This year’s college trip combined visits to both CSUN and Pierce on the same day. We find the very visible contrast between this large university and small community college really brings home to high school students what lies ahead after graduation: choices! Many attend these two local schools, and some plan to pursue art studies that are the core of our academy program. Therefore we were excited that this year our Board member Larry Oviatt, an art professor at CSUN, organized a very special tour of their art department for us.
We started our visit at the Art Gallery, which was showing a juried exhibit of current CSUN art students’ work. There was an amazing diversity of media represented that really showcased the variety of art courses available. Next we broke into smaller groups and went into 6 or 7 studio classes, including photography, 2-D design, 3-D design, and their campus graphics business, VisCom. All the instructors were happy to share what they were teaching, and answer questions.
After this introduction to the art area, we met up with several AOAT alums who attend CSUN and they showed us around other parts of the large campus. For lunch we let everyone go their own direction, and met back up to bus over to Pierce. This much smaller school was almost deserted as there are few Friday classes, but again we were welcomed by AOAT alums who showed us around before everyone collapsed back on the bus to return to Cleveland. Everyone had a lot to think about, and maybe some better ideas about what college “looks like”!