From education to employment

Aimee gets taste of the Big Apple during two-week scholarship

Aimee Lyon, a Foundation Art and Design student, recently returned from New York after successfully winning a place on a two-week scholarship at the New York Studio School.

The two-week scholarship is an on-going partnership between the two colleges and has been running for six years. Aimee won her place on the scholarship after presenting a convincing case to her tutors outlining why she should be chosen.

Aimee travelled across the Atlantic to join other students at the school and was able to gain a wider understanding of art, learn from world-renowned tutors, and take part in valuable critique sessions.

Aimee said: “It was such an amazing and memorable experience and I was able to get a glimpse of a possible future life I could have.

The scholarship lasted for two weeks and it wasn’t until four weeks before the trip that I found out that I had been successful. Before I knew it, I was in the middle of New York City and it was incredible.

I flew from Gatwick by myself and stayed in an Air B’n’B not too far from the Studio School in Lower Manhattan. The School specialises in drawing, painting, and sculpture, and each day I would join life drawing classes and then spend a couple of hours each evening taking part in critiques.

I think I was the youngest person in the class, as most students were studying MFAs (Masters in Fine Art), but I didn’t mind because it was really constructive and nice to hear people, who have more experience than me, say nice things about my work. Even established painters were complimenting my work.

Class started at 9am and finished at 6pm. I found it quite challenging to concentrate on the same thing for so long, but it was really rewarding.

In my spare time, during the evenings and the weekends, I was a typical tourist. I went to the Rockefeller building, spent an hour in Time Square, got the ferry over to Staten Island, visited the 9/11 memorial site, went to Macy’s, and spent lots of time exploring all the different galleries.

As I have said it was a great experience and I have learnt so much. To be honest, I’m not sure what I will take most from it; whether it was the actual art lessons, or growing as a person.

I learnt lots about how to draw, and space and representation, which is so helpful because I work in 3 Dimensions. But personally, the experience has given me so much confidence. I was here by myself so I had no choice but to speak to people and make friends. That also helped me to understand where I stood on my opinions on a lot of things to do with art. During class and the critiques I opposed a lot of people, which I didn’t expect to do. I really liked getting into discussions with people about their work and listening to what they had to say about my weird shapes.”

Aimee has just completed her year-long Art & Design Foundation degree and will be joining Goldsmiths, University of London in September to study a degree in Fine Art.

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