Visual Arts Program Visits Boston, Shows Up Impressively in YoungArts

Crescendo issue: January 2014

"We strive to help our students succeed as they go through the challenging and daunting process of choosing and applying to visual arts schools."

So says Interlochen Center for the Arts' visual arts program director, Mindy Zacher Ronayne. The students' college-application efforts have been aided recently by high-profile national recognition and a college tour.

Eleven visual artists earned honors at the YoungArts Awards, a prestigious competition that culminates in the Presidential Scholar of the Arts Award. Lena Jafrey, an Academy senior and visual arts major from Dubai, will be moving on to the next level of the YoungArts Awards, which will be held in Miami during January 2014.

This impressive showing from the visual arts department is yet another example of the level of talent and instruction that exists in the visual arts department. To help students leverage their accomplishments and make informed decisions as they move on to college, the visual arts students recently took a tour to leading visual arts schools in the northeast.

"This trip was an opportunity for students to tour college campuses and have interviews and portfolio reviews for admission, as well as to visit several world-renowned museums," explained Zacher Ronayne. "During the trip, the students took tours and had reviews from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA), the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), The Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Boston University. In between college visits, they also had the opportunity to visit several museums and galleries, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Institute of Contemporary Art, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the MIT List Visual Arts Center."

"Our hopes are that, by guiding our students through these visits, we will help educate them on the important factors when choosing schools," continued Zacher Ronayne. "I have found that reflecting on these experiences in a group makes the students more objective when learning about a school."

While tours and recognition are often exciting, the hard work and preparation happens throughout the year. "As faculty, we make ourselves available to students day and night to ensure that they push themselves and have what they need to realize their visions," says Zacher Ronayne. "We also have an amazing building, with studios for each media. The studios are equipped with both traditional tools and new technologies in each area. The students really have everything they need to realize their ideas and prepare for their future."