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Best art school for a gifted teenage artist

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
My daughter is looking at art schools now that she has graduated from high school - how do you tell which ones are good? Is there a ranking of them like the business school lists out there?

I know that the Savanna College of Art and Design is a good school based on what I have heard - any other suggestions appriciated.
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post #2 of 12
My brother's at the Cleveland Institute of Art for industrial design with a focus in car design. He says it's worthwhile for their auto industry contacts. And he was able to parlay an internship at a small product design firm into a sizable job offer when he graduates. But he's either trying for a bigger firm (more money) or something specifically in car design (his passion).

My mother, on the other hand, went to the Maryland Institute College of Art. Of course, that's a great school hands down. She did lucrative freelance graphic design before having a few snot-nosed twins and took a position teaching at the college I currently attend (for English Literature though lol).

But yeah, US News maintains a nice listing (by specialty) of the top art schools in the country.
post #3 of 12
There are limited rankings out there, but frankly I wouldn't rely on broad listings anyway. I know Design Intelligence publishes a ranking of architecture schools each year, but I don't think they have rankings for art programs. The usual Peteron's Guides, Princeton Review (The Gourman Report), Money magazine (I think), US News, etc. have these rankings based on various criteria.

Some names that come of the top of my head are: RISD (Rhode Island School of Design), Yale, Penn, Art Institute of Chicago (there's a crap school with a similar name so watch out), UNC Greensboro is pretty good since you're in the area, SCAD, NYU, Berkeley, Cranbrook, CIA (California Institute of the Arts), Rice, Cooper Union, Swarthmore, Williams, Smith, Cornell....

This probably goes without saying, but just make sure that once you have a fair list of schools, to check them out and make a decision based on what's the best fit for your daughter rather than what ranks highest.

Note that US News only ranks grad programs though, as they do with their architecture rankings. Also, I found this page at the College Board which is moderately helpful.
post #4 of 12
Art Center in Pasadena
College for Creative Studies in Detroit (especially for transportation design)

Cranbrook Academy of Art is solely a master's program.
post #5 of 12
Don't know what the budget is or how far from home she's willing to go but Columbia College in Chicago has a number of very good programs, without all the nose-in-the-air crap you'll get from more prestigious schools like the Art Institute of Chicago, Rhode Island School of Design, etc. Not that those aren't good programs, just that it's a very different sort of environment.

I would try to find a smaller, well known art school that has a good number of classes in all of the disciplines she might be interested in. Most good schools will have a wide range of programs (photography, music, illustration, industrial design, etc etc). FWIW, I think she needs to be able to explore a lot of different options while in school, in order to get a good sense of career direction and also to acquire a broad skill set. That last part will make job hunting much easier.

I work in commercial photography btw, so I'm not a big expert necessarily. That's all just my personal view...
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post #6 of 12
RISD (Rhode Island School of Design), MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art), and the Art Institute of Chicago are pretty much the top three.

RISD's by far the most famous (and pretentious). They pick your own schedules for you, though, and are somewhat renouned for putting out cookie cutter artists.

I don't really know anything about the Art Institute of Chicago.

SCAD (Savannah) is not that good of a school... but they're one of the biggest. So they're well known, just not in a good way Not that they're bad, definately have her apply, because they have about an 80% acceptance rate.

I'm in my last semester at MICA right now, which is a pretty good school. I don't have anything bad to say about it at least (with the exception of a couple teachers... ). We're going through an expansion process though... when I was a freshman, the acceptance rate was only 40-50%. The freshman class this year is maybe 75% bigger than mine was... so now it's definately more like 70-80% acceptance. Whether that's a good thing or not I don't know, we're hiring more teachers and such, but the best teachers are now spread thinner (although the bad ones are, too, by that logic...) and I don't know if incoming freshman will get as much individual attention as I recieved.

One thing to take into consideration is what your daughter wants to do (if she knows), and how easy it will be to switch if she changes her mind (odds are she will... almost everyone I know did... including myself) So keep that in mind when looking at a small school or a state school... sometimes they have a really good, say, painting department... but if she decides she wants to do illustration she may end up having to transfer, which is really hard both financially and socially.

Oh, another thing she may be interested in (and probably less you) is going to school abroad. One of my best friends from high school goes to school in Edinburgh, Scotland. European schools are so much cheaper that even with airfare twice a year it's cheaper. If she's into it (and you can deal with it), it's definately an amazing experience.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by gregmightdothat
Oh, another thing she may be interested in (and probably less you) is going to school abroad. One of my best friends from high school goes to school in Edinburgh, Scotland. European schools are so much cheaper that even with airfare twice a year it's cheaper. If she's into it (and you can deal with it), it's definately an amazing experience.

Is this where your friend goes?

http://www.eca.ac.uk/eca.html
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post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
Is this where your friend goes?

http://www.eca.ac.uk/eca.html

No, she studies Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh.
post #9 of 12
One advantage of RISD is that you can cross-register at Brown; their campuses more or less overlap.

These days Pratt, here in Brooklyn, is well regarded.

I would also encourage your daughter to consider a good art department at any fine liberal arts college. It might be good to be in a general college atmosphere -- not one dominated by an arts school vibe.
post #10 of 12
I second the British schools. I came very close to doing one of my degrees abroad simply because it was so much less expensive.
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post #11 of 12
No clue if these guys are any good, but they ahave been advertising on TV a lot in San Francisco. They even had a booth at MWSF.

http://www.academyart.edu/index.asp
post #12 of 12
RSAD is pretty good, and the beaches here are nicer than the ones around Savannah...

Ringling School of Art & Design, that is...

In Sarasota, Fl...
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