Looking for suggestions...

<p>Liberal Arts College or University with a strong Fine Art /Art History program. East Coast; in or near an urban center. Thanks.</p>

<p>Artschoolmom, is your daughter at Pratt? Is she looking to to transfer? I posted on one of your threads last year. My daughter was a freshman in the honors program at SVA. She discovered that she really wanted more of a true college/liberal arts experience. She is now at Smith College in Northampton, MA. and absolutely loves it!!! They have a very strong art/art history department. Interestingly she showed her portfolio and got into upper level studio courses, but did not choose to to take a studio art course. She is taking an art history course and has an interview for a work-study job with the director of the art museum. While Northampton is not urban, it has a lot of culture for a small town and Smith is part of the five-college consortium giving students the chance to take courses at any of the other schools (UMASS, Mount Holyoke, Amherst, and Hampshire). The breadth and depth of the art history courses in that group is probably without peer. In addition, the language departments at Smith are very strong - a must for art history. Smith, also, has a remarkable program called "Praxis" which gives each Smith student $2,000 for a summer internship which is very often used at art museums and/or galleries. They do take January transfers.</p>

<p>My D just started as a freshman at MICA. Besides her non-communicative roomate, she is happy with the pure art school choice.</p>

<p>Unsoccer-mom and artschoolmom, just curious why your child chose/ is currently considering a LAC? D's friend just graduated from Pratt in graphic design, loved it there and got a great job in Manhattan for a graphic design firm.</p>

<p>The painting teacher at my D's creative and performing arts HS lobbied her heavily to attend Swarthmore, just outside Philly. Teacher thought it was a great mix of art, art history and academics.</p>

<p>Daughter at Pratt is blissfully happy. I think it is a great place for her. My inquiry is for child # 2, my son who spent the summer in Italy and is really turned on by his Ap Art History class. He's only a junoir and not an art school kid.</p>

<p>There were several factors in my daughter's decision. She really did not like living in NYC. Environmental factors combined with stress resulted in an all out assault on her immune system making her sick more often than not. The SVA honors program had four academic courses in addition to three studio courses and she discovered that she really liked the academics. Finally, the emphasis on marketing yourself and your art was not one she felt comfortable with at SVA. In the end, she opted for a more traditional college experience which when she first was looking at colleges was the very last thing on her mind.</p>

<p>I think that going to art school in a large city is more like working. There is very little in the way of typical college support systems. She is astonished at the amount of support she is receiving at Smith.</p>

<p>Artschoolmom, just saw your post. I guess Smith is not an option for your son. Williams is well known for their art history program, but is in a more remote location and is highy selective.</p>


<p>Glad to hear your D is happy.</p>

<p>How 'near' to an urban center? </p>

<p>Skidmore used to have decent fine arts and very good art history. I don't know the latest on their programs, but overall, the school has become much more selective of late and their endowment has expanded significantly.</p>

<p>artschool mom, My son had the same criteria and chose Williams. Some say the best art history department in the country plus very strong studio arts. It's decidedly non-urban (being in the middle of the Berkshires) but there are three world class museums on or near campus and the college puts a lot of emphasis on art and the humanities. </p>

<p>Excellent internship opportunities (off the charts placement in top museums) and post-graduate support -- both for jobs and graduate school. They also offer a combined degree in studio + history. </p>

<p>My son also thought that urban was a requirement but in the end many of the schools that he liked were not in cities. Museum access and funding for both the art history and studio departments were the determining factors. </p>

<p>His list was:
Williams, Wesleyan, Kenyon, Conn College, Skidmore, Yale, Brown.
I would add Vassar to this list.</p>

<p>Hi, I have been reading as many posts as I can in the last few weeks and was thrilled to see this one today. I have a daughter who has just started her sophmore year in high school. At this point in time she really feels that she wants to go to an art/design school..many of which have been discussed here. When I talk to her art/drawing teachers I get completely different opinions..some feel that a liberal arts education is important and others say to go to an "art" school. My daughter is not yet sure of what direction she wants to go in. She has mentioned graphic design, animation and illustration. She loves character design. </p>

<p>As I read up on colleges it seems that you really need to know what you want to major in to attend an art/design school. Did your children know just what area of art they wanted to pursue by the end of high school? My daughter is talented academically. I asked her drawing teacher for an honest opinion on whether he thought she had the talent. He only sees her on the weekend but he did feel she had the ability. While I see her reasons for wanting the specialized courses an art school brings I worry about her pigeonholing herself and not being able to change her mind if she finds the curriculum is not for her. I don't see her in a large university. </p>

