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Art School admission 2017

lsichitiulsichitiu Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
Hello,

my daughter is applying to art schools for Fall 2017. She will by a sculpture major most likely. She is interested in installation art. I am part of the Parents of 2017 group, but I feel that the admission process is very different for arts. I hope this thread will be a place for artists and/or their parents to post their questions, the schools they applied to, portfolios, stats, and finally the school they will choose to go to. I wish all of you god luck!
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Replies to: Art School admission 2017

  • lsichitiulsichitiu Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    I will start by listing the schools my kid will apply to:
    Pratt
    Cooper Union
    RISD
    VCU
    CIA
    CCA
    SAIC
    MICA
    KCAI
    MCAD
    Hunter - maybe
  • stones3stones3 Registered User Posts: 695 Member
    have you visited? VCUARTS has the #1 sculpture depart in the country but its very competitive.
    Daughter attends and loves it. Richmond is a very cool town. Good luck
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 2,199 Senior Member
    @Isichitiu I have a sophomore at Pratt (ComD) and a freshman at SCAD (back at home for the week due to Hurricane Matthew and the requisite cleanup :( ). I'm happy to lend any perspective or answer any questions. We've visited several of the schools on your daughter's list: Pratt, RISD, SAIC, MICA, and MCAD.

    Is your daughter planning to attend a Portfolio Day?

    Good luck to her!


  • lsichitiulsichitiu Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    We did visit VCUARTS. To tell the truth, they had a very poor tour by comparison to MICA and SAIC. The student led portion was especially disappointing. The 2 students were both from the Craft Major. One of them was in the sculpture major but switched. I asked to see the sculpture "studio". While huge, it was very hot and dirty. My kid was not impressed at all, however it is closer to home and a little cheaper so we will definitely apply.
  • lsichitiulsichitiu Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    @JBStillFlying thank you! My daughter went to Portfolio Day in Atlanta just a few weeks ago and once last year. I wish we could have visited more schools. My strategy is to apply and after we get the results, to go see more of them.
    My daughter feels that Pratt might be too constrictive when it comes to curriculum and I am not sure that is correct. She wishes to be able to pick different courses for electives since her instalations involve all kind of media. I wish we could have visited it. However, she already applied to Pratt, so I am happy : ).
  • lsichitiulsichitiu Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    @JBStillFlying , did you visit MCAD as in Minneapolis? What did you think about them?
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 2,199 Senior Member
    edited October 2016
    @Isichitiu, if she's already applied to Pratt she'll get a decision before year end. Smart! If she applies to MCAD before their EA deadline she'll be eligible for their laptop scholarship. MCAD has rolling admissions, I think so you get a decision very quickly.

    Your daughter is very wise to be looking at the curriculum at this stage! Very important to understand each school's philosophy and you definitely see that in how they lay out their curriculum. Here are my thoughts:

    Pratt definitely has a more structured curriculum plan with only a few opportunities for studio electives. That works great for my kid, who loves knowing what she needs to take for her major and feels quite confident in Pratt's ability to train her well. IMHO, RISD is similar to Pratt here (even with the added benefit of Wintersession). With either school it's very hard to change your major once you have begun your second year of instruction and you may have to repeat some or all of that year (that actually did happen to a niece of mine at RISD). With Pratt especially, it can be very tricky switching into, say, architecture or fashion as those have separate foundation years from the remaining majors in the schools of art or design, and other majors such as Interior Design or ComD fill up quick which limits options. While RISD doesn't require you declare till spring of foundation year, each department runs as it's own little "guild" (for lack of a better word) which doesn't allow for much intermixing. I've noticed, for instance, that the Graphic Design dept. runs separate typography studios from Illustration, even though both specialties obviously require training in typography and could well benefit from a more interdisciplinary approach. This is actually more restrictive than Pratt, as the latter does train it's illustrators and graphic designers together given the significant overlap of their specialities. The major advantage of RISD's approach would be Wintersession which is an opportunity to take pretty much anything you want, and breaks up that oh-so-long winter break with a concentrated, intense, single-studio (then gives the kids another break right afterwards!).

    In contrast, MICA and SAIC encourage a LOT more intermingling and it's possible, for instance, to change your major several times w/o worrying about whether you'll graduate on time. SAIC seemed to be the most fluid at the time we looked at it three years ago, but I've read a few stories of MICA kids switching among some pretty different specialties just because that's the direction they were going, and being completely supported by their advisors throughout the process. MICA also allows for additional concentrations (or minors) which allows you to plan for a diverse plate of studios right up front.

