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How is the "University of the Arts?"

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Replies to: How is the "University of the Arts?"

  • MrKirkMrKirk Registered User Posts: 40 Junior Member
    Well maybe exotic is the wrong word, but some hiring design firms will reject a porfolio in the swiss style.
  • katy284katy284 Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    I know this topic is a bit old, but I went to Uarts for one semester, so I figured I would add my experience. Im sure someone might find it helpful in the future.

    I applied to the Uarts as a transfer in 2004 in the Graphic Design program. I live in Delaware and had been to Philadelphia many times and new the area well, so I felt comfortable about the school. I had a portfolio review in February. Their guidelines for a portfolio review seemed more lax than other art schools. Since I was a transfer, I brought all kinds of things with me from bigger drawings and paintings, to sketchbooks, to a book of graphic design I'd done, everything. It might have changed since then. The review lasted about 20-30 minutes. They carefully looked over everything, I did not feel rushed at all. They talked to me, told me that they were impressed and like some of my stuff, and they said also that other pieces weren't as sophisticated as others.

    A few weeks later I got my acceptance letter, with a certificate saying I'd been admitted, along with a window decal I could put on my car.

    So that Fall I went. I dont know if it was just me, or the school, but I had a hard time with my loans. I applied to loans to cover my costs, but I didn't even know until the day I moved into the dorms if they had gone through. But then again, I never called the loan agency to ask about it either. I was a bit inexperienced about it, and without any parental help, it was very interesting.

    I have heard a few things about the UArts staff, that they mix things up and such, but I didn't have any other problems with them, and they were always nice.

    I moved into the Juniper dorm. I think this was because I was a transfer. It was more or less the "upperclassman" dorm and was the nicest of them all. I never saw the other dorms, but heard really bad things about them, such as mold, holes, and mice.

    The Juniper dorm was wonderful. There was a full kitchen with a clean fridge, stove, microwave, and plenty of cabinets with a bar and stools. Then a common living room area, big enough for a couch and a few chairs and a TV. I shared the room with three other girls. There were two bed rooms. Each BR had two beds, which could be stacked as bunk beds, a dresser with a good amount of drawers, and a closet. Each student was also provided a desk with shevling unit and a chair. You could remove the shelving unit from the computer desk.

    There isn't really a cafeteria at UArts. Since we had a stove and everything I just cooked everything I ate.

    So then classes started. I had class from 9-11:30, which were my liberal arts, and then class from 1:00-6:50, a studio class, with one 30 minute break. I really enjoyed all of my classes. The two liberal arts I took were Art History I and Into to Modernism. I learned a lot in each class, but it seemed the Intro teacher didn't care as much as my Art History teacher.

    My studio classes were Descriptive Drawing, Intro to Typography, and Design... Elements? I forget the name of the last one. All of my studio class teachers were all foreign, and it was interesting to try and guess where they were from. I think the DD teacher was from Russia. Im not sure about the other two. But I could tell by the end of the semester they all knew what they were teaching.

    DD was a very interesting class. It was very hard to straddle an art bench and sketch with my arm straight out for 6 hours, but it really teaches you patience and tolerance. It was interesting to learn a different type of drawing. Every person had a cube, or some 3-d object, and in the most basic terms, it was drawing my measuring with your eye by your pencil, but doing it precisely. Very good for learning to draw and see buildings and landscapes. For the first 30-40 minutes of class we had newsprint and tempra paints and were to paint abstractly, anything we wanted. It was nice to experiment.

    Into to Type was probably my favorite, because I love typography. I had already taking Type at my former college, and was a bit sad of having to take it again, but it was like it was a compeltely different course. UArts really instills traditional methods, to exhaust those before moving onto the computer. We learned how to do kerning and leading by hand and to compose by hand, and then eventually moved onto the computer.

    The Design class was my least favorite, but also the one I learned the most it. I really didn't like the teacher, but she did know what she was talking about, really. I just didn't like her people skills, but thats hardly a think to complain about really. We focused in this course entirely on Point, Line, and Plane. Anyone who is a fan of Kandinsky knows about PL&P. Its all about composing with dots and lines and other objects and how they relate to each other and the space they create. At first the class seemed trivial, but in the end I could see it wasn't.

    The reason I left UArts because for a few reasons, I wasn't happy there. I didn't think I was ready to be on my own, in this place were I didn't know anyone. I didn't really make too many friends or have much of a social life, except when I went home on the weekends to visit friends.

    However, that being said, the social scene in Philly is really neat. UArts is right in center city Philly. Its just a few blocks from South Stree, which has lots of shops and the TLA, where major bands play. Its a cab drive from the Philly stadium, Eagles stadium, and the Wachovia Spectrum, where all the big name musicians play at.

    There is also "First Friday" which is how I got to know Philly. The first Friday of every month all the art galleries are open late and for free. I remember when the Real World Philly was filming. My friends and I had already been going to First Friday for awhile and we always been to Old City Pizza, right across the street from the Real World House, and going into some of the galleries on the same street and seeing all the camera crews.

    I know I have typed a LOT, but to sum up, the UArts GD was really nice, from what I saw. The teachers were dedicated and cared about the students. The downside is there really isn't a campus, just buildings in Philadelphia. There really isn't an emphasize on clubs or anything like that.

    Anyways, I hope this helps!
  • sistermoonshinesistermoonshine Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    I'm also going to the UArts summer institute, but for musical theatre.
  • maureenomaureeno Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Any graduates of Uarts in Phila. in graphic design or animation? Looking for some success stories. Thanks!
  • mom of alexmom of alex Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    Any comments from current visual arts undergraduate students? I saw some recent posts from musical theater students which were all positive. Wondering how dorms/apts are for the freshman, foundation classes, etc. My daughter did the summer program and loved being in the city, was in a nice, very large apartment (I think Juniper) and did fine with the independent lifestyle even though I would prefer more of a true campus for her. Just wondering what the art students think of the school overall and whether most of the kids tend to stay on weekends.
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