Favorite Undergraduate Programs for Sculpture?

Click here to go to the NEW College Discussion Forum

Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Favorite Undergraduate Programs for Sculpture?
By Cheers (Cheers) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 10:19 pm: Edit

Curious....Which undergraduate sculpture programs do CC parents like/know about?

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 11:22 pm: Edit

The only sculptors I know personally went to the UW and NYU but this site looks like it would have lots of info

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 11:25 pm: Edit

NYU also was the first school that popped into my mind but I've heard U of Washington is also good.
Syracuse has a decent sculpture program. Also try Washington University in St. Louis and UCLA.

By Mini (Mini) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 11:27 pm: Edit

Rhode Island School of Design. And Cornish College. And Scripps has a program that is almost 75 years old.

By Patient (Patient) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 11:29 pm: Edit

Other than NYU, what about places like SF Art Institute, California College of Arts and Crafts, and the eastern design/art schools? If someone is really wanting to be a sculptor, wouldn't that be the direction you would go--an arts school, not a regular undergraduate program? FWIW, wouldn't you look at Europe as well?

Perhaps you're talking more about someone who has an interest in it but doesn't want to major in it?

By Momrath (Momrath) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 11:56 pm: Edit

Oddly enough Virginia Commonwealth University has one of the best sculpture departments in the country. It's just a niche that they've developed and enhanced over the years. The faculty are mostly working artists who are quite well known nationally and are also committed teachers. They were ranked #1 by USNWR for their masters program in sculpture, but also do very well in the undergrad area. (Disclaimer, I have two personal friends who teach sculpture at VCU. They are also two of the brightest people and most talented artists I have ever met. I'd put my kid in their hands any day.)

Most colleges that have strong art departments and all art colleges offer sculpture, but either way undergraduate art students are encouraged to experiment in several media.

By Dmd77 (Dmd77) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 02:06 am: Edit

Strangely, I actually have a former student studying sculpture at UWashington. He wishes he'd gone to an art school, like California College of Arts and Crafts or RISD--because he's not getting the studio time he wants, and because there are a lot of required courses he's really not interested in.

By Cheers (Cheers) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 03:43 am: Edit

Interesting...there does seem to be a split betweent yhe art institutes and the art programs at liberal arts schools. For example, I read a review of the Yale undergrad program in which a non-major complained about the lack of technical teaching at Yale and other universities. She had the impression the student artists were expected to experiment their way to technical knowledge. (Of course, this is the way it is in architecture school too...).

This reviewer claimed that technique is best learned at an institute.

On the other hand, it is nice to have the course selection of a big university. English, history etc. That's one of the reasons I chose architecture. Art institutes seemed slightly one dimensional.

NYU is on the radar as is RISD--though I learned on CC that cross registration with Brown is a mirage due to conflicting schedules between the two institutions. Too bad. That would have been a wonderful combination.

By Momrath (Momrath) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 03:53 am: Edit

Teaching technique versus theory is a big issue at art schools and at art departments of LACs and Universities. The artists I know agree having a foundation in how-to-do-it is critical. Kids are expected to paint and they don't have a clue how to stretch a canvas or mix pigments. Sculpture which is extremely process driven is even worse.

My son goes to Williams and which although I wouldn't classify it as a destination for Art Studio it actually puts serious emphasis on technique.

By Dadofsam (Dadofsam) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 04:11 pm: Edit

I'm wondering about the strength of the sculpture program at Cooper Union. Anyone know?

By Cheers (Cheers) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 04:20 pm: Edit

I think it is pretty high. Yale does too, judging by the Cooper degrees among it's sculpture faculty.

Cooper is ten degrees more independence and less 'campus' than Tisch School of Art at NYU. Again, no English, no history. Rather like an institute.

Plus, impossible to get into.

By Patient (Patient) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 07:20 pm: Edit

I just happened to be speaking with someone today and she said her daughter, who wants to major in art, is visiting campuses and loved the program at University of Pennsylvania. Her first choice is RISD. Penn is talking about creating a combined BA/BFA program. Don't know about sculpture in particular though.

By Cheers (Cheers) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 07:31 pm: Edit

Thanks Patient. Will check it out. RISD isn't a fit for a variety of reasons.

USC looks good on the website. Strong public art slant. Anyone familiar with their sculpture facilities?

By Cheers (Cheers) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 07:44 pm: Edit

UPenn looks good. Cornell too. Can't see the Tuft's facilities. No sculpture at NYU.

