A Student's Experience 2/11/12

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A Student's Experience 2/11/12

From Gretchen Winkler

Published before 2005


Hello,

I have been browsing through your website upon suggestion by my new school, (which I have been just accepted to) the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA. I obtained a free membership, and discovered your art contest, which I dared to enter.

But what I really wanted to share with you was my reaction to something that written on the website concerning how art was taught since World War II. Part of what was written really rang a bell with me. You see, I did not graduate from UNR with an undergrad degree in Art, but in English, and one of the reasons why this was the case, (and I enjoyed all the art classes I took), but I never felt that my idea of art would be accepted. I wanted to learn to be like one of the old Masters. I like realism and the awesome skill it took to create in that manner. All the art work that I saw hung up in the school of art's gallery were projects that I just could not relate to. Sure, some of them were clever and showed some skill, but many of the paintings and projects looked like someone's nightmare and I am not talking a Salvador Dali painting strangeness, but garish thick gooey globs of oil paint thrust upon a canvas with doll heads, and animal skeletons, and old shoes attached into the mess. I could do that kind of work if I was feeling hateful and just wanted to make something shocking. I saw nothing that lead me to believe any of these painters noticed any of the glorious beauty that was all around us. Who would want to hang that on their wall and gaze at it?

I remember telling one of my fellow art students that I was the avant garde student in the group because I wanted to draw and paint realism, which no one else saw a value in doing. I could see the wheel turning in his head as he painfully realized that what I was saying was indeed true, and I was the one who was unique because I wanted to follow my own path and not do just what everyone else did. So to see an organization that appreciates what I appreciated back in the late 1980's is kinda gratifying. I'd like to see classical art style appreciated again.

I was hoping to apply for a scholarship since I am in desperate need of financial assistance, but my school does not appear to be on your approved list. And to be honest, the winners have very impressive skills. I have been teaching myself for the past 10 years, so there is no way I could really compete. Perhaps someday when I finally obtain my MFA and become an instructor, I will be able to send my own students to apply or enter your art contests.

Best wishes,
Gretchen Winkler