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Advice about BFAs programs


#1

Was: Jeweler’s former lives - Orchid report

So, you said you're looking at colleges. Which ones are you
looking at? Don't cha wanna know what we think? Go ahead, ask. 

Well, here’s my list right now. I don’t want to go to a full out art
school because I still want to have a true “college experience” on
the academic side of things as well (and possibly double major in
something). SMFA is only on the list because they offer a dual degree
program with Tufts University.

Tyler School of Art at Temple University
Rochester Institute of Technology
Indiana University Bloomington
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
University of Iowa
East Carolina University
School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston

I’ve only had a chance to visit RIT and Temple so far. I am in love
with both of them, though they do have different programs. I’m still
trying to keep an open mind though until I get a chance to really see
more of them. So does anyone have any advice about the programs at
any of these schools? And for those of you who hold BFAs, where did
you attend?


#2

You might look at University of Oregon. They have a very active
metals program. There is also SUNY New Paltz.

As a Massachusetts College of Art grad, I loved being immersed in an
art program. SMFA was right next door and honestly, I think Mass
Art’s metal program is better.

Boston is a great town with 60 colleges just in the city limits.
They are hooked into a consortium of other colleges, so you can
attend one and take classes at another. If you are a Mass Art student
you can take classes at RISD, Simmons, Tufts and others. Same if you
are Berklee School of Music student.

Simmons, SMFA, Mass Art and about 6 other colleges are within
walking distance of each other, not to mention two major museums, the
MFA and the Gardner which as a student you get free admission.

I like the “city” feel of Boston. It’s a young town packed with
students everywhere.

-k

M E T A L W E R X
School for Jewelry and the Metalarts
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
781 891 3854
www.metalwerx.com


#3

FWIW, when I graduated from HS in 1970 I was seriously thinking of
going to Tyler or Rhode Island School of Design, or possibly Pratt. I
opted, under extreme pressure, for a purely liberal arts college. Big
mistake. They had some studio art courses there, so of course I took
all I could. In my first class the instructor (a guy named Alton
Pickens) said bluntly, “If you’re serious about art, you shouldn’t be
here.” Ahem. He was, of course, dead right.


#4

Art Institute in Cleveland? Who’s on the faculty? What is your
special interest? Or are you a generalist? The answer to these last
three would, I think, be helpful in making your choice of school.

KPK


#5

Remember to consider where you want to live as well. You have some
very rural places on your list. Are you in a city now? Would you miss
it?

I gotta tell you, last time I was there, if the wind blew the wrong
way, U of Iowa smells like a pig farm. I’m just sayin’.

For other schools, look at the head of the department’s work. Take
that into consideration as you choose.

I don’t know enough about all the schools to comment. My only
personal experience is one semester at U of Iowa, where I took my
first metalsmithing class. My first project, the head of the
department (not the teacher) happened by during our first critique
and made time to MAKE FUN of my project.

My final project was a gold ring and I got an A in the class, thank
you very much.

Elaine
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com


#6
You might look at University of Oregon. They have a very active
metals program. There's also SUNY New Paltz. 

Thanks! I’ve been going back and forth on U of Oregon. It was on the
list. Then it wasn’t. Then it was. Then it wasn’t. And I’m not really
sure why. I’ll probably end up at least visiting, since I have heard
nothing but good things about it. As for New Paltz, I thought about
it, but decided I want something a little further from home (it’s
only an hour and a half away from where I am now).

They are hooked into a consortium of other colleges, so you can
attend one and take classes at another. If you are a Mass Art
student you can take classes at RISD, Simmons, Tufts and others. 

Hm, I didn’t know that. Do you know if you can earn a separate
degree from those colleges as well, or just take classes? While
jewelry is my priority, I am also passionate about Japanese culture
and language. I’ve been debating on whether or not I want an actual
degree, or if I just want to study the language.

I opted, under extreme pressure, for a purely liberal arts
college. Big mistake. They had some studio art courses there, so of
course I took all I could. In my first class the instructor (a guy
named Alton Pickens) said bluntly, "If you're serious about art,
you shouldn't be here." Ahem. He was, of course, dead right. 

That’s what I’ve been trying to avoid. The trouble is finding a
balance. So far, Tyler appears to be the best choice. It’s still part
of Temple so I could double major if I wanted to, but it is still by
itself as an art school. Kind of the best of both worlds if you know
what I mean.

Remember to consider where you want to live as well. You have some
very rural places on your list. Are you in a city now? Would you
miss it? 

This is one thing that I’ve been kind of going back and forth about.
I’m more of a city girl, though I do enjoy a rural setting. I’ve been
trying to focus more on the programs for now and then getting a feel
for what the atmosphere is like when I visit. There are a few that
have been knocked off the list because there was no way I could
picture myself living there, but I’m generally trying to keep an open
mind about it.

My first project, the head of the department (not the teacher)
happened by during our first critique and made time to MAKE FUN of
my project. 

Hm…that doesn’t sound like a place I’d want to go…thanks for the
I might still end up visiting, but it’s never been at
the top of my list anyway. The pig smell you mentioned is also a tad
disheartening.

Thank you all so much for your advice and suggestions! It’s really
nice to hear from people that are actually living in the jewelry
world. Usually when I tell people what I want to major in, I get a
weird look and a response something like this: “Oh…well, good luck
with that…” so it’s helpful to get some real advice. Thanks again,
and if anyone else wants to chime in, please do so.


#7

A few suggestions:

Have you thought of San Diego State?

California College of the Arts (formerly CCAC)?

Cal State Fullerton?

University of Washington, Seattle

Perhaps more important than the instructors “work”: How active are
they in their own field /personal studio work, exhibitions,
publications.

Does the instructor teach the undergrads or do the grad students
T.A. all the undergrads.

Do the student projects demonstrate a unique personal aesthetic
direction/vision, or does all of the student work look overly
influenced by the instructors aesthetic. Try to visit at the end of
the school yr when student work may be in the campus gallery/museum.

Is the program a viable one - or one being scrutinized for possible
closure.

Are there grad students at the schools you are considering- when you
visit prospective schools, you might ask if the grad students have a
moment to tell you about where they did their undergrad work.

The upcoming SNAG conference will have many representatives from
several educational institutions on hand to talk about their
programs.

In addition to a strong metals program, Look for a strong general
studio art department - this will be the foundation for how your
work evolves: concept & content.

Good luck!