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Old 07-19-2004, 01:32 AM
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ssecret132 ssecret132 is offline
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the future of a fine art degree/student

hi, im attending college for fine art (painting) this fall but am having serious doubts, mostly with worring about paying it back and my career opportunities.
I was wondering...
-Does an expensive art college make sense at all to a fine artist, given the market
-What kinds of jobs can bfa offering art colleges and universities help graduates find? and are these jobs worth while, especially with all you will have to pay back($100,000+)?


I was excepted to SVA(school of visual arts), and hunter college in NYC, but they are so different schools(including price). If anyone has any advice i would appreciate it.
-Chris
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Old 07-19-2004, 08:43 AM
Taxguy Taxguy is offline
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

I have been thinking about this problem for my daughter. SVA will give you a better art education,but you probably want to finish up with some more training at Atlier schools that teach the classical technique. See the following link for Atlier schools: http://www.artrenewal.com/. I should note that Atlier school costs run about 8K per year but you do NOT get a degree such as BFA or MFA.Thus, you need to check out each school as to quality and instruction. However, they can be a tremendous training ground for a fine arts painter.

I will acknowledge, however, that going to a private school for fine art tends to be economically stupid in that you will rarely recover until many years have passed. Thus, what to do?

1. Many state universities offer good art programs. If you go to your own state university, you will pay relatively little for the education. You can always hone your skills after with a MFA.

2.Some state university art schools are very inexpensive for even out of state residents. Mass College of art charges around $5,000 per year for tuition for out of state residents, which is a steal. VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University) charges around $12,000 per year, and NY has two good and inexpensive art schools: SUNY Purchase ($4,300 per year for NY residents and $10,350 for out of state residents) and Alfred University which is $15,600 per year. there is also Tyler School of Art, which is part of Temple university. The tuition at Tyler isn't as high as that of most private art schools. These quotes are for tuition only. You do have school fees and room and board. Some other 'inexpensive choices' would be, Univ of Illinois, Univ of Indiana etc.

3. You could get 'need scholarships'. Although private schools rarely give large need scholarships, It is worth applying to some of these and see what they give you. Maybe if they give you enough, it might well be worth it. I do believe that some private schools such as SVA, PRATT, Parsons, UoA, RISD,School of art Institute in Chicago, MICA, Tyler School of Art ( which I think is now part of Penn state university system) and others are better art programs than that found at most state universities; however, I am not an artist. I am simply a smart parent doing a lot of research for my daughter. You do need to check out all of these suggestions. You probably would have a better feel than I.

Hope this all helps.

Last edited by Axl_Happy_Goth : 07-19-2004 at 09:44 AM. Reason: Added url for Atlier schools
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Old 07-20-2004, 02:11 AM
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

What you are paying for at these art schools seem to be connections and the time to dedicate yourself to your art. Connections also meaning business knowlegde without business classes. Sounds good for film, animation, graphic d, and illustration...

SVA's tuition is around 19,000 a year compared to 4000 with the city school(hunter). I was actually considering taking classes at the art students league if i attend a less expensive school.

Thanks so much for the reply. Your daughter's lucky.
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Old 07-20-2004, 04:59 PM
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssecret132
hi, im attending college for fine art (painting) this fall but am having serious doubts, mostly with worring about paying it back and my career opportunities.
I was wondering...does an expensive art college make sense at all to a fine artist, given the market?

What is this 'market'? Are you thinking of being a teacher, curator, editor, gallery owner...? If so, I think a degree is essential.

Or, if you are really serious about being a fine art painter, then you either need to have the resources to market yourself (financial and interpersonal), or you'll need to earn an income while you work on building your reputation as a painter.

Being a teacher, curator, editor, gallery owner, etc., can provide you with a decent lifestyle while you continue painting, and--again--for those jobs, I think having a degree is essential.

K
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Old 07-22-2004, 03:54 AM
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

I'm dedicated to earn by B.F.A. as a fine artist, but know I will need guidance, experience and the resources to learn how to gain exposure(which I have been lead to believe an art school can do well). It seems to me that even becoming an art teacher with your B.F.A is difficult in universities, and other important roles in art communities such as editors and curators require another or a different degree(s). My list of careers to coincide with my devotion to painting and fine art look like thier shrinking. Would it be wiser to spend less money on my bfa degree so i can afford to pursue my masters in art ed, art therapy or art history? I guess im having trouble seeing what a B.F.A. can really do for fine artists.
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Old 07-22-2004, 10:44 PM
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssecret132
What you are paying for at these art schools seem to be connections and the time to dedicate yourself to your art. Connections also meaning business knowlegde without business classes. Sounds good for film, animation, graphic d, and illustration...