<p>Thanks for reading this post and sharing your experiences. She has mentioned SVU and RISD as possibilities but she really knows little of other schools. We did visit Kansas City Art Institute when we were in the area (very small 560 students) and she loved the vibe of a lot of people interested in art.</p>

<p>Any real careers with a degree in illustration that are not free lance artists?</p>



<p>You said: "As I read up on colleges it seems that you really need to know what you want to major in to attend an art/design school."</p>

<p>That varies by school. it is a requirement at RISD. Other schools allow for a more general approach. My D is a GFA (general fine arts) major and can work in multiple mediums.</p>

<p>The fine arts vs. liberal arts is the quandry. If you kid eats/sleeps/breathes art and can't imagine not doing it for life she will get more focused art instruction at a fine arts school. As a freshman, my D currently has 3 studio art classes a week, each a six hour block. Sha also has two academic classes.</p>

<p>If your child enjoys art but had other strong interests I would recommend a good LAC, focus on the academics with some studio art or art history classes.</p>

<p>There are good jobs that have an art component: graphic design, web design, teaching to name a few. As long as students go in with eyes wide open that there is plenty of competition and the pay may not be the best, let them go for it.</p>

<p>Thanks for your reply. I read about MICA yesterday after seeing it in some posts. My academic background was not in the arts so it is all new to me. I'm curious as to when your daughter decided that a fine arts school was for her. She took one art class in HS last year, has three electives this year and takes drawing classes on the side. I hoping her HS teachers will get to know her enough this year to offer some advice. MICA sounded lovely, I'm glad your daughter is enjoying it so much.</p>

<p>scoop - you're following a well-worn path. :) </p>

<p>With your D a sophmore, she has plenty of time to immerse herself in different art experiences, such as various summer programs etc. The more she can learn now about her likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses etc, the easier the decisions will be later. Ultimately, these decisions may be made for her through processes of elimination.</p>

<p>With the explosion of all types of visual media in our world, there are many, many more visually skilled careers available than there were twenty years ago. (Just don't ask me what they are. :) )</p>

<p>You can also get a BFA in art or design within a university environment - as opposed to the general BA at a LAC. There are pluses and cons for one degree over the other. The BA provides a liberal arts education - some say teaching how to "think." Grad school then gets the student ready for a career. My DD is getting her BFA in graphic design with a minor in communications at RIT. Her cousin is at McGill getting a BA in Art History with a minor in Communications. She plans to go on for her Masters. Not sure if my DD will go on to grad school right away. If so, she may go for a MBA in Marketing/Advertising. Different paths. Good choices for them.</p>

<p>The BFA is very art intensive. Just like in art school, students take 3 studios per term in addition to liberal arts classes. Foundation year is a killer. In the BA program, students don't have a foundation yr and take far fewer art classes, leaving room for other subjects. </p>

<p>Here are some of the schools offering the BFA in design that my d looked into: Syracuse U, Carnegie Mellon, Wash U in St Louis, U Cincinnati, RIT, UMiami, Virginia Commonwealth U, James Madison U, Towson U, U Delaware, North? Carolina, etc.</p>

<p>Oops, missed the last part. My DD's cousin looked at Connecticut College, Skidmore, Boston College, Wheaton, Williams and Brown (I think). She's studying a couple languages and has spent quite a bit of time abroad (mostly in France).</p>

<p>Thanks. Great to hear from those who have walked this path before me!</p>

<p>Scoop, the choice between art school and a regular liberal arts college or university is purely personal. There is no right answer; you just have to visit, ask questions and draw your own conclusions. The biggest difference to me is that at an art school you will be surrounded by kids who are living and breathing art 24/7. At a university or a liberal arts college your friends will be involved academically in a wide range of disciplines, but you will still have the camaraderie of the art department.</p>

<p>I would say that for design and illustration your choices are somewhat limited to a large university or an art school as few small liberal arts colleges offer much in the way of graphic design. Therefore if a large university isn't suitable for your daughter she may be better off at an art school. Or, she could attend a smaller college with a good traditional art department and supplement her interest in design in a post-graduate program.</p>

<p>There are plenty of careers that are open to a person with illustration and design ability -- advertising, consumer product design, fashion, architecture, web design -- just to name a few.</p>

His list was:
Williams, Wesleyan, Kenyon, Conn College, Skidmore, Yale, Brown.
I would add Vassar to this list.


