View Full Version : Learning at Comm Colleges
March 12th, 2003, 06:16 PM
Has anyone here had any experiences with painting and drawing classes at community colleges, especially in the chicago land area?
March 16th, 2003, 09:07 AM
:confused: So no one learned from a community college at all? *is doomed*
March 19th, 2003, 01:36 AM
Not near Chicago, but yes I have. I live in Minnesota at the moment and I took a year to stay at home after high school. I have mixed feelings about it, well not really but read on...
I personally didn't have the money to really go anywhere out of high school. I also wasn't ready mentally or artistically. So that left the local community college to at least grab a couple credits. I have taken ALL art classes and a psychology class because psychology is interesting as hell.
ok so what did I get from it - at the school I went to the only classes they had were beginning classes - painting 1 and drawing 1. Both had decent teachers (up to par with anything you would get at a liberal arts school) the painting teacher was a really good painter too. The classes at least made me HAVE to draw and paint even if I didn't like WHAT I had to draw and paint. Some good basic instruction. The thing is, is that drawing 1 and painting 1 at community college is MUCH different than drawing 1 and painting 1 at an art school. I think the credits transfer but they are worlds apart. My community college classes I felt like I was in diapers.
Am I glad I took them? Yeah, it kept me busy, and made me do stuff thatI normally wouldn't take the time to do. The thing that sucked was nobody in my classes cared at all. The only time they were drawing or painting was IN class. I have improved a ton but I improved because I took what we did in class outside of class. I also took 2 figure drawing classes at the local art school, it was a 3 hour round trip drive but those classes were worth every penny. I wish I could be around motivated people (it seems like community colleges attract the ones who don't give a shit) but I will have that chance next year at Sheridan in the Art Fundamentals program. I am excited for that.
All and all I REALLY needed a year to improve and get ready to head out into the big bad ugly world. I would recommend it but don't think you are going to get THAT much from it. I (as well as many people around here) learned WAY more from internet message boards than any teacher so far. If you by chance find a good teacher, latch on and suck everything out of them, you will be glad you did.
sorry if all of that is incoherent, I am tired and I didn't really think about what I was typing.
April 11th, 2003, 07:42 PM
community college is a great resource, especially if you are still in high school or barely out of it.
just the OPPORTUNITY to draw and paint from life pays dividends. quality of instruction varies of course, sometimes you get really lucky and sometimes you don't. regardless, it's a good way to build your skills and portfolio.
i'm currently finishing up my second semester of art classes in community college. before my stint here i had done some life drawing, but it was the first time i've painted seriously. i'm moving on to ac now but it's been a great experience/environment for me. even if money isn't an issue, please look into your local colleges!
May 11th, 2003, 01:12 AM
I think you can get great basic instruction at a local / community college, but you have to make sure they have a good art department. Your best bet is to visit a renowned school (Chicago Art Institute?) in your area and then compare it to what you see at your local school. Most colleges love to give tours - they need the applicants, and will be happy to show you the ropes.
The first couple of years at any school will be spent covering basics, along with other required courses (English, History, etc.). Many (most?) large state schools use graduate students to teach some of the basic courses. This isn't always a bad thing, but it's usually a bit of a crap shoot. Most grad students (aka TAs - Teaching Assistants) really don't enjoy teaching - they usually do it for the financial aid. Most local colleges will have full-time faculty teaching the courses, not TAs. The local faculty may not be as accomplished as those at a brand-name school, but they may be better at teaching what they know.
And many of the faculty members at brand-name schools are unwilling to really guide you. They're either unable to or they sincerely believe that you need to find your own way. While that approach may have merit after you've learned the basics, it really isn't a good approach for the first couple of years. I'm a firm believer of learning classic principles before jumping into your own thing. Most great modern artists were great classical artists first (Picasso, Matisse, Duchamp, etc.).
Bottom line...you can get good local instruction and then transfer to a brand-name school ('tis what I did and I saved a good amount of money). The main thing is to work hard, ask lots of questions, and take responsibility for your own growth as an artist (the only way to grow no matter where you go). Your portfolio will be the key to getting into a brand name school...always work toward building a good one.
May 14th, 2003, 06:11 PM
I think community colleges are Great! I currently have improved so much at my local one, that I now (just about) have my portfolio ready so that I can go to art center. My comm. college is actually known for that reason. The formula seems to be: take a ton of life drawing classes, some perspective, beginning drawing and painting, and you should be ready for an art school.
So to answer your question. YES, community colleges are great, even if the one around you isn't all that terriffic, I still suggest you go and attend the life drawing classes. Its the best thing I ever did. I'm currently taking my 7th life drawing class. It's so hard at first, but so gratifying when you can accomplish a good drawing.
Hope this helped
June 10th, 2003, 11:39 PM
I plan on getting an associate's degree at my local CC, then applying to another school.
June 14th, 2003, 03:23 AM
I live near Ringling, and some (if not most) of my teachers at the Community College were teachers at Ringling, or are teachers there while working at the CC..
Theyre pretty talented teachers, Im happy with waht im learning for being dirt cheap.
July 9th, 2003, 04:55 PM
I attend at Lansing Community College and most classes are very tight because they were always full. Wondering why it is so popular......
Also Community College are cheaper than University and Art Colleges.....
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