SVA's tuition is around 19,000 a year compared to 4000 with the city school(hunter). I was actually considering taking classes at the art students league if i attend a less expensive school.

Thanks so much for the reply. Your daughter's lucky.

I was planning on doing the exact same thing (taking classes at a small school and following up on art though the Leauge), but i've decided to go to SVA for at least one year.. so i can really have something to hate before i drop out. As it is, I'm starting SVA at the beginning of the school year, also going for my BFA. I was thinking i might change my major to illustration though, seeing as it might end up being more financially stable. I noticed most of the coursework done in the illustration program is fine arts -drawing and painting- anyway, so it's not as if I'm straying or selling out what i want to do.

I think, if following art comes to you instinctivly, you should absolutly pursue it... I mean, you only live twice, right?
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Old 07-23-2004, 08:49 PM
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Keith Russell Keith Russell is offline
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

[quote=ssecret132]I'm dedicated to earn by B.F.A. as a fine artist, but know I will need guidance, experience and the resources to learn how to gain exposure(which I have been lead to believe an art school can do well). It seems to me that even becoming an art teacher with your B.F.A is difficult in universities, and other important roles in art communities such as editors and curators require another or a different degree(s).[/qutoe]

I didn't say a BFA, specifically. I said 'a degree'.

Quote:
My list of careers to coincide with my devotion to painting and fine art look like thier shrinking. Would it be wiser to spend less money on my bfa degree so i can afford to pursue my masters in art ed, art therapy or art history? I guess im having trouble seeing what a B.F.A. can really do for fine artists.

It is the prerequisite for the MFA.

K
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Old 08-07-2004, 10:39 PM
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

I'm sorry if I missed your response to the question of what you want to do with your painting. If I remember correctly, you wrote that you were working towards a fine art/painting degree.
If I am correct, please please please do not spend 80,000 dollars at SVA.
SVA is a great school and has some fine instructors and facilities, but 80,000 in student loans is retarded to have to pay back if you are going to be a fine artist.
In the four years you would spend in college, go to the Metropolitan and make copies of paintings and drawings that appeal to you. Do this for a couple of years and you will have the skill to do anything you want. In my experience, an art degree is unnecessary. I sell paintings through a very fine gallery and they don't care what I did before we met. They are interested in sales. If you are talented and people like what you paint, and you can make money for the gallery, they will do anything they can to represent you and sell your work.
Copy the masters, then copy the painters you have a strong interest in. Just copy for a few years and you will make a fine living selling paintings.
If, in the future you have a spare 80,000 that you feel like wasting, I'll happily email my address and take that measly dough off your hands.
I skipped college, moved to Boston, copied in the Museum of fine arts for a year, moved to new york, copied at the Met for a year, moved around some more, copied some more....etc...
Now my paintings sell faster than I can paint them.
College is for people who can't make their own choices and make their own way work for them. A friend of mine is still paying for SVA, 10 years later and doing nothing profitable. They don't teach what you need to know to make a good living in fine art. Those who can, do...Those who can't, teach. Those are your teachers.

Good luck.
Jim
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Old 08-08-2004, 05:07 PM
Taxguy Taxguy is offline
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

Jimpennington, you may be right regarding fine art, but I don't think you are right regarding other areas such as graphic design, visual communication, photography etc. These do require training. Also, even regarding fine art, it pays to have criticism of your work by several experience professionals.
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Old 08-11-2004, 12:28 AM
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimpennington
I'm sorry if I missed your response to the question of what you want to do with your painting. If I remember correctly, you wrote that you were working towards a fine art/painting degree.

If I am correct, please please please do not spend 80,000 dollars at SVA. SVA is a great school and has some fine instructors and facilities, but 80,000 in student loans is retarded to have to pay back if you are going to be a fine artist.

In the four years you would spend in college, go to the Metropolitan and make copies of paintings and drawings that appeal to you. Do this for a couple of years and you will have the skill to do anything you want.

The above is utter nonsense--and (IMO) very poor advice!

The artists who painted the works in those museums and galleries did not learn to paint by copying other paintings. Drawing and painting from actual objects, and from real human beings is crucial! No one can learn how light wraps around a three-dimensional object, nor how distance affects colour, etc., from copying paintings.

