by Gr. 12 IBDP art students, Ayaka and Claire
In the summer of 2018, IBDP art students Ayaka and Claire were fortunate to be accepted in the Savannah College of Art and Design's (SCAD) Rising Star Summer Program. SCAD is internationally recognized as one of the top institutions for studying art and design at the tertiary level. It's Rising Star Program is an application-based residential experiential program offered to high school juniors, allowing them to study with SCAD faculty at the campus in Atlanta, Georgia using the the full breadth of the university's facilities, from classrooms and studios to production suites and computer labs to enhance their portfolios. Ayaka and Claire share their thoughts on what they both call an experience of a lifetime.
Participating in the Rising Star 2018 program was a mesmerizing experience for me because I was able to experience the marvelous environment of SCAD. Being surrounded by the artworks of highly talented students constantly challenged me to produce the best work possible and exceed what I thought were my limits. I strongly feel that my artistic skills truly developed during the five-week course. Additionally, it was a lot of fun getting to know many people from diverse cultures.
I studied Design and Photography in the program. Studying Design enabled me to look at art with a new lens because I was constantly able to incorporate the elements and principles of art and design in my work. Despite being a beginner in photography, my classmates and professor were all very supportive. The cheerful, positive atmosphere allowed me to share and talk about my work confidently. I was a bit overwhelmed at the beginning of the course, as students were treated as professional artists from day one. However, the lectures always guide me well, and the weekly critiques gave me inspiration and constructive feedback for the improvement of my work. Overall, the five weeks at SCAD made my summer a precious one.
SCAD's Rising Star program was an experience, unlike anything I've done before. When I first looked into the opportunity, I saw it as a chance to not only improve my drawing and art skills but also be a part of a college-like environment for five weeks. When I arrived at the campus, however, I wanted to focus on the art form that I loved the most - photography. This choice led to some of the most unforgettable experiences of my life, including setting up a photography studio in my dorm room and having access to everything from professional studio lights to the new Mark IV Canon camera. I also found it easy to find people to model for me because I was staying in the dorm and thus was surrounded by other students who were more than willing to help. I could text someone and they could be at my room in five minutes, photo ready. For me, having this opportunity allowed me to realize how much I love studio photography and photography in general. Although I'm not yet sure if I want to pursue a career in photography, I do know now that I want to study it in college. And aside from the educational aspects of the program, I made countless friends whom I am still in touch with, making the experience a truly memorable one.