My name is Tenisha-Terry Moultrie and for three years, freshman to junior year, I have been taking a Saturday arts program at the college Cooper Union. This program is a great way to make new friends, develop new skills, and see new things you wouldn’t have experienced otherwise.
This college is strictly geared for the arts. When I say the arts I am talking about graphic design, painting, sculpting and drawing. They also offer additional courses to prepare students to submit professional portfolios. If you’re interested in submitting a portfolio to a prestigious school like Cooper Union your best bet is to begin working with them while you’re in high school.
The Saturday program provides all materials for FREE and they show you how to use them. The program does not require you to have any prior knowledge and skills before joining.
When I applied it was competitive for acceptance, as I mentioned before this is a school known for arts at high value. However, with the help of my art teacher Mr. Montalvo, I was provided with a special code that allowed my application to be reviewed first. But now the program is accepting anyone who applies!
All of the teachers teaching the Saturday classes are undergrads at the actual school. They give you skills and tips that help you greatly with your performance in the class. They’ve experienced the application process firsthand and have went through the process of building a great arts portfolio so they can give you an insight on what it’s like.
One of the biggest benefits of the teachers being undergrads is that they are closer to our age as high school students. This means they can better understand us as teenagers and talk to us more as our peers rather than our average teachers in school. The setting is also great, there are two teachers in the class and no more than 25 students. We always work in a large studio with long tables, lots of empty space, and large windows that let in natural sunlight.
Even though the school focuses on art, there is also a writing component where an instructor named Ms. Berry, who is full of energy and excitement, teaches us to express our work in terms of poetry. I personally love this section because I love to write. When it is time to begin our hour long session of using literary devices and attitude to convey our theme, I barely realize that the time is passing by.
Besides classroom work, we also do a lot of hands on work. The instructors take students on trips to art museums and fun places around Cooper to give us a chance to incorporate the real world within our work. Twice throughout the semesters, we have a large gathering where students get to share and perform their work on stage. Through doing this everyone gets a feel of what it is like to be in each class. We show our appreciation for everyone’s art and collectively celebrate our achievements.
Being at Cooper takes dedication. The classes are on Saturdays from 10AM to 5PM. You may look at these hours and think, “ Oh, nevermind…I have a life.” But, when you’re engaged in an area that you are passionate about like sculpting, drawing, and creative writing, the hours go by much faster than you think.
If you are interested in applying for a program at Cooper Union, visit: http://cooper.edu/art/saturday-program