By Patient (Patient) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 07:46 pm: Edit

Cheers, check Brown too, she liked it also. Smith and Wellesley too but I don't know if this is a boy or a girl?

By Mini (Mini) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 07:52 pm: Edit

The chair of the department at Smith, Lee Burns, is a fairly well-known sculptor, and the facilities are really excellent. The studio art department is pretty large (over double the size of Williams, as is the facility), and benefits from the 5-College arrangement. Don't know much more than that, though.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 09:39 pm: Edit

Cheers, can't answer you on the sculpture question specifically, sorry. However, I just want to comment on two things you mentioned.

One is you referred to Tufts. I hope you are aware that Tufts has a program in conjunction with the Museum School (fine arts) in Boston. If you like the idea of art training but also some liberal arts, I would suggest a look into this. I attended Tufts myself though am not an art major. However, I always loved art and took four courses through the Museum School while at Tufts. They send some faculty right to the Tufts campus for some courses and for others, I went to the Museum School. I was not in the combined program that I am referring to in this post, however. But there IS one.

Second, you wrote in reference to RISD: "I learned on CC that cross registration with Brown is a mirage due to conflicting schedules between the two institutions. Too bad. That would have been a wonderful combination."

While Brown and RISD do have different schedules, students at either school DO INDEED take courses at the other. In fact, my daughter is about to matriculate at Brown with the intent to major in Architectural Studies and since Brown only offers one architectural studio course (not counting studio art courses which she also can take), she would be taking some architectural studio courses at RISD. She has spoken to the head of this major at Brown, as well as Brown students, and this is what they do. It is all outlined in the course handbooks which we have. She will be doing this. First she must take a studio foundation course at Brown and she is hoping to get into that this year. While the schedule thing might not be totally straightforward, it is workable as this is done by many students. In fact, even in the literature we have regarding her major field of study, there is reference to studio courses at RISD, which by the way is literally down the block from Brown. So, don't write this combo off yet. Look into it directly at the school.


By Cheers (Cheers) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 01:12 am: Edit

Sooviet; I read a few CC posts from kids actually attending Brown who said that it is very very difficult. If I remember correctly, school holidays are different, semesters are different etc.

When I read the blurbs about RISD and the kind of intensity required from freshman and sophomores for studio classes....I just wonder.

Be interesting to see if it pans out for your D.

I did peruse Tufts and the Museum School and that's another good combo. Too bad Brown and RISD aren't linked in the same way.

So far, it's USC, Tufts, Cornell, UPenn.

By Cheers (Cheers) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 01:16 am: Edit

Actually, haha, one of the former deans at RISD is a friend. I should ask him about the practicalities of cross registration! Duh!

Is your daughter planning to go to architecture school?

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 01:34 am: Edit

Cheers, I realize my D is not a current student (yet) but she did investigate this and did talk to the head of the architectural studies major, as well as students in the program. As far as planning to attend architecture graduate school, IF she does indeed end up pursuing this intended field, she would go on for a MArch degree. But she is 17, and her focus could change. The reason she is going for a BA in architectural studies (pre-architecture) versus going for the five year BArch professional programs is that she was not ready at age 17 to committ to this field, having not really done that much in it yet as it is not a high school subject (though she did a yearlong independent study in this area as well as an internship). So, she chose schools with this major and that is her current intentions and even her course selections for this coming year indicate some choices within this area. She likes many things and will study all sorts of areas. She does believe architecture encompasses an integration of various areas and skills/talents that she enjoys. So, while she has yet to try it, that is the direction she is intending to go into. She would likely study abroad in a college program that has an architecture focus, such as Cornell or Syracuse's, for example. She has thought about the summer program at Harvard Design School, as well. And of course, exploring the courses in her major at Brown, including studio courses at RISD. If it were impossible to coordinate RISD, I don't think they would write it up this much in the handbook and in the description of her major. I realize it is not completely easy but she was assured it could be done and is done. I don't think the faculty member would have led her astray.

