I initially attended Laramie County Community College for a painting class. I was mostly a self-taught artist and wanted to increase my skill by learning fundamentals. However, I enjoyed the class so much I decided to pursue a degree in art at LCCC.
During my time at the school, I met amazing peers and spectacular instructors, such as Ron Medina, Matt West, Daniel Maw and Dave Zwonitzer. The art department insures the students receive the best education, provides a safe environment for learning, and accommodates great tools and facilities. The art department brings in top professionals to show work, provide workshops and present engaging artist talks.
I found a sense of community while attending LCCC; this was found inside the school as well as the surrounding city of Cheyenne. Programs such as Phi Theta Kappa gave me the opportunity to participate, be involved and give back to this community.
At this point in my life, I recently achieved a bachelor in fine arts from Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. I am preparing to apply to graduate school while participating in a yearlong artist residency. I would not be where I am today without the knowledge, skills, friendships and opportunities I gained at Laramie County Community College.
I first came to LCCC as a general studies student in the spring of 2015, having very little sense of direction concerning my professional intentions at the time. I had enjoyed making artwork in one capacity or another throughout my life, however, so I enrolled in a beginning drawing class as a means of maintaining a creative outlet while managing the rest of my academic workload.
The first grade I ever received in that drawing class was a D. As someone initially prone to internalizing the value of his art, it would have been easy right then and there for me to take it personally and let an emotional attachment to my art impede my education. Instead, I took it as an opportunity to reevaluate what art actually meant to me—as an observational tool and a craft as opposed to a hobby—and to invest my time and energy into producing work accordingly. At the conclusion of that first semester, I declared as an art major, not because I felt completely confident in my skill set, but because I realized there was a great deal more about the creative process that I wanted to better understand.
LCCC's fine art program is remarkable in this sense for its emphasis on cultivating practicable artistic skill within the framework of critical problem solving. Ron Medina's beginning drawing and painting classes serve as both a comprehensive introduction to the major principals and elements of art, as well as exercises in maintaining a regular artistic practice; more advanced classes continue this thread while further introducing concepts, media and tasks for students to critically engage with. Matt West's sculpture and ceramics classes stress working hands-on and quickly familiarizing oneself with materials, as well as conducting frequent research into contemporary sculptural practice. Daniel Maw, whose repertoire covers an extremely broad range of media and materials, brings very tangible context to far-reaching, sometimes arcane foundational concepts through investigative projects.
At the time of writing this, I am pursuing a bachelor in fine arts in illustration from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. My body of work as it exists now has benefited from an understanding of fundamentals and observational skills that I can confidently attribute to the time I spent at LCCC. I'm indebted to the people, challenges and ways of thinking I was introduced to in the two years I spent in the fine arts department, and I strongly encourage anyone seeking a constructive artistic workspace and environment to consider LCCC for that purpose.