Cleveland Institute of Art Pre-College Program

By: Sophie Carey

Over this past summer, I took a course at the Cleveland Institute of Art’s Pre- College Program. The lifestyle was like that of a real college student. We got to stay in the dorms, go out and buy our own meals or go shopping, make plenty of new friends, and partake in a college course for credits. The course that I took was called “Foundation in Drawing.” It focused on a lot of drawing using graphite pencils, charcoal, colored pencils, and pastels, while having learn to use techniques such as perspective and life-drawing wisely. My typical day went as follows:
(Warning, the following paragraph is a bit of a spoiler to those who are looking into the program for the future, skip ahead if you wish to)
From around 7:10/7:30 I woke up, (the time differing due to my inconsistence in time management), and took until 8:00 to get ready. I left my dorm room and met with some of my friends downstairs in the lobby. Most of the time, we just got the free breakfast they provided at the school, but sometimes we would go out to Panera or Dunkin’ Donuts and buy our own breakfast. From 9-12, we had class, as well as from 1-4, giving us an hour in between to get lunch. Now, the school doesn’t provide you lunch, but it does supply you with money on your ID badge that you can use on certain restaurants in the area. Otani Noodle, Bibibop, and Chipotle were pretty big hits among the students. After class ends at four, you’re free for two hours. The school starts providing lunch at 5:00 P.M., but again, we didn’t always eat there and sometimes headed out for our own dinners. At six in the evening, we returned to our classrooms for studio time, in which it was only the teacher’s assistants there to help as you finished up whatever your assignment was for the day, or previous assignments from prior days. Studio ended at 9:00, and we were given one hour to do whatever we wanted until we had to sign in at the dorm building. You had to be on your floor by midnight.
The dorms at the Cleveland Institute of Art are absolutely gorgeous. When my father stepped in to help me unpack, he was astounded by the quality of the rooms. They are spacious, clean, and a very modern style. One of the teacher’s assistants
even said they were in the midst of building even better dorms! When you walk in, there’s a kitchenette immediately on your right or left (depending on what side of the hall your room is on), and straight ahead there are four large desks, two on either side of the walls. Behind those walls would be the bedrooms, each having their own bathroom. I was fortunate enough to only have two other roommates instead of three, so there was more space to share between us. The beds were comfortable and there was enough space for me to store my clothes and such. Getting into my room was little obnoxious, because for some reason my card would take multiple tries to get into the door. This didn’t seem to be a widespread problem, however, just me.
Our instructor, Eddie Mitchel, was one of the kindest art instructors I had ever had. He was very careful when giving instructions or criticism to his students. He also had a sense of humor, often making very bad jokes that we all got used to by the end of the program. He treated us all equally, even when the class ranged between sophomores and seniors. On my self-portrait assignment, he constantly pushed me, even a week later and until the end of the program, to keep adding light to my face. Even when I thought I couldn’t do anymore, or if I was exhausted from hours and hours of work a day, I still did it, and it turned out that his advice was never wrong. I could talk endlessly about this program, but it would be far too long of an article. I will continue my story in the next issue of Retrospect!
To find some of the art that I did at my Pre-College Program, you can check out my Instagram at:
@soph.carey.13