I happened to meet this faculty member at an academic fair of the various departments at Brown that was set up at the admitted student open house event. My daughter had seen her earlier before I arrived but a funny coincidence happened, so I recall this professor well. She had asked my daughter where she was from and when she told her Vermont, she asked where within the state and it turns out that this professor's niece is on my daughter's high school varsity soccer team along with my daughter (her niece is younger). They had played all fall together. So, when I arrived and met the professor, she went on to chat with me about her relatives and how I knew them and all that, sheer coincidence. And I recall her telling me about the students getting studio at RISD cause this was a major issue since the other schools my D got into had more architecture design studio that Brown does but then when she got into the RISD option, it seemed like it would work out fine at Brown, also considering it is pre-architecture in a liberal arts setting, not a professional degree program. But the RISD options actually offset that design weaknesses in Brown's archiecture major (though there are studio art courses at Brown).


By Cheers (Cheers) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 02:28 am: Edit

Here's the post that struck me and I think the poster has a valid point. The two schools aren't completely committed to cross registration.
Anyway, here's the post:

Um. I went to RISD and am aware of the cross-registration between Brown and RISD. I must say, it is a lot of hype. Both schools make it difficult to take classes at the other's school (RISD is more on Trimesters, Brown more on a traditional 2 semester schedule...read: vacations are completely different!)

I think it is easier for Brown students to take risd classes, but there is a little bit of resentment from the risd kids who for the most part are talented and dedicated to art vs the Brown kids who tend to be able to pass off their work intellectually and through theory.

Why not go to a university with a really good art program/school within it? I was in the same position as you at the time of my college decision. I decided to go to risd and do the art school thing cuz I felt that I'd be more behind in 4 years time not fully concentrating in art.

Yale, for instance, has a great architecture and art department within the university setting and I have friends who have gone (a painting MFA and friends who have gone there for architecture, one undergrad, one grad.).

It's really frustrating trying to squeeze the kind of education you want out of two schools who are not completely committed to cross-registration. A lot of politics are involved in dealing with two schools! Make it easy on yourself and go to a good university that has a good art school within it.


ps. Don't get too caught up in "name" colleges. In the end, the quality of your work matters more. And I do wish I had had more of a chance to take liberal arts classes to better inform myself as an artist and a human being.

***feel free to email me***

This is NOT to say your daughter won't find an architecture studio course she can take--although those studio course are usually huge hours of class time NOT counting outside hours.

The poster also makes the point about the level of competitiveness. Quoting the catalog here: Among the most distinctive hallmarks of a RISD education is the Foundation program. Each undergraduate's introduction to the college is through a year-long immersion in Foundation Studies, designed to promote creativity and foster greater understanding of visual language. Liberal arts courses play an essential role in Foundation, and rigorous two- and three-dimensional design studios are applicable to whatever major is selected in spring of the freshman year.

In my experience, when an art or architecture school says: 'Rigorous!'-- they mean routine all-nighters. lol.

But anyway, as I said, it will be interesting to follow your D's experience.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 09:59 am: Edit

Cheers, it is good to hear all perspectives. But you do have to realize when you read one student's experience on CC, it is just one student's. It is worthwhile but must be put in perspective. Also this was a RISD student, an art student, trying to take Brown courses. My child is a Brown student. If she was an art person, of course choosing a school like Brown might not be the way to go. But that is not her situation. If she wanted to focus entirely on that, then this was not the school for her. However, she has opted for pre-architecture in a liberal arts setting. This is not really her architectural degree program as a BArch or MArch program would be. She simply is majoring in it to prepare for graduate school. She need not have total professional training as an undergraduate. This is merely her major or "pre" program. It is NOTHING like a BArch program. Therefore, we are talking maybe taking 3 courses at RISD total, most likely. This is to supplement, not to be her entire focus. If she wanted tons of RISD courses, then this would not be the way to go. Then it makes sense to go to a school with a major focus in art. But that is not her situation. Yes, Yale's undergraduate degree in architecture (also not a professional degree, but pre-architecture) does have more offerings than Brown, mainly due to the fact that they have a graduate school of architecture. My daughter did apply there but did not get in. Brown, in comparison, is not as strong for this major but my daughter felt that as long as she can get what she needs prior to graduate school, that is all that matters, as this is not her professional training. She wants liberal arts and after talking to those at Brown, she felt she would get what she needed in their program, supplemented by some RISD studios, possibly a summer program at Harvard, and a study abroad program focusing on architecture offered by other colleges in Italy. That was enough for her because this is just PRE-architecture, not her professional training. This is what she wanted, to study liberal arts and to focus on architecture but not in a professional degree program, such as the five year BArch programs. In this regard, I believe Brown will work fine. This is not her terminal degree. It is not like she went to Brown to focus on art at all. I would not even call her an artist. She is interested in architecture, has explored the skills in this field and done some architectural work and has liked it thus far. Brown's major is only lacking in the number of studios it offers (though they are working on adding more) but the department head does talk of the students in this major getting more studio at RISD so I think it is best to talk to students and professors in THIS department at Brown, to find out how it is done. I respect that poster's feedback as a RISD student trying to take liberal arts at Brown. And that poster also was referring to artists at Brown and questioning why they go there as opposed to going to a school like RISD if they want all those course offerings. My kid is not even attending for art. The background she is getting with architectural studies is quite integrated involving History of Architecture courses, math/physics/engineering, studio art, architectural studio/projects. I think it will work out fine as an undergraduate liberal arts degree in preparation for true "training" in architecture in graduate school. Besides all this, for my particular kid, while she is leaning toward a focus in architecture, she readily admits it could change as she is just 17 and it is a subject not really studied until college so it all remains to be seen. She likes many things. Brown works for her because of the liberal arts offerings that she wants. It surely is not the best in terms of architecture by any means. She knows this. She chose it over some undergraduate programs that were stronger in this area that she got into such as Penn or Lehigh's departments. But she chose her college over many criteria beyond an undergraduate major.


