It’s such an interesting topic, because it really just depends on who you are… I, personally, just can’t stand authority ! I’ve never been treated like a child in my life so I’m not used to it. I don’t like this environment because I am not treated as an adult, or just as an equal person. I’m also a perfectionist when it comes to design - if things aren’t managed right then I just can’t let them go. I get way too fussy about things and have a very strong sense of justice. It gets in my way more than it does other people who attend.
I think Interlochen just lacks common decency and professionalism sometimes.. But it’s just the little things that will get to you. I don’t think any of my bad experiences are enough to say I wish I’d never attended. The benefits of this place outweigh the negative aspects absolutely. It was 150% worth it and I am ten million times the person I was before. I would not be where I am and I would be shit. My future would be lame if I had not come here.
10 times out of 10 I will still encourage anyone to come here and experience what I have. It just takes strength, and you will gain that strength.
$50,000 for senior or post-grad year ! ! a small handful of people can pay the full tuition. Thank goodness for their scholarships - that’s how I’m here !
You are so welcome ! ! ! I think so too :¬) it’s a very powerful place. I think if he can really come to find strength in his sensitivity as I have here, he’ll be ok.
& Hardly ! The academic classes are incredible ! If you can have him take any Wescott english class (I took Comic Traditions first semester and Mythology second semester), I’m sure he will love it. Some people have a hard time with how crazy the teacher is, but his classes change lives ! I find the academic classes I’ve taken have informed my artwork immensely. So, if anything, they’re fascinating and fun ! It’s always a gamble, of course; some teachers don’t know what they’re doing. However, the great teachers outweigh the bad definitely ! They’re challenging classes, but always worth it.
Another plus: the graduation requirements for academics are very low, since the art is so integral. If he’s coming in as a junior or senior, chances are he’s already taken care of the required credits - which means more fun classes like mythology as opposed to calc !
I do ! It’s incredible ! The department is having a really hard time right now because some of the main faculty are on leave, including the director. I’m hoping that will clear up and resolve itself when she returns..
All in all, the visual arts program will expand him very quickly into the artist he may come to be for the rest of his life. If he really wants to go into the arts, he should definitely come here. The opportunities and experiences within this place will change you into not only an adult, but also a professional artist. He’ll have an advantage over any other student applying to art school - we get many opportunities to win competitions and receive scholarship money, collaborate with famous artists, exhibit in various places, or even meet the president. I have a group of friends who are at the MoMA in NY, taking a master class with Marina Ambramovic right now. He would benefit greatly by coming here, and he would be grateful later on.
On the flipside of that, this is also an extremely adverse environment. If he is a sensitive person, he will have a really hard time here. Interlochen has a habit of overworking their students and managing things really really badly. The rules are getting worse, security is going crazy (they’ve installed cameras in the common areas of the dorms now, as well as setting up constant patrols), the food is questionable and you will gain 30 lbs upon your first semester, the health department is far from legitimate and has almost killed people due to its ignorance, the administration is corrupt (nobody is sure where the money goes, but it’s definitely not where it should be) (there is a mysterious and unjust pattern of firings) (teachers are afraid to speak up for change), and the overall psychological situation it puts you in is infinitely challenging. I find I have no personal space and no sense of validity in myself. You are always assumed guilty or not good enough - you will have to demand respect and personal space. Chances are your faculty are less self-aware than you are and probably won’t teach you very much. Or they end up being spectacular ! There are permanent faculty and then visiting/residence artists who stay for a semester - sometimes one teacher will come in and change your life after those couple of months. It’s always a gamble, and there’s no guarantee that the people who work here actually work for the benefit of the students. Prepare to battle and bite for your basic human rights.
The reason you come to interlochen is the environment - the students. The people you will meet here are people you will know for the rest of your life. They will change you and help you to become everything that you can be. The only way I found my true calling in art and life was through stubbornly rejecting the ideas of the establishment - the students were what gave my journey inwards validity and purpose. You will have more fun than you’ve ever had with people (though the social dynamic is also completely different from anything I’ve ever dealt with - hard at first).
In short, I have never been so full of anger and joy at the same time. Interlochen is a land of polar opposites and tolerance. If your brother is down to brave a hurricane for his future, this is the place to go. It will beat you into solid gold confidence, strong craft, powerful concepts, and a very strong sense of what you deserve - he will take no shit, and he will dominate everything.
I have almost quit and left multiple times, but I’m glad I didn’t.