Minneapolis College of Art & Design

by alyssa bozekowski

It is so different watching these videos now and being an MCAD Alum and remembering how I thought my experience was going to be. They make it magical and lovely, which it was, but its just now a memory. 

it is true they do spoil us with all their top-of-the-line equipment & technology & facilities we paid a shit ton of money for that and the money is worth it

I, like most kids probably, was drawing at a young age and loved it. What I did best was copy disney characters from magazines I had, my effort was to make them look as good or even better than they did on the page. When I went to high school I always knew I was going to be attending art classes, specifically sophomore year, I started looking at art colleges. Chatfield High School had a wonderful art program. Mrs. Neilson, my art teacher, was on the pulse with knowing how to inform and offer ideas about taking your art to the next level. She was in touch with most major art colleges around the country and the colleges were going around promoting themselves as well, it worked out for me.   MIAD, MICA, CCA, RMCAD, MCAD and multiple AI and Art & Design schools from across the country came for a full week presenting and sharing what they had to offer. For some reason I fell in love with Minneapolis. I had a nostalgic and dreamy idea about Minnesota as a state. My sister and I were born there but I had never really been old enough to have memories. My mother’s sister lived up there and I remember visiting them, my cousins who I adored and wanted to be like probably installed an idea of the type of people I imagined ‘minnesotans’ to be. Who were Minnesotans? Funny, sarcastic, up-beat, eclectic, wears warm sweaters & scarfs, driven & fun, creative jobs, coffee shops & concert venues, and all around happy, funny and warm people… said Alyssa. I remember specifically thinking that it was beautiful, thinking that their were beautiful trees, pine trees covered in snow with wolves up in the wilderness <– ?? I have no idea but thats what I remember thinking. 

I also came away with an idea of what I thought my life would be like as an adult in Minneapolis. MCAD made their presentation and I feel in love with the people interviewed, the life on campus, and the facilities and images of everyone working there…. I wanted to be one of them. So I made my decision. Then came Junior year when it was really time to start thinking about schools. I told my mom and dad about the school how I loved it, what it had to offer, what a great place it was in, and so on. Then I told them the price tag the answer was no. no way. not even in hell. There was no way that we/they could afford that. Then, as a young, naive teenager I thought I could just take out all my own student loans figure it out myself… yeah right… and pay an interest rate of 10% or higher. Some how I convinced my parents it was going to be worth it (it was.) I went to MCAD in the fall of 2005

Where do I begin with my experience at MCAD? It was fun & exciting freshmen year. On your own, meeting all kinds of new people, fun people, interesting people, people, like you, were doing something that other people might not understand. We were the art kids in high school that got together in one place to keep doing what we were already doing and wanted to do forever. Life on campus made it a wonderful transition for me it was just one big social scene to meet everyone. On the nicer days we would hangout on our stoop and watch kids come out of class, stop, chat, goof around, play games outside. Of course partying like most college kids, maybe our parties were weirder because we were art kids but same drunken/fucked up fun. Bonding with people because of moments you never thought would happen. But slowly our work was getting heavier and more time consuming. I finally understood what all-nighters were all about, starting drinking coffee ‘for real,’ and found out about stress and time management, something they warned us about in the beginning.

I would advise anyone to study abroad. the best experience ever, if you’re open

Anyway a lot can be said for the next three years, I pursued photography. To sum up what I thought about my educational experience at MCAD was that it was very worth while. I learned a lot, A LOT by failing, not liking projects, having projects be completely 100% just shitty. Procrastinating till the last night not doing something that I spent a lot of time on and on critique day wishing I would have started at the beginning of the week and created a body of work that was impressive and challenged my own ideas. It was all worth it, the only thing now is, is it went by too quickly, I would like another 4 years please. I feel like I just figured out what I want to do and how I want to do it, that I would like to go back and re-do projects, fully flesh out ideas that could have been so much better than what was my final product was. And I guess that leaves me with where I am right now; making that 4 years for myself. Taking what I wish I would have done better and doing it, but on my own. I think the reason why I wish I had another 4 years is well now I don’t have ANY facilities. I’m starting from the ground up and broke. But it’s exciting and frightening which I think is a good combination 

I guess I like watching these videos because a. I know everyone in them and they are a great documentary memory for me b. it reminds me of the videos I first saw when I was 17 years old c. they are a great voice and source of what it will be like. it will never be exactly how you imagine it to be but thats because it’s missing reality, it didn’t video tape people freaking out at 5am because they just figured out that their project is not gonna be finished or it’s crap or getting ripped to pieces by a professor or colleague or struggling knowing if this is what you want to do for the rest of your life.

it’s crazy where life goes