But, before she made that commitment, she wanted to perfect her already impressive artistic skills. So, to that end, she took advantage of the Interlochen Arts Academy postgraduate year. Within that year, she found the professional guidance and expertise that she desired to explore her art on a level that would not have been available to her in any other program.
"I graduated from my former high school a year early and felt like I wasn't yet sure of what kind of college I wanted to attend," explained Claire. "Finding myself a year younger than my peers and only somewhat confident about attending an art school, I wanted to hold off a bit longer. Interlochen turned out to be the perfect intermediate step. It let me create a new, and much better, portfolio to apply to colleges and scholarships while still holding my admissions offer at one school. It immersed me in an art environment, letting me solidify my confidence in attending an art school. Doing a postgraduate year at Interlochen has helped me enter college at the same artistic and age level as my peers."
"Before coming to Interlochen, if I had any big ideas I generally dismissed them," she continued. "When I got here, though, I was in a place where all of those ideas, no matter how much special care and effort might be required, were encouraged as long as I was willing to see, and work, them through. I don't think I fully understood that until my second semester, but the moment I did was amazing. When I had the idea for my Going To piece, I first expected to never complete it. The moment I realized I could actually execute that piece without scaling back was incredible. From that point on, I just didn't want to stop."
And that need - the need to not stop - has shown through in every piece produced by Claire. Her work is engaging, provoking and oftentimes fun. You're encouraged to touch the pieces, climb into them, and experience her art.
"I started working with string in a sculpture and installation context when I was looking for something new," she explained. "Conceptually, I wanted to show a direct connection, something with both vague and concrete connotations. Physically, I have always found the process of meticulous work with lots of repetition and small components rather calming. In the context of my work, string seemed like the perfect material to use, and organizing it in a space that could interact with viewers seemed like the next logical step."
The postgraduate program is set up for students like Claire. Interlochen offers the ability to spend one year completely immersed in art, to explore it, evolve it, and perfect it. And then, once all of that has been accomplished, release it upon the collegiate world.
More information on the postgraduate program in visual arts can be found here.