Studying art with working artists

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Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

During the summer following my junior year in high school, I realized that I wouldn’t be happy unless I was in a creative field. I decided that I wanted to study art. I loaded up on art classes and knew I needed to build my technical skills and learn how to support myself as an artist.

That’s when a friend told me about his freshman year at PCA&D. I thought “I can’t believe that a freshman in college was doing this amazing art.”  And this friend talked about his professors who gave out advice – great advice – like candy!

I was intrigued. Once I came to PCA&D, I was just as impressed with my professors as my friend was. I was so excited to have instructors who were working in the industry, who know the art world inside and out and who can help their students evolve with the industry by keeping themselves up to date with standards and professional practices.

Professors who care about their students

PCA&D’s small classes certainly help students build strong relationships with their professors, and the one on one time in and out of the classroom was invaluable. Bob Hochgertel, Chair of the Illustration Department, brought in his own power tools and taught me how to make frames, just because I needed to build a custom frame.

Professors who bring real-world experience into the classroom

It’s one thing to have the technical skills to create art. It’s completely another to learn how to market yourself and run a small business or work under art directors. PCA&D’s faculty can tell you first-hand how to land that job or what not to do around bosses or clients.

In addition, they know what clients and employers look for, how to build a portfolio that will help launch a career, and what new technologies you should master. They also know other people in the industry that can help with future goals, internships and apprenticeships. It’s also wonderful to be in downtown Lancaster of First Friday, and run into them and see their own work.

Professors who keep in touch

PCA&D’s wonderful faculty keep in touch after graduation as well. One professor went out of his way for me, pulling together lists of advertising agencies that might be useful in my job search.

When I am talking to students visiting PCA&D, I make sure they understand the wonderful resource our faculty is and how important it is to learn from those who are truly working artists in their own right.

By Emily Adleblute

(top photo: Emily Adleblute leads a student tour of downtown Lancaster.)

Emily is one of PCA&D’s Admissions Counselors, speaking to high school students throughout central Pennsylvania. Born and raised in York County, Pennsylvania, Emily is a 2013 graduate of Pennsylvania College of Art and Design with a BFA in Illustration. In addition to working for the PCA&D admissions department, Emily remains active in the art community of Lancaster through gallery shows, pet portraiture, and freelance illustration.