The summer before I became a junior I realized I had been missing out on the summer experiences that all my friends who went away to camp had. I thought it would be a good idea for me to do something productive, so I Googled art colleges and found the Young Artist Residency (YAR) program. When I looked at the Young Artist Residency (YAR) Program information, I was hooked. I liked the fact that I could look at a plethora of options to take six art classes from and I liked that when I emailed in for more information, I got a quick response, which was personalized and made me feel like they really wanted me to go. After begging my father and having him talk with Lisa [the Young Artist Residency (YAR) Program Manager], he said yes. As it got closer to summer, I got worried that I wouldn't make friends, I wouldn't do well in the classes, and I'd miss my house. But when I got there, I realized all my worries had been pointless. I arrived and people already knew me from my emails, I quickly made friends, and I was happy and excited to start the month.
Going to Young Artist Residency (YAR) I already assumed there would be supervision and I knew we would have a curfew. In classes, on buses, and at lunch we would always take attendance to ensure that everyone was there. It was an easy way to make sure no one got lost, and it didn't infringe on our own time. After class and dinner, we had free time to relax around the dorm or go out [in groups of three of more]. All of us had at least one of the Mentor's numbers so that we could call them and the Mentors had us write down our numbers and times of departure whenever we left, so that they could contact us if we were even a minute late for curfew. The balance was perfect for me. I never felt too controlled or pressured.
In my free time I went out around Boston with friends. We would go get ice cream. We found street shops to explore and we often walked to Harvard Square to see the street performers, grab Starbucks, or just walk around. Other times, I would go into the lounge and we would watch a movie or play board games. Young Artist Residency (YAR) offered other activities such as Artist Talks, Yoga classes, and Studio time. I loved having my own studio that I could go into whenever I pleased to work on homework or my own ideas.
When I got back to Miami, I felt like a different person. I was still me, but I felt like a better me and an older me. For a whole month I lived independent of anyone really telling me where to go or what to do, I made my own choices whether it was on what to eat or where to go out. I liked that, if I was unsure, I had friends to lean upon and the Mentors let us know they were there for help if necessary. I got home and I knew how to care for myself and see myself as a young adult.
One of the main reasons I went to the Young Artist Residency (YAR) program was because I wanted an early jump on my AP Art Portfolio. I hadn't fully realized that the classes I was taking were intense, college credit, experiences. But in each class I focused on a subject and I learned new skills and techniques. I took a painting class - we started from basics but I strengthened my ability to portray depth and I learned how to use a few spray paint techniques. I'd never really considered spray painting before, but now I'm back in AP Art and I've planned my next project to include two layers of spray paint. Overall I brought back new strengths and new ways of thinking and seeing that have benefitted me back in Miami.
Having a chance to do art in summer in a college setting was great. But the best memories I have there are with my friends and teachers. In just a month I made some of the best friends I'll ever have. It felt amazing how fast we could all become friends. It was fun, and the whole experience helped me learn to put myself out there and not be afraid to say hello to people. Not only my friends, but my teachers as well helped me grow and learn. All my classes were small and it was easy to get to know my teachers during our classes. None of them were simply "teachers" they were friends and mentors, and having this sort of connection with them helped me learn and grow on my artistic skills and people skills. When my teachers cared, I cared and I could really enjoy and value what I was doing.
I would just like to say that this experience is so beneficial in many ways and I really recommend it to
anyone who is interested in doing an art degree! The Young Artist Residency (YAR) Program was one of the best months of my life so far. If I could go back and see everyone and experience just one day of my classes all over again, I would. Back at home, I feel like a more independent person. College doesn't really scare me as much anymore because I know I'll love the feeling of growing and working with my friends. I missed my home, but I still felt my family's support and I could call them if ever in doubt. I feel like a better artist and a better person for attending YAR.
The Young Artist Residency (YAR) Program offers trips to art museums, galleries, and studios; local excursions throughout the Boston area and Artist Talk presentations hosted by practicing artists and designers. In addition to these activities that focus on professional pathways within art and design, other activity options include individual open studio time, exercise classes, and social activities hosted by YAR. Unstructured, free time is provided as well.
Learn more about student activities, daily schedules and residential life by visiting: Young Artist Residency (YAR) Residence Life page.
For more application information please visit the Young Artist Residency (YAR) Application Process page.
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