StudentsReview :: The Memphis College of Art
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The Memphis College of Art

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityB+ Faculty AccessibilityB+
Useful SchoolworkB Excess CompetitionF
Academic SuccessB+ Creativity/InnovationB
Individual ValueB University Resource UseC
Campus Aesthetics/BeautyB FriendlinessB
Campus MaintenanceF Social LifeF
Surrounding CityC Extra CurricularsF
SafetyA
 
Describes the student body as: Arrogant, Broken Spirit, Closeminded

Describes the faculty as: Friendly, Helpful, Arrogant, Unhelpful, Self Absorbed

Male
ACT:
29
Intelligence
Quite Bright
Lowest Rating
Excess Competition
F
Highest Rating
Safety
A
He cares more about Campus Maintenance than the average student.
Major: Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc (This Major's Salary over time)
If you want to learn how to draw and paint well, go elsewhere.

The fundamentals program is horrendously lackadaisical about technical ability and provides no source of competition or need to try hard to succeed. The amount of people that get through fundamentals and then somehow manage to graduate without even learning how to draw well is staggering. If you think I'm joking, visit during when the seniors of the semester have their work up. See if the work of students of your intended major is up to par with what you're looking to achieve. Make sure to take into account all of the students' as well as from other departments.

The painting department is fully rooted in "doing your own thing" which translates to "99% professional bullshit with 1% representational work". There is no value in painting well there, and it's all contemporary/modern art ideals.

One of the most important things as an artist if you wish to draw well is how to draw the figure, and how to draw it well. You will not learn that here. To learn how to draw the figure well, you must learn anatomy, line control, and gesture. Line control and gesture are lightly taught, but with no supplement of anatomy or any sort of construction technique, the one life drawing class provided (that you can re-take 2 more times) is extremely lacking. The reason cited for the professor no longer teaching it is that he deemed it no longer necessary. Somehow, I find that odd when comparing that to every top-tier school's curriculum.

The illustration department experience was largely good, though my favorite professor no longer teaches there. There is a new department head coming in this Fall (Fall 2013), which appears to be promising. Even then, if you're looking for competition, you won't really find it here. You might find one or two people in your class worth your time, if you're lucky.

I believe it's possible to do well in the illustration department, but the rest of the school is so loaded up with silly ideals, bad/lacking instruction, bad management, etc, that there is no way that you will be able to focus on what you need to create good, well-crafted illustrations as much as you should. Therefore your graduating portfolio will likely be infinitely weaker than several other top-tier schools (MICA, Art Center, Ringling, SVA, etc). You'll get out of school realizing that you don't know nearly enough, and likely spend at least a year cramming in what you should've learned your sophomore year.

This school doesn't cost nearly as much as other art schools, but please realize, it's for a VERY good reason. Look elsewhere if you're serious about becoming a skilled artist. If this is your only option monetarily, go to a local university, or hit up online resources (CGMW, TAD, Schoolism, Gnomon) -- it's not like the degree (from MCA especially) will actually do anything for you.
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The Memphis College of Art

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