least). I can hopefully manage my diabetes better now that I’m a little more in control of my schedule and what I eat, etc.

I have lots of plans for the summer to keep me busy while I nervously await a job offer! I have another art show in August in Downtown Harrisonburg, so I’ll be working on stuff for that. I’ll put up more information on that show very soon. I’m also in the process of opening an Etsy store! I’ll mostly be using it to sell my hand-painted clothing, but I’ll probably put some small drawings and paintings there too. I will also post something about that once the store is up and running.

I’ve been contacting local artists, galleries, and boutiques in search of more opportunities to get my work out to the public. I’m kind of unsure as to how I should approach this kind of thing, so I’m seeking advice from those who know more than I do :P

I’m not too sure where I’ll be in a few months, which is kind of intimidating, but I’ll be sure to share my journey with you guys on here :] Stay tuned!

grad15Me and my super supportive parents :]

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What I’m Doing Right Now

Wow, I have been so busy this month! I can hardly believe that I’ve only been at JMU for a month and a half because I’ve done so many things, it feels like way longer. Anyway, let me fill you in on all the crazy shenanigans that have been going on lately.

First of all, I love all of my classes for once! Here is what I’m taking: Secondary Art Education Methods, Intermediate Painting, Ceramics (Potter’s Wheel), Aesthetics (pretty much the philosophy of art), Printmaking, a mandatory 7-week RA class, and I’m also doing my art education teaching practicum. My professors are great too. I’m in class 24 hours a week and since I have a lot of studio classes, I have a lot of outside work every week as well. My practicum is half an hour away, so that takes up almost 3 hours a week. For my education class, we also teach a small art lesson in a retirement home for 4 weeks (once a week). My partner and I doubled up with another pair so we’re actually going 7 weeks. In my painting class, we are allowed to work very independently and I’m working on a series of paintings that reflect my life with diabetes. They are coming along well. Oh and did I mention I’m using oil paint? I’m in love. I’ll post more info about those pieces in the near future. My ceramics class is challenging, but lots of fun. I always end up with clay all over me, though.. Aesthetics is great because my professor is very entertaining, which keeps me awake! Printmaking is lots of fun too; instead of clay, I get ink all over me.

Aside from classes, the other thing that takes up most of my time is my job as an RA. I love it so far, but it’s more work than I thought it would be. I’m definitely glad I applied for the job though, I’ve already created great relationships with lots of people and learned a ton of valuable information. I feel like I have something to do all the time, which isn’t a bad thing. I’m definitely ready for a break though!

Here’s a peek at what I’ve been working on recently:

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