By Cheers (Cheers) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 03:43 pm: Edit

S--Take a deep breath! I never said your D made a poor selection! haha. I never even commented on her selection process!! My goodness--I am thrilled for her. She's going to have a wonderful time.

Just said why I hesitate to select Brown for cross registration. I think your D's plan is great! Especially the Italy part. Might try SCIARC in LA for summer programs. JUST a suggestion though!! haha. Not a judgement! Okay??

One of my very best friends graduated from Brown and then went on to get her architecture degree form Columbia. She has a practice outside of Wash DC --and three gorgeous children.

I do admire Brown. I also know (slightly) one of RISD's 'famous' architecture alums as well as one of the former archtiecture deans.

I simply WISH the two schools were more serious about cross registration but I assume they have their own reasons for NOT aligning. Fair enough.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 03:56 pm: Edit

Cheers, no problem here. I am aware of the challenge of coordinating any RISD courses if a Brown student but just know it is possible to do. Whatever I know so far is mostly from written materials about this as well as talking to professors/students in this major at Brown. But of course, it all remains to be seen. Luckily we are not talking of a slew of courses at RISD but likely a few architecture studio courses to supplement Brown's offerings. That is, of course, if my D really stays with this major that she is currently interested in. I know it often changes with college students!

Glad to hear you have a friend who attended Brown as an undergrad and went on to a fine graduate program in architecture.

In any case, don't worry, I am breathing just fine ;-).


By Cheers (Cheers) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 04:12 pm: Edit

Even if she doesn't get those studio courses worked out, she'll be a terrific candidate for any graduate program.

My top hints for female architecture students:

1. Travel. See all the great works.
2. Sketch. The two best draughtsmen I know taught themselves to draw at age 18.
3. Work for a well-known architect in New York or LA after graduation from architecture school. You'll be able to cite that experience into your late 40s!! All over the world.
4. Open your own practice as soon as possible. Surprising profits and no glass ceiling.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 04:35 pm: Edit

Cheers, thanks, I will pass that on.

My D LOVES travel. She very much wants to study and travel abroad (has done a little bit to date). She does not think of herself as an artist but did take some art courses in high school and realizes the importance of drawing, which she did in a course this past year. Every professor also mentioned that. Right now, she is in the lottery for the foundation studio course at Brown and hopes to get in this year so she can go from there in terms of artistic/design work. She has already studied drafting and mechanical drawing and AutoCad and enjoyed that a lot. She got to do some real architectural work for an architect in an internship last summer so at least has some inkling she likes this work. I think the appeal in part is the way architecture is such an integrated topic and incorporates many of her interests and strengths such as math, physics, creativity, computers, arts/culture/history, hands-on work, etc. I look forward to her doing more drawing work to free herself up and not worry so much about being a great artist as just sketching freely. She tends to be more exacting in her drawings and could benefit from free sketching like I recall doing in college. I hope she gets into the studio course. Won't know til orientation I guess. But she is also going to take History of Art and Architecture this semester and Intro. to Engineering (which is a basis for any further work in any of the more technical coursework). She is very strong at math and physics type things.

