Hey there! I am Amy’s daughter, Emily, and I want to share with you about my summer at art school! I spent six weeks living in Providence, Rhode Island at the Rhode Island School of Design, or RISD for short, for their intensive pre-college program. I studied the foundations of fine arts with a “major” in painting. It was such an amazing experience! I made great friends and learned so much more than I had anticipated.
It was a very demanding program, with classes 5 days a week from 9am until 4pm and homework lasting into the wee hours of the morning; I was lucky to get 5 hours of sleep each night, even on the weekends.I had 4 classes: painting twice a week, and then drawing, design, and critical studies in art each once a week. Apart from critical studies, which was like an art history class, our classes were very hands on the entire time, both in and outside the studio. Each week we had a new project due in each of our classes that would be critiqued at the start of class. Group critiques lasted anywhere from one to three hours long and this was the time when we all learned the most.
In painting, we worked with oil paint throughout the six weeks, painting landscapes, the human figure, and various still lifes. I completed over 20 paintings ranging in size from 8”x10” to 30”x40”. In design, we had more freedom regarding our projects when it came to the medium and composition. In drawing, we focused mainly on the human figure and got a lot of experience with models, using several drawing mediums including graphite pencils, types of charcoal, pen and ink, ink wash, and conte crayon. I really enjoyed all of my classes, especially painting and design.
So, yeah, it was pretty stressful at times, but that was okay because we were all in it together, and doing something we love. The friends I made were what truly helped me get through those six weeks. RISD’s pre-college program had a lot of international students, which was so cool! It was awesome to meet kids from all over the world, and learn about their hometowns.
From running to get coffee at 11 o’clock at night, to wandering around the dorms looking for a spot to work that wasn’t so hot (we didn’t have air conditioning!), to laughing hysterically as we all slowly went insane, to falling asleep on the floors of the studio and finally deciding to call it a night (or, morning) around 5:30am, to hauling all our art and supplies through the pouring rain and up seven flights of stairs, to getting locked out of our rooms a couple of times a day, being together is what made this summer so great and I am beyond thankful for the amazing people I got to know. My time at RISD has made me so excited for college, wherever I end up. I feel so incredibly blessed to have been able to visit Providence, learn so much, and meet all of the wonderful friends I made.