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The Memphis College of Art

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Going to this school was the biggest mistake

Apr 25 2012Art & Design Department
Going to this school was the biggest mistake I ever made.
I entered this school fresh out of high school. I was so excited...art was my passion and what I loved to do more than anything.

The first year wasn't too bad, but it rapidly went downhill.
The school is so focused on constant negativity. I didn't expect to be babied, but to have things I spent a lot of time on made fun of in class with the teacher's approval was horrible.

Once a year, you will have to take all your work in front of a review committee. This is a group of about four teachers who will look at everything you've done and tear you to shreds. Expect to see many heartbroken students that day.

I finally left the school when a teacher I thought highly of (and also happened to be the head of my major) humiliated me in front of the class.

If you go here, the real way to succeed is to become "buddy/buddy" with the teachers. If they don't like a certain style or media, don't do it even if it's what you're best at. If you're quiet and shy like me, don't go here...you will simply get walked over, ignored, set up to fail, and ridiculed.

I am a big believer in constructive criticism, but that is not what I received here. It was like being in high school gym class again, but even worse because this was something I actually cared about.After leaving this school, it took me two years to pick up a pencil to draw again. It's taken me five years to regain my love for art. I am still trying to heal from the horrible experience I had at this school.

3rd Year Female -- Class 2006
Campus Aesthetics: A, Education Quality: F

I decided to leave after one semester

Jan 30 2011Art & Design Department
I decided to leave after one semester. Many instructors seemed tired or disconnected. Simply going through the motions. Technology is not incorporated nearly as it could be. Classes moved at a very slow pace and I learned more by reading books at home. Critiques were absurd and only offering vague general feedback. For the price of this school, it is a poor value for the money. Tuition is nearly 24k a year which breaks down to about $300 per class. I decided to get out before the hole got any deeper. The nail on the coffin was in one class we were doing an exercise on thought mapping and the instructor said the topic was sex and told students to draw first three things that come to mind. After scrawling our vulgar images we were told to tack them to the wall. That is when I realized I was paying $300 to draw a penis and tack it to the wall under the pretense of education. I am moving on to another college.
1st Year Male -- Class 2014
Campus Aesthetics: B+, Education Quality: F

Very unprofessional school

Nov 07 2014Art & Design Department
Very unprofessional school. Didn't feel I learned anything from here other than stress and how to do mindless busy work. Buddy system with teachers is required to pass, drugs are a big topic in class and out. Very unsafe campus and city. Be careful about ever accepting a scholarship from this place if you leave for any reason before withdrawl time is even up...they will stick you for the bill years later. School allowed a paper called Unsupervised Minds drawn by students to be published and placed into the boxes of all students that depicted rape and violent images and did not apparently see anything wrong with this.I left after I saw this. It was not what I was going to spend thousands of dollars for an education to see, but still ended up doing this by paying back loan for the two months I was there and now the thousands they have attached on my credit for that time when yet again....I had a scholarship and it was before withdrawl time was even up!!!!! Lots of issues in the dorms the school wants to brush under the table including attempted suicides, car break ins, unsafe area of town, and issues in the park surrounding the school. I always watched my back going to my car with my keys in hand. I really hated having any classes that let out near dark and having to walk a good ways to my car from class. Parking is ridiculous and even if you have to have a parking pass there are no real places to park...because its in a public park!!!!! Do not go here!!!!! I have no clue how they continue to get funding run the way it is and with the things they allow. The classes are way behind on the times and you will not have the real skills in many fields if you go here thinking you have learned what you need. The majority of people I know who have gone here since are still working in the city making way less than their loans are for or aren't even working in the field of art. Their only claim is that Jimmy Carter's daughter attended the school in the 60's-70's and that a predominately popular movie poster artist went there which I can find no validation for such on that one.... They are very unaware of internship programs that they should know about and in my experience in dealing with them, they were shocked when I spoke of what I was already doing in the art field, professional experience when I went in and what contacts I already had. That's sad. But then again I was an adult student with 2 kids who was there for an education and to just finish up my degree for the official paperwork, not to play and socialize with people way younger than me, which was something that the school insisted I had to do. They tried to force me to hang out with and get to know people at orientation for several days before school started. I was chastised in front of everyone for not going out with them during orientation events and learning about them...again I have a husband and children at home. My days of Rocky Horror and bowling were gone and done years ago and I had things called responsibilities at a home that I had a mortgage on and bills to pay, not dorm room sleep overs and drinking. I should have run then when made to feel so uncomfortable. I also didn't find much artistic inspiration in having to draw lude images for one class and pin it to a board or in the same class have to hear the project ideas of what sounded like a therapy session at an insane asylum and not an art school. Blood and brains pouring out of fountains.... body parts and sex act statues as monument ideas...what!!!??? Where is this ok? So my advice is to run the opposite direction.If you want to attend art school in Memphis, then look to U of M or over the state line at Delta State or Ole Miss or Miss State, anywhere but here as you will be wasting your time, mental stability and money here. Parents be very aware of the environment your kids are stepping into here if they are showing interest in wanting to go here, its not a very good one. At over 28,000 a year its wasted money!!!!!! I work professionally in the field of art and did not need this place for any of it. I have totally changed my mind on finishing my degree because of my dealings with this place and I am finishing up another degree in its place to further my education and to take my skills to another market and field.
Male -- Class 2000
Preparedness: - Reputation: -
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