Quote:
In my experience, an art degree is unnecessary. I sell paintings through a very fine gallery and they don't care what I did before we met. They are interested in sales.

But, one can certainly be interested in sonmething other than sales. I'm interested in seriously exploring 'visual art', and in understanding something essential about 'the human condition'. The kinds of ideas that interest me (both as an artist, and as a member of the audience) are not necessarily going to lead me to create paintings that most collectors would want to own. I might be able to find enough collectors to make a living from my work, I might not. Regardless, I am not willing to alter the focus of my work to drive sales.

Quote:
If you are talented and people like what you paint, and you can make money for the gallery, they will do anything they can to represent you and sell your work.

But what if I am completely uninterested in painting what I think most people might like?

Quote:
Copy the masters, then copy the painters you have a strong interest in. Just copy for a few years and you will make a fine living selling paintings.

Again, 'The Masters' did not learn to paint by copying paintings; they learned to paint by carefully observing three-dimensional reality; by closely studying how light operates in a three-dimensional, atmostpheric space. Thus, no one will ever learn to paint like them, by copying them.

Quote:
If, in the future you have a spare 80,000 that you feel like wasting, I'll happily email my address and take that measly dough off your hands.

I skipped college, moved to Boston, copied in the Museum of fine arts for a year, moved to new york, copied at the Met for a year, moved around some more, copied some more....etc...

Now my paintings sell faster than I can paint them.

But by copying, you did not learn what I intend to learn--both as an artist and as an art student. Leonardo did not learn how light is reflected from the subtle planes of the face, by copying paintings. Parrish did not learn how all the colours we see can be created by using a secondary-pigment system of transparent glazes, from copying paintings.

Your audience may love your work, but can you move 'beyond' your audience? Or, are you limited to creating only what they are able to appreciate--both in terms of concept, content, and technique?

Quote:
College is for people who can't make their own choices and make their own way work for them. A friend of mine is still paying for SVA, 10 years later and doing nothing profitable. They don't teach what you need to know to make a good living in fine art. Those who can, do...Those who can't, teach.

Obviously, you still have a great deal to learn. You should know that there are many ways to judge value; commerce is but one (and a very easy way, but not always the best way.) Teaching often allows people to explore their interests without having to justify those interests to a 'market'. (This is not true only of the arts...)

I don't wish to learn to make paintings that copy paintings. I want to learn to make paintings that emulate certain aspects of our visual interpretation of reality, while expressing something of our more ephemeral inner reality.

What I intend to do, no one else has seen, no one else can see, and no one else has done. There is thus no one from whom I could possibly copy, in order to learn what I most want to learn.

K
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Old 08-15-2004, 08:29 PM
jimpennington jimpennington is offline
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Russell
The above is utter nonsense--and (IMO) very poor advice!
Let's take an in depth look at your opinion

Quote:
The artists who painted the works in those museums and galleries did not learn to paint by copying other paintings.

You couldn't be more wrong.
Sargent's Head of Aesop (after Valasquez) in the Ackland Museum is one fine example of just this type of copy. It is one of ten copies he made at the Prado Museum, Madrid, in the year of 1879. 8 copies were studies after Valasquez, one after Titian, and one after Rubens. These copies were all made to address different aspects of painting and to better understand the use of materials.

Quote:
Drawing and painting from actual objects, and from real human beings is crucial!
We are in 100 percent agreement.


Quote:
No one can learn how light wraps around a three-dimensional object, nor how distance affects colour, etc., from copying paintings.

That's quite a stretch of the imagination. No one? Not anyone? You might want to reign in your omnipotence just a smidge.



Quote:
But, one can certainly be interested in sonmething other than sales. I'm interested in seriously exploring 'visual art', and in understanding something essential about 'the human condition'. The kinds of ideas that interest me (both as an artist, and as a member of the audience) are not necessarily going to lead me to create paintings that most collectors would want to own. I might be able to find enough collectors to make a living from my work, I might not. Regardless, I am not willing to alter the focus of my work to drive sales.


After looking at your work, I'd have to agree with you again.


Quote:
But what if I am completely uninterested in painting what I think most people might like?
I don't have a problem with that.



Quote:
[b]Again, 'The Masters' did not learn to paint by copying paintings;
Again, incorrect.
See above example.
Quote:
they learned to paint by carefully observing three-dimensional reality; by closely studying how light operates in a three-dimensional, atmostpheric space.
Correct. There are many ways to learn. This was just one of those.
Quote:
Thus, no one will ever learn to paint like them, by copying them.
That's precisely the way someone would learn to paint like someone else, were that the goal.
However, I agree that they also learned by drawing and painting from life, which we agree is extremely important.
In my initial post I failed to mention drawing from sculpture. This should have been included. I have many sketchbooks filled with drawings from sculpture. Maybe I'll include one in this post.

