Update 7/31: See the PreCollege 2023 Recap
From mid-June to mid-July, 216 teens attended Ringling College of Art and Design’s summer PreCollege program. For those four weeks, young artists lived on campus, ate at Cunniffe Commons—the College’s state-of-the-art dining hall and event space—and totally immersed themselves in their art practices.
Students all participated in four core classes that make up the greater structure of Ringling’s majors: 2D Design, 3D Design, 4D Design, and Figure Drawing. In these foundational courses, students spend a total of 40 hours (10 hours each) throughout the program. In addition to the core classes, students have the opportunity to explore more targeted immersions, which make up the bulk of their program—48 class hours plus several required hours in open studios. The immersions give students the opportunity to explore courses that are tied to all 13 of Ringling’s majors. Each student enrolls in two immersions, which range from Entertainment Design: Themed Environments to Film: Directing, and Fine Arts: Conceptual Practices, giving them a glimpse into what it is like to attend art college, and what makes Ringling College so special. Almost 50 percent of PreCollege attendees enroll at Ringling College to pursue their four-year degrees.
Ringling College President Dr. Larry R. Thompson puts a lot of stock in the PreCollege program. “After four weeks here, there’s no doubt that students will be better artists and designers,” he said during the program orientation. “They will learn new skills, improve existing ones, and create incredible work for their portfolio. But, more importantly, they will walk away with a better sense of what they want to do with the rest of their lives. Maybe it’s art college—maybe it isn’t. Either way, this is invaluable time spent learning new things and learning about themselves.”
This summer, students came from 32 domestic states plus Puerto Rico, and 11 countries:
- Costa Rica
During the first week of classes, students taking the Fine Arts: Painting immersion were arranging monochromatic still-life compositions to enable them to hone their shading skills. In Eszter Sziksz’s Printmaking immersion, students layered monoprints and silkscreened prints to create a collage-like effect.
Deeper into their courses, students taking the the Computer Animation immersion created scenes that included writing a 5-10 second story around an already constructed character of their choosing (they chose between a small mouse, and the protagonist from Qbert), then created, gave texture to, and well-considered lighting to all the objects in their characters’ worlds.
Ringling Computer Animation faculty Matt Killian described the project as an abbreviated version of what the sophomore animators are working on. “A lot of what they are doing is creative problem solving.”
PreCollege 2024 will be held on campus from June 23-July 20, 2024. For information about the summer program, visit the PreCollege web page. The application opens Nov. 1 each year. Space and financial assistance is limited and those interested are encouraged to apply early.