While she would really love to spend more time and study in France, she is aware that many of the study abroad programs geared to architecture are in Italy (not that she would not love Italy or anything!). But she is very into French...speaks well, is continuing in college and adores France. I have told her that if she does an architecture abroad program in Italy, she can always travel around France the summer before or something like that. She has been to France twice.

Anyway, it is all very exciting to embark on new learning opportunities where you really have a choice in what you are going to study. It is so different from high school. I can see why both my kids are excited about the college experience and immersing themselves in what they really want to learn. I don't know if this one will become an architect or not. It is her leaning at this time. I think she now needs to be more immersed in that study and she will figure it out. The interest is certainly there. I know when we visited architecture studios at schools like Yale, Penn, Lehigh, Cornell, etc....she loved seeing the work students were doing and I think she could envision herself doing that sort of thing. She has liked building things and hands on work. I was fascinated myself in what I saw students doing at these schools.

The future awaits and I wonder where she will end up. By the way, the architect she interned with last summer (there are many in our town) was female. She loved doing the work she was given to do. They even paid her a stipend and she would have done it merely for the experience!

I understand about what you say about living/working in NYC but I cannot picture her there. She loves visiting but has not wanted to go to school in such an urban setting as NYC. Don't forget, she is a ski racer! My other kid, on the other hand, is dying to live and work and go to school in NYC! But she is into theater and that is where that is at! She'd give up skiing in an instant to be in NYC.


By Cheers (Cheers) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 05:00 pm: Edit

Superb Autocad and freehand sketching skills are the best way to promote yourself through an office. Superb model building skills will get you a long way in architecture school.

If your D does take the studio course, she will be in class with some very, very talented artists who had to submit a portfolio to get into RISD. And those sutdents will be very competitive. Architecture school in general is a very creative--but super competitive experience. It is easy to lose confidence. For example, one professor announced my project, was "Homogeneously the ugliest building I've ever seen!"--in front of a hundred people.

Another teacher, a very very famous architect, stood in front of me as I was about to launch into a presentation and ripped my work to shreds. Before I opened my mouth! Luckily, a famous European architect (whom this teacher worshipped) jumped up and said he loved my work. "Poetry!"

So studio work is intense. And political. And too much fun if you're certain sort of person!

If your D is drawn to France, I can't see any reason not to promote Paris. There is a cutting edge scene there and some wonderful wonderful works. She will learn so much. I doubt US graduate school adcoms differentiate between France and Italy. But don't let her come home without 30 sketchbooks! 1 per week! lol.

The level of talent in the NYC and LA offices of well known architects is an education in itself. It's not forever, four or five years is enough. And incomparable. She can catch a train up to the ski hills or drive to Mammoth. No worries!

By Backhandgrip (Backhandgrip) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 07:13 pm: Edit

If cost is a concern, Tyler School of Art (Temple University) is nifty. Moore College of Art, Phila. College of the Arts, also good if you like Philly which has a rich cultural district.

By Cheers (Cheers) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 07:17 pm: Edit

Three new possibilities. Thanks! I will check them out.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 09:38 pm: Edit

Cheers, the studio course she is in the lottery for is at Brown. This course is needed to go onto any art course at Brown or at RISD. I realize the long hours and critiques in this field. I think she would be up to it.

What I meant about Italy over France was not that I think she should study in Italy instead of France. Rather, if she does a semester abroad (which I am sure she will do as this was important to her when applying to colleges), I think she may want to do a college program that centers on architecture, as oppposed to a study abroad that is regular liberal arts. My reason is that since that is not a strong area at Brown and there is not as much in terms of architectural offerings, a semester abroad program aimed at this major might supplement what she gets at Brown. The one thing Brown has less of is the architecture studio courses so if she supplements with a couple at RISD, a semester abroad in a program in this field, and maybe a summer at a program such as the one at Harvard, it will be a nice combination. That is all if she does stick with this intended major which remains to be seen. So, if she does a semester abroad that has architecture courses as content, I have perused these a bit when we were looking at the colleges she applied to and all the study abroad programs that you could go to and most in this field were in Italy. THAT is why I mentioned Italy, not cause I think going there itself would be better. She would love the programs abroad in France but hardly any of the architecture ones that were apprpoved by the colleges she applied to were in France. For instance, two programs I recall were through Syracuse and through Cornell and these were both in Italy. That is what I meant. She still can travel in France. None of what I was referring to had to do with what graduate programs would think. Plus this is all quite preliminary at this juncture.