Quote:
But by copying, you did not learn what I intend to learn--both as an artist and as an art student.
Simply copying paintings without further study or life drawing is NOT what I am advising. You are correct that if someone were only to copy paintings he would be lacking in many other areas. However, my intention was to supplement learning with the very effective practice of master copies.
Quote:
Leonardo did not learn how light is reflected from the subtle planes of the face, by copying paintings. Parrish did not learn how all the colours we see can be created by using a secondary-pigment system of transparent glazes, from copying paintings.
Da vinci is a fine example. I'll include one of those. A student could learn quite a bit about drawing by copying da vinci drawings. I spent quite a few weeks in the Museum of Fine Arts copying every single drawing they borrowed from the Windsor collection. These drawings date from the early 90's and are quite crude. my point of inclusion is to demonstrate how quick sketches such as these could help a young artist learn techniques that may be useful in other applications.

Quote:
Your audience may love your work, but can you move 'beyond' your audience? Or, are you limited to creating only what they are able to appreciate--both in terms of concept, content, and technique?
Sure. I paint what I enjoy painting. I dictate what I give to the gallery. It's up to the collector to choose a painting. There are plenty of styles and plenty of artists. People who are drawn to a certain style of work will choose the artwork that they wish to purchase. Some collectors buy my work. Some don't. As for the movement beyond my "audience", My client base is constantly expanding. I don't choose my audience, they choose me.


Quote:
Obviously, you still have a great deal to learn.

Without knowledge there can be no progress. I'm constantly studying. I hope to never grow stagnant. I will always have a great deal to learn. I hope you feel the same in your life.
Quote:
You should know that there are many ways to judge value; commerce is but one (and a very easy way, but not always the best way.) Teaching often allows people to explore their interests without having to justify those interests to a 'market'. (This is not true only of the arts...)
we are in agreement here.

Quote:
I don't wish to learn to make paintings that copy paintings.
ok.
Quote:
I want to learn to make paintings that emulate certain aspects of our visual interpretation of reality, while expressing something of our more ephemeral inner reality.
It's amusing when artists misuse obscure words. I wish you luck in expressing the parts of very little interest or value of your inner reality. However, I don't think you understand the meaning of the word you used. That would be a derogatory description of a painting to say it has only passing interest or little value. Wouldn't you agree?

Quote:
What I intend to do, no one else has seen, no one else can see, and no one else has done.
How COULD anyone see it if you haven't done it yet. Wow. Dizzying logic indeed, but you said nothing of consequence. Just because something hasn't been done before doesn't make it great. I would bet no one has ever eaten a turd while bouncing on a pogo stick in molten lava. Maybe it's a bad idea.
Quote:
There is thus no one from whom I could possibly copy, in order to learn what I most want to learn.
There is no one you could learn from? In that case you must be the best artist who ever lived. Extremely arrogant would be a better description. I'm tempted to discuss the technical merit of your work, but that would be rude.
your pal,
Jimpennington


K[/quote]
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Old 08-15-2004, 08:40 PM
jimpennington jimpennington is offline
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

in case you missed the subtle satire, the form of my response was a copy of the style of a fellow wetcanvas member, Keith Russell.
This was to demonstrate the usefulness of copying. I borrowed from his style, yet inserted my personality. This type of assimilation, when taken from many varied sources, can be the basis of a new style.
However, if the assimilation is from a single source as it was in this case, it cannot be called anything other than what it is. A copy.

your pal,
Jimpennington
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Old 08-16-2004, 01:30 PM
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimpennington
You couldn't be more wrong. Sargent's Head of Aesop (after Valasquez) in the Ackland Museum is one fine example of just this type of copy. It is one of ten copies he made at the Prado Museum, Madrid, in the year of 1879. 8 copies were studies after Valasquez, one after Titian, and one after Rubens. These copies were all made to address different aspects of painting and to better understand the use of materials.

Now, be careful. I didn't say that those artists didn't copy; I said that they didn't learn to paint by copying. Just because they copied--even made many copies of--earlier works, even if they also referenced other works in their own paintings, in no way suggests (let alone proves) that they learned to paint by copying.

Quote:
We are in 100 percent agreement.