    I think that MCAD has a good mix of both - lots of supportive structure so you can stay focused, and lots of opportunities for electives so that you can brach out and explore. MCAD also has a pretty well-developed core that extends beyond the foundation year to include a required internship during, I think, the sophomore year. Of all the schools we toured, I was most impressed with MICA's and MCAD's emphasis on professional development (SCAD too but that's not on your list, Also, I didn't really worry about RISD on this issue just due to it's selectivity, reputation and alumnae network so didn't look into it very carefully).

    While the BFA is a professional degree, the fact is that it's at the Baccalaureate, not Master's, level. Exploration is a natural component at that level of education. Having said this, both my kids are the kinds who thrive in a structured environment and depend on that focused training to help them become professional creatives. So in the end it depends on the kid. The most important thing is to choose the school you see yourself graduating from taking into consideration things like merit aid/scholarship opportunities, job placement, etc.

    One more thing I just thought of is how the laptop plays into the curriculum. Both MCAD and SAIC have a laptop requirement with a uniform platform for all the students, further underscoring the ease of moving from one type of specialty to another. Pratt does not require you to purchase a laptop but does make recommendations depending on your major. RISD will have a required laptop (beginning sophomore year) but it can totally differ by major as they seem to rely on very specific software for each specialty.

    When the time comes, if you have any questions about the various campuses, the locales, etc. just ask.
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 2,199 Senior Member
    @Isichitiu we actually live in Minneapolis so have visited MCAD many times. They are small but have great facilities! Let me know if you need more information. Both my kids have taken continuing ed. / high school courses there and we have toured the place a couple times.
  • stones3stones3 Registered User Posts: 695 Member
    so surprised to hear that. When we toured , the art students where terrific and then one of the faculty (dean) graphic arts spent over 40 minutes talking with our D. Our tour was amazing in comparison to RISD,Pratt, MICA and RIT just to name a few. Also had a great time in Richmond.

    Of course the least impressive tour (actually was a student for nearly a year in their programs) was by far Cooper Union.

    Anyway if you have any questions about VCUARTS I would be happy to reply, as stated our D chose VCUARTS from all her accepted schools and is a very happy freshman.
  • lsichitiulsichitiu Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    Thank you so much @JBStillFlying ! Seems like my daughter did her homework : ) She is more of a SAIC/MICA kind of student. She does installation art and likes to learn to use a lot of very different mediums and techniques.
  • lsichitiulsichitiu Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    @stones3 SAIC and MICA had very good tours. How free is VCU when it comes to choosing courses from other departments? I know the first year if Foundation, but what about after that? During the tour, my daughter liked the wood shop used by the crafts students, but she was told that only the craft students are allowed to use it. I am not sure of the quality of the info offered by our tour guide.
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 2,199 Senior Member
    @Isichitiu I'd highly recommend that she tour both SAIC and MICA to understand better the differences between the two institutions. Both should have Accepted Students days in the spring or if you happen to be in the area you can probably schedule a tour at that time. Both very highly ranked in the fine arts, both have students who produce some amazing work, and from everything I know they would be super environments for someone with your daughter's interests. The SAIC main building is located right at the Art Institute which, of course, is as good as it gets for location. @GrnMtnMom (hope I'm remembering correctly!) can tell you more as she has a kid there now. There's a great book about MICA called "Art Schooled" which is available on Amazon. You'll get a lot of insights about the school as it existed under the legendary Fred Lazarus (now retired).

    Hopefully she'll love both places and it'll just be a matter of who offers the better scholarship package. :D

    Good luck and let us know how it goes for her!
  • spoonyjspoonyj Registered User Posts: 344 Member
    edited October 2016
    MICA parent here. My son is a junior Illustration major. He loves it--and the ability to take courses in other departments is part of the reason; it's a definite plus. Also, MICA is pretty generous with merit aid. They definitely make an effort to nab talent. I don't know much about the Sculpture department, but if you have any general questions, let me know. Finally, for the record, during the admitted students' weekend at RISD, we walked through the Sculpture department, and it was an especially memorable part of the tour. The work was great, and the environment seemed wonderful, vibrant and serious at the same time.
  • lsichitiulsichitiu Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    @ JBStillFlying thank you so much. I will get the book! I do hope for scholarship money. It is so good to hear from parents of artist kids!
  • lsichitiulsichitiu Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    @spoonyj thank you for your reply. We toured MICA during a National Portfolio Day they hosted, but unfortunately the tour did not include the Sculpture Department. If my daughter gets admitted we will definitely go see the Sculpture. One of the best memories from MICA were the illustrations that were on display...very good! My daughter likes illustration as well, and if she can pick a minor, illustration is her choice. MICA does not have an early action. However, during the NPD, MICA liked my daughter portfolio and they sent her a letter that said that they might send her an invitation this year to apply early action. So this is a bit confusing, since there is no EA due date on their website. I liked MICA very much, even though it looks a little unsafe ( the neighborhood ).
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