I have to say that I am not concerned with the competitive experience you mention. She is someone who has high standards and is quite self confident and so the intensity of this kind of college degree is one she is up for. My other kid also does not shy away from competition. Her field involves constant auditioning and competing with others for casting. I just got home from a competition she was in where the winner took home 2500 dollars, and she is not fazed (every single finalist was amazing). The kids just do what they want to pursue and set high standards for themselves. They tend to be very confident types of people. So, I know what you are talking about but I think it is not going to faze her too much. Remember, too, someone who is an athlete, who competes when it can come down to one hundreth of a second in a race, is used to competition!


By Cheers (Cheers) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 10:53 pm: Edit

If she is fluent, she has a wonderful advantage. She doesn't need a US liason--especially for a summer program.

What about contacting the French Schools directly?


By Cheers (Cheers) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 11:00 pm: Edit

Pratt in Paris sounds amazing....

H went to Royal Academy in Copenhagen and Barcelona with USC...


By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 11:06 pm: Edit

Oh, sorry, I was just talking of semester programs, not summer ones. Studying in France is something she would enjoy but again, I think she might want to look (when the time comes, which is not for a while yet) at study abroad programs approved by her college, that have a focus on architecture for the reasons I explained. It would be a way to combine getting some more architecture AND getting to do a study abroad.

She is very good at French. Not sure yet if I would use the term, "fluent" but she will place into a higher level French class in college this fall. When she was abroad, her ability with French was quite decent and often others in the group relied on her skill at that.

I think even if she does not do a study abroad program in France, she could extend a study abroad with some time in France. We were chatting about doing that the summer prior to the semester of study abroad in an architecture oriented abroad program.

In any case, this is too far ahead for me to contemplate. The furthest we have remotely gotten is ONE: she wants to study abroad in college. TWO: at some point, she wants to return to France and get to live there for a bit. THREE: she knows she sort of has three summers in college and has thought in general terms how she might want to spend them (this is SOOOOOOOO preliminary at this point)....but she thinks maybe one summer in Alaska where my brother's family lives...he once told her that she could drive the car out that was my dad's (who recently died) and my dad chose to give this car to my niece in Alaska (after his death) to have when she gets her license (she is 15) and maybe spend the summer working out there. Another summer she may want to look into the architecture program for those like her interested in architecture as a career, at the Harvard Design School, and then maybe one summer living/traveling/working in France. Who knows what will be? She is just starting a new chapter of her life! She has earned a significant amount of money this summer and the past two years and knows it is more than she needs for spending money this year in college (beyond what we will give her monthly) and has in the back of her mind that this money will come in handy during the coming summers if she pursues any of these plans.


By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 11:28 pm: Edit

Cheers, ugh, this all froze up when I just wrote a post to you. I will try again. I wanted to say that my post above was written after I only saw one of your most recent posts, not the second one. Thanks for trying to be helpful and a resource. I saved that link for her. Again, only contemplating study abroad programs during the school year, not summer ones which I cannot afford to also do while paying for college.

I do recall, however, back when we were looking at her colleges and what they had down about study abroad options, we read a list of approved programs by those particular colleges. That is where I learned that the programs they approved of for architecture seemed to be in Italy (can't recall just which schools had that on their approved lists). So, I am glad you offered some other options that might exist but would have to be apprpoved study abroad programs that her school would give credit for.

In any case, it is still very early to think about as she is just about to start freshman year and this is for junior year most likely. So, we are not researching or planning stuff along these lines yet with her. Besides, my focus in this kind of stuff has to switch gears to my younger teen daughter who is applying to colleges this fall.

Thanks again for your helpfulness.


By Cheers (Cheers) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 12:07 am: Edit

No worries. I got credit from my architecture school for a semester program from a non-accredited institution! (My father wouldn't pay the tuition. He referred to it as the Hari Krishna School of Architecture).

My advice is to go for the program and then bring out the negotiating skills to arrnage for credit.

We've already been round with the Study Abroad office at S's uni trying to get credit for one of his Gap Year programs, (language). And he hasn't even been to orientation yet!!

Just been looking at this mag:


Very cool work happening there.