<p>I forgot Hamilton. Good for both art studio and art history (but another non-urban location).</p>

<p>Scoop, my daughter had the same concerns: stand alone art school vs. university with strong art/design department. As a general rule, you get to take more art related courses at stand alone art schools. Despite this, my daughter chose to attend a full university ( University of Cincinnati) for the following reasons:</p>

<li><p>She wanted some music training or bands: a university with football teams wiill usually have a marching band. My daughter LOVES being in their marching band and couldn't be a happier clam. It also gives her a lot of musical practice and training, and she gets to meets a lot of kids quickly.</p></li>
<li><p>A university usually has stronger liberal arts offerings: This may not be totally true, but the general rule is that universities have more liberal arts courses to choose from and usually their are of a higher quality. LAC generally have the highest quality of academic, liberal arts courses around in my humble opinion. Their art offerings, however, are usually not as good and their choices of art related majors is usually limited to studio art and art history. Rarely, have I seen a LAC offer a strong program in Design, although a few do such as Alfred University and Skidmore.</p></li>

<p>To be fair, many of the stand alone art schools gear their liberal arts offerings towards art students. For example, some schools that offer math, may gear it towards geometic patterns in nature as it applies to geometry. The same may be true for literature and history and science courses offered. This can be either good or bad depending on your perspective.</p>

<p>Let me note that some art schools do allow students to take liberal arts courses at nearby colleges. Thus, RISD has an agreement with Brown and MICA has an agreement with Johns Hopkins, Musuem School of Boston has an agreement with Tufts and even awards a Tufts degree.However, many times there are catches to this agreement and taking courses at these univiersities may not be as easy as it appears. For example, RISD is on a different calendar than Brown. To get a Tufts degree while attending the Museum school, you may have to be admitted to Tufts, especially if you want to live on the Tufts Campus. In addition geting from Tufts to the Museum schools requires students to take a 45 minute bus ride. Yuch! Hopkins is at least 2 miles from MICA; thus, it does take some time to get from one school to the other.</p>

<p>Also, as a general rule , at stand alone art schools, a student takes roughly 70%-75% of their courses in art related courses.</p>

<p>For universities with strong art/design programs, student generally take between 60-70% art related courses.</p>

<p>For LACS, students generally take between 50%-65% art related courses, and usually these courses are in the lower end of this range.</p>

<p>3.My daughter wanted to take some language courses such as Hebrew: This generally was not offered in most art schools.</p>

<li><p>With stand alone art schools, a student willl only meet other art students. My daughter wanted to meet students that majored in something other than art. She felt that she would go crazy if she only associated with art students.</p></li>
<li><p>Most stand alone art schools are not that well endowed. Sadly, most art schools do not have a high endowment and may have facilites that are in desparate need of repair. This is NOT universally true,but I have found this to be the case for a number of art schools. For example, as of the end of 2005, The Chronicle of Higher Education rated Pratt institute as the third highest endowed stand alone art school, and it's endowment was a paultry $54,566,000. This should be contrasted with University of Cincinnati at over 1 billion, Wash U ST Louis with over 3 billion etc. </p></li>
<li><p>Stand alone art schools don't normally provide a "full college experience." This may be debatable,but this is what my daughter believed. There are usually no strong sports teams, little schools spirit and rarely do they have a campus per se, although Pratt Institute does have a campus. In fact many stand alone art schools are simply one or two buildings with some dorms. She just felt that there would be something missing in attending a stand alone art school.</p></li>
<li><p>There is virtually no ability to double major with some liberal arts subject in most stand alone art schools. This has shown to be usually true. However with LACS and with universities, double majoring in art and some other subject can be possible. Some schools such as Wash U St. Louis actually encourage double majors.</p></li>

<p>Hope this all helps in giving your a beginning for your investigation.</p>

<p>Thanks momrath and tax guy. Yours are the long ago posts that got me started searching on here. I think at her age, my daughter does not really see that her undergraduate experience is not the end point of her education. She thinks that if she does not get the art related courses, she will not be able to work in the field. I'm sure her breadth of knowledge will change as she gets older.</p>

<p>Question related to National Art Portfoliio Day. When you read their website, it is made to sound that anyone with an interest in attending art school and receiving feedback is welcome. Her teacher however, tells me that he was told that sophmores really should not be there. Due the crowded nature of these days they really only want juniors and seniors? Any info you could share?</p>

<p>Thanks again.</p>

<p>Scoop, anyone can go to portfolio day. Ignore the teacher. You can use Portfolio day as a barometer of how they feel about her work. My suggestion is to not only go to schools that might interest her,but to attend lessor known schools in order to get feedback. Just don't tell them that you won't be interested in them!</p>