Over its 11 years of existence, College PreView has become a highly anticipated summer tradition at CCAD. For three intensive weeks on campus, high school students from all over the United States walk in the shoes of their future college selves—living in residence halls, creating in the college’s studios and labs (guided by expert CCAD faculty), and exploring the city’s art scene together. It’s a short but exhilarating taste of life at an art and design college—confirmed enthusiastically by this year’s participants.
Working from a posed model in the drawing and painting studio is a highlight for many students. “I really enjoyed the painting class with Doug Norman,” said Andrew Boerder from Dallas, Texas. “I’ve done painting before, but oil painting from a live model was a completely new experience for me. Doug’s a great teacher.” The complexity of the task can elevate students’ work and produce tangible development by the end of the program. “I really like figure drawing because I think it gives people the most information about art and design. [I learned] shadows, contours, drawing skills, and patience. And I got a product I was proud of in the end,” said Ryan Conners-Trompeter from Oveido, Florida. Finished pieces are often used in college application portfolios because they show a more advanced approach to drawing and painting.
Students are also able to explore majors offered at CCAD by choosing College PreView electives like advertising, animation, and fashion design. In these classes they delve into new fields, mediums, and techniques in the same classrooms that CCAD’s undergraduates use. Samuel DeVine from Hoover, Alabama, said the animation class was his favorite. “I want to go into animation, and I appreciated the good critique so I could understand how to express what characters are thinking and feeling.” Students gain a lot of satisfaction from trying their hand at a potential major for a few weeks, as well as a sense of confidence about the direction they want to go.
The feeling of community is inescapable, despite the short duration of the program, as participants befriend other talented young artists who share their interests. “It’s obviously the people,” said Paige Fruechtnicht from Reynoldsburg, Ohio (who also attended the program in 2010), when asked to name her favorite experience. “At the beginning of College PreView they always tell you ‘You’re gonna make friends you’ll have for a lifetime’ and it’s kinda cheesy at the time, but it’s actually true. Hold onto these people. I still talk to everyone from last year.” Michelle Chiu wrote a bit more directly on her first day home, “B’aaaaaawwww I miss everything and everybody already.” Attendees this year are staying connected online through conversations on Tumblr and Facebook. The camaraderie and support are invaluable.
Students leave campus feeling more aware of and secure in their own abilities as artists. Alex Rickrich from Pickerington, Ohio, summed it up on Tumblr: “My experience at CCAD has taught me to be a better artist and to have confidence in myself and in my art, and has given me a family and connections I could never have gotten closer to any other way. For three weeks I lived with these people, learned with these people, worked with them. I am going to miss every single one of them. I learned more in three weeks than I would’ve in an entire year at my high school.”
Published in print twice a year, CCAD’s IMAGE magazine shares stories about our creative community, whether here in Columbus or around the world—what we’re doing, thinking, and planning next. The IMAGE blog brings those stories online for transmission at the click of a mouse.