A Year at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Campus Life
August 8, 2016

A Year at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh

A program offered at Geneva College is the one-year Affiliate Program with the Art Institute of Pittsburgh (AIP), which allows the student to specialize in a fine arts program.   There are many different experiences that the Geneva College student will encounter while attending AIP and many of the students who have taken advantage of this program have said it was among the best things they did while at Geneva College.

Two years ago, I attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh with two of my fellow students.  I was a young college girl, who had not been to any kind of art school, and it had been a couple of semesters since my last official art class.  I was nervous.   I participated in the Geneva Affiliate Program with fellow students, Evan and Zac, and we all specialized in Graphic Design.

The Commute to AIP

I remember the first day making the long commute to the AIP from Geneva College with Evan and Zach, whom I had not met before.  We all piled into Evan’s car at 6:30 a.m. Monday morning to make the one hour and thirty minute commute.  One of the things that I had to adjust to was driving into the city four times a week and dealing with the rush hour traffic.  The commute does get old fast, yet commuting with other Geneva students helped a lot by not only saving money but passing time.

The many hours spent in the car happened to be a blessing.  During this time, I became close friends with my fellow Geneva students.  One of the things I’ve missed the most about that year at the AIP is being with my friends, Zac and Evan.  We started out the year not really knowing each other and finished being close friends.  We have a running chat with each other that we have kept up the past couple of years.  Evan and I even have plans to drive down to visit Zac this coming fall when he moves to Texas.

What to Expect in Class

Do not be intimidated by the vernacular that is being used or by the fact that the rest of the students may have more experience than you with the programs being used or in the art world.  All that will come with time, which is why you chose to go there.  You wanted to get exposure and learn more about your program.

Yes, classes are once a week; however, this means that in one day you can have two classes that are four hours long.  This seems like a long time to be in a class.  Yet, time actually goes by really fast because half of the class is spent teaching or critiquing work, and the other half is used for working on current projects while the professor assists.

However, just because you work on your project in class does not mean you will not go home with assignments.

Being a Student at a Secular Institute

Most of the professors at the Art Institute are all doing work outside of AIP, either running their own business, working part-time for a business, or just free-lancing.  Their main focus is not going to be staying after class to help a student with work.  So, take advantage of class time to talk with the instructors.

One of the things that you have to get used to is that a Christian student is a minority at the Art Institute.  However, people are very respectful of everyone’s beliefs. Remember to be gracious with the different encounters at AIP.  Whether it be the language in the classroom or the type of work people are producing, it is good to remember that people are coming from all backgrounds.  This could also be an opportunity to be salt and light because we never know what God’s plan is.

For questions regarding the Geneva Affiliate Program so that you can be salt and light at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, contact the Admissions Office at admissions@geneva.edu or 800-847-8255.

-Hannah Beckhusen ‘16