Then you've changed your tune--dramatically--from your earlier post. I said that drawing from life is crucial; you (earlier) advised "Copy the masters, then copy the painters you have a strong interest in. Just copy for a few years and you will make a fine living selling paintings."

Your advice to 'Just copy' in no way suggests that you believe that copying is best when tempered with drawing and/or painting from actual objects and/or live models.

Quote:
That's quite a stretch of the imagination. No one? Not anyone? You might want to reign in your omnipotence just a smidge.

Sorry, I stand by what I said. Do you think it requires omnipotence to know that no human being is invisible, or that no human being can be in two places at once? I maintain that being able to accurately represent three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional, painted surface, in an original composition, necessitates experience with actual objects, and cannot be learned from 'just copying' from others' works.

Quote:
There are many ways to learn. This was just one of those.

Again, this is a complete reversal from your earlier post, when you advised us to 'just copy', and nothing more.

Quote:
However, I agree that they also learned by drawing and painting from life, which we agree is extremely important.

But, if it is truly so 'extremely important' to you, why did you fail to mention it in your earlier post? Why the advice to 'just copy', with no other suggestions or futher qualifications?

Quote:
In my initial post I failed to mention drawing from sculpture.

No, you failed to mention drawing and working from anything other than copying others' paintings, altogether.

Quote:
ok. It's amusing when artists misuse obscure words. I wish you luck in expressing the parts of very little interest or value of your inner reality.

Yes, it's amusing, to be sure. I didn't use the word incorrectly; you did. 'Ephemeral' means 'fleeting'; 'lasting only a very short while'.

Our inner (mental) states are fleeting. They often change quite rapidly, and sometimes leave little in the way of residue (memory).

Quote:
However, I don't think you understand the meaning of the word you used. That would be a derogatory description of a painting to say it has only passing interest or little value. Wouldn't you agree?

Not at all. My use of 'ephemeral' wasn't referring to the art of painting, but instead, to the mental impressions and/or 'moods' that I feel inform the best paintings.

Quote:
How COULD anyone see it if you haven't done it yet. Wow. Dizzying logic indeed, but you said nothing of consequence.

You seem to want it to be so, simply because you say that it is so.

But, I did say something of both consequence, and relevance.

You advocated 'copying', and only copying. To copy presupposes that there is something already in existence, from which to copy.

To be original, to do what has not yet been done (questions of quality aside) means that one does not, cannot, have a pre-existing model from which to copy. Following your advice to 'just copy' will result in at least a substantial lessening of originality.

Quote:
Just because something hasn't been done before doesn't make it great.

That's irrelevant to the point I was making.

Quote:
I'm tempted to discuss the technical merit of your work, but that would be rude.

It would also be a non sequitur. My opinions are right or wrong based on their own merits; whatever the quality of my work.

(To be fair, though, I am aware of many of the shortcomings of the work shown on my website. The 'newest' work on the site is nearly a year old; the rest at least a year older than that. Nevertheless, I'm returning to school this fall in the attempt to both improve the technical quality--and the conceptual quality--of my work, as well.)

K
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Old 12-01-2007, 06:28 PM
teddyeyes88 teddyeyes88 is offline
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

I will acknowledge, however, that going to a private school for fine art tends to be economically stupid in that you will rarely recover until many years have passed. Thus, what to do? -Taxguy

I made that economically stupid choice -_- I am currently a sophomore illustration major at RIT but I am currently having doubts about my future. My situation is:

I work really hard on all my class projects, working until the wee hours or sometimes pulling all-nighters to make a satisfying piece. I have friends who are in other majors who don't work as much as I do yet are working towards a career where they'll have decent incomes to pay back their loans and make a decent living. Sometimes I feel that all my hardwork is in vain. Sure I get As in my classes but in the end, where is the profit? Grades don't really matter much when you enter the real world.

I love my major but I don't think I want to pursue a career in just illustration anymore. Now that I look at it, I want to illustrate and do commissions as a side job and have a more stable career. At least until I build a big enough reputation on my artwork to live off freelancing. I definitely want to have a career that is art related but I don't know what. I am currently researching careers for those with a BFA degree. Art is my passion, I enjoy my classwork, heck I enjoy school---I put all my time in it, but I still don't feel I should spend my parents and the government's money on a pricey tuition. I really don't know what I am doing and could appreciate any advice anyone can give me.
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Old 12-01-2007, 06:30 PM
teddyeyes88 teddyeyes88 is offline
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Re: the future of a fine art degree/student

wow, I just noticed this thread was from 2004...

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