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The Montserrat College of Art

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I have to preface this comment with aQuite BrightFine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
I have to preface this comment with a little information about myself in order for you to really understand where I'm coming from and what being at Montserrat has done for me.

I moved onto campus in September 2010 as a very shy, very mentally ill eighteen-year-old. I was dealing with a lot of stuff and with the stress of starting college everything quickly became much worse. At a bigger school this would have gone unnoticed- I would have continued to skip classes and hide away until I flunked out, and then I'd have to pack up and go home. At Montserrat that doesn't happen. The school is so small that each student is closely paid attention to, and if a teacher or other faculty member notices that you're having trouble, they find you and try to work it out. I eventually ended up talking to someone about what was up with me, and although they didn't handle it quite as gracefully as I think they could have, they still made an effort to help. I ended up moving off campus to live with my aunt in Lexington.

I've heard a lot of people complain about how cliquey the school can be- yes, it's three hundred kids, people group up. I am a loner by nature, so this never bothered me. I've always been the kind of person that has a few very close friends and keeps it to that. Commuting made it difficult to participate in any sort of night life, so I don't really have a handle on what it's like hanging out with people after school.

The greatest connections and friends that I ended up making were with the teachers. Montserrat may not be the fanciest, it may no be the prettiest, but the teachers there are amazing. Since the classes are so small it gives you a lot of opportunity for one-on-one time, and senior year you get to choose your own advisor and work with them on a weekly basis. As far as I'm aware, every teacher is also a practicing artist, so they are very helpful if you have questions about studio practices or submitting work to galleries and programs. I would not be making the work I am today without teachers like Matt Murphy, Tim Harney, Wilber Blair and Charles Boyer. I wouldn't have stuck around so long without people like Len and Rob looking out for me. People know who you are. They care about what's going on with you- and most importantly, they care about your work.

I can only speak for the painting department, because I was a painting major with a creative writing minor. The facilities aren't flashy and new- the Hardie building is pretty old, and it gets hot up in the third floor painting rooms in the summer- but everything you need is there. There's painting storage, a spray booth, and of course sinks and places to dispose of your oil paint and turpenoid when you're through with it. There are plenty of computers around and printers and photocopiers. In the four years I've been at Montserrat I've never needed to add money to my print credits, and I've never had to print anything at home. Senior year you are given a cubicle studio in the 301 building. That was my favorite place to be. In my studio, working. If you want to party for four years, if you want to fly under the radar and try to skirt by without doing any work- you probably won't last very long here. If you love art, if it's all you think about and dream about, this is a very safe and open place to make your work happen. In order to get something out of this experience you have to put a lot of effort into it, but I don't think that's any different from anywhere else. Not only will your boundaries be pushed and your limits tested within your artwork, but you will be encouraged to reflect on yourself as a person. If you stick it out and take advantage of the resources around you, you will leave Montserrat a more well-rounded, confident person. I got into many other schools- RISD, Emerson, Massart... But this is where I chose to go and there has never been a day that I regretted that decision.

4th Year Female -- Class 2014
Faculty Accessibility: A+, Campus Aesthetics: B-
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I was always considered an overachiever in highQuite BrightDesign Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
I was always considered an overachiever in high school - I graduated third in my class. I got into RISD, I got a full scholarship to another top school but I CHOSE MONTSERRAT and I do not regret it!If you are looking for support and an amazing creative community full of artists, come here! I'm currently studying at another school and I feel like I now have the perspective to say that Montserrat is one of the best art colleges in the entire country.
2nd Year Female -- Class 2012
Faculty Accessibility: A+, Collaboration/Competitive: B
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Montserrat is not for everyone, but for thoseArt & Design Department
Montserrat is not for everyone, but for those who really, truly wish to pursue a CAREER as a commercial or fine artist Montserrat is an amazing step. It is in a quiet community but it's close enough to Boston so that if you're a city person you can get your fix. The teachers are amazing. I graduated over 5 years ago and I still get industry updates and advice from my former teachers, only now they treat me like a colleague. I did see a lot of student artists struggle at Montserrat. I think maybe art school has a reputation as a Mickey-Mouse way to get a degree, but Montserrat will make you sweat and bleed in order to move to the next grade and graduate. I found it easy to get into the school, but hard to stay in once you were accepted. Do not expect to layback and be lazy. You will not survive. The #1 reason I would recommend Montserrat is that they prepare their students for the business world (at least in the commercial art courses). They tell you how to get jobs and keep them. What you should be making and how to write your contracts. My illustration teachers even helped me get my first freelance children's book contract. I am very happy in my career choices and this college.
Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
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