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Thread: Art School

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    Senior Member Devon Shaw's Avatar
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    Art School

    First off I'd just like to say what a great experience it has been becoming a part of this community over the last few months. I hope that I can continue to contribute here and grow in what I have to offer.

    I am about to graduate from high school and have been looking over my options as to what to do in the future. I just got accepted to the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington D.C. with a $48,000 scholarship package and so there is a good chance I will go there. I visited D.C. in December and really enjoyed it. Snow in a city was a very novel experience for me as I'd only ever seen it up in the mountains. Right now I am investigating housing options and such in that area.

    I have lived in a relatively small town in Northern California my whole life and so was wondering if anyone had any insight into things I should know about living on the east coast. Also, does anyone have any opinions on whether or not a BFA is worthwhile for someone wanting to pursue photography as a career or if it'd be wiser for me to attempt to enter the workplace sooner?

    Thank you,
    Devon


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    Re: Art School

    Quote Originally Posted by Devon Shaw View Post
    Also, does anyone have any opinions on whether or not a BFA is worthwhile for someone wanting to pursue photography as a career or if it'd be wiser for me to attempt to enter the workplace sooner
    What sort of career in photography?

    Education is never a bad thing, but it's very difficult to do a lot of things with debt (such as student loans). I know the Corcoran is about $45k/year so is this a one-time or yearly scholarship? If it's a full ride I don't think you can pass it up! Then again, are you interested in the work that their graduates output? Are you interested in the subjects the professors are interested in? Where do their graduates end up? How many of them are gainfully employed in photography? How many of the graduates from 5 years ago are still in the arts? 10 years?

    I feel many art programs say they will help you find a job as you transition out of school, but don't bet on it.

    jeremy moore, MFA student in photo.

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    Re: Art School

    I don't have much to write about art school. Jeremy has some good points. If you are getting almost a free ride with the scholarship, there doesn't seem to be much downside. This is a bad year to judge the Washington weather (record setting snow season).

    If you are really interested in photography have you looked at the joint program between Bard and ICP (intl center for Photography) in NY?

    Love the shot you posted.

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    Re: Art School

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    If you are really interested in photography have you looked at the joint program between Bard and ICP (intl center for Photography) in NY?
    That's an MFA program. Bard also has an undergraduate degree in Photo, but the joint program is for a graduate degree.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Devon Shaw's Avatar
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    Re: Art School

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    What sort of career in photography?
    To be honest I am not entirely sure right now in which area I will be able to find the best combination of intrinsic reward and income.

    Most of the jobs I have had up to this point have actually been in the video field. Making training videos for the city/video backdrops for stage productions/promotional videos for various local institutions. While few of these have had a whole lot of room for creativity I have still really enjoyed working on them.

    As far as what in the field of photography most appeals to me I tend to think of the photosets at The Boston Globe.
    http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/
    These photographs depict different events around the world and are amazing to me in how they blend journalism and art.

    However, from everything I've heard over the last few years (since I really started paying attention I suppose), journalism might not be the best field to aim for if I plan on making a living, not that it isn't possible or I wouldn't be up for trying it, just that I am trying to think as realistically as possible.

    Most of the paid photographic work I have done beyond documentation has been in portraiture, which is definitely something I am interested in.

    In my area I know a few photographers who make their living mainly doing product shots for the various wineries around. While less glamorous than something like photojournalist I think I would be fine doing something like this as well. This type of work is why I brought up my video experience.. and the idea of that my main "job" doesn't have to be the most artistic endeavor, but it can still be rewarding and allow me the tools to pursue more passion based projects in my own time.

    What I've written above is really just my thought process in response to that question which is certainly one I have asked myself repeatedly over the last year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post

    Education is never a bad thing, but it's very difficult to do a lot of things with debt (such as student loans). I know the Corcoran is about $45k/year so is this a one-time or yearly scholarship? If it's a full ride I don't think you can pass it up!
    Unfortunately it's not a full ride. Tuition is $27,960 and the scholarship is split over the four years so it gives me $12,000 a year. That still leaves a lot in tuition and living expenses. Though I have a few more financial aid options I haven't heard back from yet. I will still probably end up borrowing some money.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    Then again, are you interested in the work that their graduates output? Are you interested in the subjects the professors are interested in? Where do their graduates end up? How many of them are gainfully employed in photography? How many of the graduates from 5 years ago are still in the arts? 10 years?

    I feel many art programs say they will help you find a job as you transition out of school, but don't bet on it.
    I am not really sure about the answers to these questions, though I will investigate them further. I have seen examples of successful graduates from the school whose work I enjoy.

    Honestly though, I feel as far as helping me find a job and how many of the the graduates are still in the arts might have a lot less to do with the school itself than those individuals. A high "success" rate wouldn't be such a bad sign though.

    Thanks so much for the input Jeremy!

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    This is a bad year to judge the Washington weather (record setting snow season).
    I'd heard that. I'm not really sure how I will adapt to being in someplace with real weather.. I definitely want the experience though.

    And thanks for the comment about the picture.

    -Devon

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