By Socaldad (Socaldad) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 12:32 am: Edit

If you're looking seriously at art schools and sculpture programs, you should do a visit to MICA in Baltimore, preferably when school's in session. My son graduated from there four years ago, then went on to Yale for his masters in painting. Good facilities for sculpture, great environment for the arts, a school with great leadership and people working together in a common purpose. MICA is an extraordinary place if you are committed to the arts, and has exciting communication across media.

One thing about the foundation programs. Although they can be extraordinarily intense, and bleary-eyed is always the first term to come to mind, they are more collaborative than competitive. Incredibly hard work, but exhilirating if you really belong at an art school. For a lot of students who were artists in schools without strong programs, the foundation program is the place they've always been looking for.

As to the cross=registration issue, MICA offers cross-registration with Hopkins, and it's practical enough for many students to take advantage of it. There is still a very serious problem with matching schedules. Studio classes tend to be long, intense, really eating up a whole day. If you have a Monday studio, it's hard to register for MW liberal arts classes.

USC's art program has made some really good progress in the last several years, expecially in its graduate program. There's still a culture of sports, business school, and preprofessionalism that would have been anathema to my artist son.

Yale is the a school that has great art programs and a great overall education. Getting the Yale graduate students as TA's is a really big benefit for the undergrads. Still a whole qualitative difference from one of the better art schools.

By Cheers (Cheers) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 03:08 am: Edit

Wow, thanks for that Socaldad. We will check it out.

My H went to USC for architecture with a year at the Royal Academy in Copenhagen and a summer at the Institute of Architecture in Barcelona. USC also claims Frank Gehry as a grad--so it might not be anathema to every artist lol. Plus they have those awesome media facilities.

Let me ask, does the Yale undergrad art program expect 8.9 GPA plus a MOMA portfolio and the 1700 SAT score from a kid who volunteered in Africa every summer since he could talk?

By Cheers (Cheers) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 03:20 am: Edit

MICA Sculpture Dept:

12 faculty members listed
Only 7 have bios available
Of those 7, 6 (!!!!) got BFA or MFA at MICA.

Bit of a worry, that. Strong undergrad painting gallery, though.

By Idler (Idler) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 10:56 am: Edit

I'd like to second Socaldad's comments about MICA: truly an extraordinary institution, founded in the 1820s, during the Lyceum movement, to advance and dignify the artisan, whose role was considered central in the new American republic, it is the oldest art college in the country. Lincoln gave a significant speech there. Though regional in character for many years, it has long been a national institution, and offers a good alternative to RISD, which places strong emphasis on design, My daughter transferred there from a LAC well known for its Art department, because she found the courses crowded and hard to get in to, the art department small, and the required non-art courses too time-consuming. Visit Mica and you will see a tremendous amount of student art on exhibit at all times (the most at any college), and of an incredibly high quality. Classes are small and intensive, the student body talented and committed, and the atmosphere might be just what you're looking for. Truly, a community of artists. For painting and sculpture, second to none. Worth a look.

By Cheers (Cheers) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 03:23 pm: Edit

Wow again!

By Cama (Cama) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 05:46 pm: Edit

For sculpture some other less expensive alternatives might be Alfred University or SUNY Purchase (if you live in NY you get resident tution)

By Socaldad (Socaldad) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 02:05 am: Edit


On the Yale admission, you forgot to add in the varsity sport at a state or national level, the leadership positions, and the legacy connection.

Let me add that art school isn't for everyone, more for the students who need to be there and don't belong anywhere else. If you have a sculptor, the one piece of critical advice I can give is to visit schools, get into the studios, look at the art they're doing, talk to students, and see what feels right. My son also benefitted tremendously from a summer precollege program at RISD.

By Cheers (Cheers) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 07:19 am: Edit

Haha, oh yeah, the sculptor with the last name Spielberg who already has a Nike deal MIGHT consider applying to Yale.

Back in the real world: thanks for the advice. We will try to book appointments to meet with sculpture professors during college visits--wherever possible.

I have a sculptor, "off the charts" says his current teacher, but the sculptor has a number of other keen interests: history, literature, writing and digital animation. Need a full uni environment with a decent sculpture program/professors attached.

He gets to do a full year of sculpture in the last year of high school here. Very serious, pre-professional program with full blown sculpture studio meant for the kids who are preparing portfolios to get into the highly competitive fine arts programs at uni. He should have a good idea after that program....

