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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

Student blogs

Hortense

New York City
Art as Experience
Summer College 2011
Hi everyone! My name is Hortense. I currently live in New York City but I also lived in France, where I was born, and in the UK. I have just finished my sophomore year, and will be attending Art as Experience for Summer College. I just can't wait to be there! Above all I love creating all kinds of things out of all sorts of different materials: I make sculptures and other things out of wire, aluminum foil, soda cans, clay, duct-tape and more. I also enjoy drawing, sketching at the Metropolitan Museum, painting, and using image editing software. This passion is leading me to consider architecture as a career, and my week as an intern in an architecture firm motivated me even more to follow that path. I was first put on a horse when I was 5 and I never stopped riding. I am very lucky to share this passion with my parents, and my younger sister and I share horses and often ride together.

6/18/11
I am really excited about all I am going to absorb during Summer College, and I hope I will be able to give back as much as I will receive. This will be the first time I will be truly on my own for so long, so I am going to experience at the same time more freedom and responsibility. Also, this will be the first time I will be immersed in a completely Anglophone community: even if I live in New York and speak in English on a daily basis, I speak and think in French with my family and most of my friends. All in all, I look forward to this and I think I will enjoy myself as much as I will learn!

7/3/11
Hello again everyone, I am really having a lot of fun here! On the first day, after the welcome speeches and the continuous warning about the dangerous but gorgeous gorges, we students literally poured from the auditorium to meet our teachers and classmates for the next three (or six) weeks. The first days of work were not too overwhelming, so I had a little time to adapt myself and get to know everyone. I rapidly discovered that there are two types of days in (summer?) college: those on which I am visiting the campus after class and enjoying the weather, and those on which I am locked up in the studio struggling to finish the assignments we were given the same day (because of course, assignments never come alone!). The campus is really nice and always full of interesting things to do, but I have to admit I got lost on the campus and in the buildings themselves several times, even with my all-mighty campus map. Up to now, I have conquered the Arts Quad, made my way to the Cornell Plantations, and discovered three libraries, two auditoriums, a museum, a chapel, a clock tower and several other buildings! There is still a lot to do and see, and I hope I will have finished my conquest of the Cornellian territories before I leave. Monday I will go even further with the trip to Buttermilk Falls State Park!

Bye for now,

7/12/11
Hello everyone!

Everything went quite smoothly since last time. It's hard to believe that I have only one week left here, even if it feels like I have been living here all summer.

This week was centered on photography and filming, so I had the chance to explore the campus a bit more. After being humiliatingly defeated by the Ithaca bus system, (the bus I wanted to take never showed up) I came to realize that my best (and only) allies for running around the campus were my two legs and my bike. I even got to visit Collegetown!

I am anticipating this last week of art class because we are all going to use our acquired knowledge to work on our own projects, even if I feel slightly intimidated by the size of the room we are supposed to cover up with our artworks… I am really lucky the building with 'our' studio is so close to my dorm so I can go work on my project after diner instead of carrying the whole thing! Now that I have my own project to take care of, I realized that these two weeks of art class taught me how to carefully develop my projects with multiple stages, drafts, etc. I didn't understand at first that art class is not only for producing artwork. What I learned from this program were methods to realize better-thought-of artworks while having fun!

7/25/11
Hello everyone!

Since Monday, I feel like time has gone really fast. Before I knew it, it was time to start packing everything up. It was only when I officially checked out of my dorm room that I realized it was over. I can't believe this is the end of Summer College!

Our art class' final exhibition went very well. Each of us got to show our most accomplished artwork. It was really interesting to actually get to work on our own exhibition like this, which I had never done before. The final setting looked very good and made me very proud of being part of our class.

It amazed me to see that everyone's work coexisted in harmony even though all the projects were so different from one another. All the projects have different dimensions, color scales, etc.

Seeing people stepping in the gallery, looking around and making comments was very gratifying. Compared to our critique sessions, which were quite stressful, having people from the outside—who haven’t seen all the thinking and making process—talking about our pieces made me much more relaxed.

I can't believe that thinking about what we are going to show, how we are going to display it and finally actually putting things up took us nearly two days! It made me a bit nostalgic to think that what took us so much effort and time took about 5 minutes to take down and pack up...

All in all, I am really happy about these three weeks spent in Cornell. They gave me a good preview of what college is and how it works, but also permitted me to meet and exchange with people from all over the world I would have never met elsewhere!