By Socaldad (Socaldad) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 03:20 am: Edit

Cheeers, if you're still out there, I finally heard back from our friend who teaches painting and drawing as an adjunct faculty member at USC.
Aside from his concern that USC scandalously underpays its adjuncts, he was very high on the undergraduate scupture program, its facilities, the visiting faculty members, graduate department, and the possibilities of adding some of the other courses from the film and criticism programs. Still describes it as up-and-coming, but with a very good idea of where they need to go.

Still hope you visit MICA to get a feel for what that program is like.

By Cheers (Cheers) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 04:42 am: Edit

Haha, still out here, some might say WAY out there. Good news on the USC program.

Pretty impressive UG gallery on their website anyway.

Keeping MICA in my pocket for now. He's not a full 'art school' kid. Yet.

Any of your S's work on the MICA site?

By Ktwofish (Ktwofish) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 06:01 pm: Edit

Just going to throw my two cents in...

The RISD and Brown schedules vary by about a week. You have to come to school a week early or stay a week later to cross-register. RISD has a 6 week "wintersession", but the wintersession along with the spring semester would roughly coincide with the Brown 2nd semester. Check out the RISD academic calendar, which notes the Brown start and end dates...


By Mackinaw (Mackinaw) on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 10:40 am: Edit

I have a few comments about the RISD-Brown link. My daughter graduated from RISD last year (industrial design). She took several courses at Brown. The differences in vacations, start-end of semesters are not a substantial problem, but students do need to take them into account. Also, there are some courses or workshops that are specifically arranged for RISD and Brown students, such as architects (RISD)-engineers (Brown), or industrial designers (RISD)-engineers (Brown). However, there are some impediments that limit the total number of such courses. One is that RISD studios typically meet for an entire day (9-5), one day per week. This sometimes makes it difficult for Brown students (who may be taking several courses at Brown that meet multiple days per week) to find a "free day" for a RISD studio. Also, RISD has a 6-week "wintersession" in January-February, a time when quite a few RISD students take short courses either at RISD, abroad, or elsewhere. Those don't fit well with the Brown schedule. Finally, the RISD program is very intensive and many students just can't find the flexibility or time to take Brown courses.

This said, many students do take courses at the other school on College Hill. My daughter took several Brown courses (in language, humanities and social sciences), mainly in her junior and senior years (including summer school). It would have been virtually impossible to do so before that stage.

By Mackinaw (Mackinaw) on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 10:55 am: Edit

Added note. Though there is some risk in inferring from MFA rankings to BA/BFA programs, it may be of interest to note that the top ranked MFA programs in sculpture (by reputation in USN) include a mix of speciality schools and programs at universities. (LAC's aren't included in this list.) Among the best are VCU, Yale, School at the Art Institute of Chicago, UCLA, RISD, MICA, Ohio State, Temple, California Institute of the Arts (not Calif Coll of Arts and Crafts), Syracuse, UT-Austin, UT-San Antonio, and Washington University.

By Cheers (Cheers) on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 05:12 pm: Edit

Thanks for the input on Brown and RISD. After much thought and review, we decided Brown RISD not a possible. S2 not a good fit for either school on it's own merit and the blend would be too tough to organize for this particular lad.

Interesting rankings but what is VCU?

UCLA and UT have miniscule out-of-state acceptances. We'll see how his final year portfolio turns out, but I can't imagine they'd turn down their own.

By Mackinaw (Mackinaw) on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 12:11 am: Edit

VCU was mentioned by a previous poster: Virginia Commonwealth University.

When my daughter was looking for a college, she looked mainly at art schools but also applied to Carnegie Mellon and looked carefully at BU and Syracuse. At the time she didn't know that she'd end up with a major in design rathr than than in fine arts. It's difficult for high schoolers to know how to weigh all the options and issues.

By Momrath (Momrath) on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 01:08 am: Edit

I'm the previous poster that mentioned VCU. Not a well-known name, but for sculpture actually one of the best in the country. The faculty, though again not household names, are very highly regarded in arts circles and are both talented artists and dedicated teachers.


By Cheers (Cheers) on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 08:46 pm: Edit

Mackinaw, MR; Thanks. Will Check it out. I went to architecture school after spending high school summers in a college art department (one of the programs listed above)-- so very familiar with the drill and selection process.

So many good suggestions. Will keep thinking about fit and go have a visit with S2.

Report an offensive message on this page    E-mail this page to a friend
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.

Administrator's Control Panel -- Board Moderators Only
Administer Page