Beautiful films, blossoming careers: Art Options 2013

As the temperature drops, now seems an appropriate time to indulge in a little summer throwback. What better way than to re-visit one of our favorite summer programs?

This was the fifth summer that Urban Gateways partnered with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to offer Art Options, a paid summer apprenticeship program during which high school students study film-making, creative writing, and contemporary art with professional artists Oli Rodriguez and Eunsong Angela Kim. For any long-time readers out there, you might recall this blog post about a 2012 Art Options student, Michael Coleman, and the short documentary he produced that summer about youth violence in his community. Michael participated in Art Options again this year; his latest film is below, titled “Milk Barbeque Session.”

Year after year, Art Options continues to build upon a great reputation; during this year’s program sixteen students, ages 14-18, spent four weeks studying art movements of the last 100 years, particularly through the frameworks of race, gender, and class issues. They learned to critically consider and discuss these artworks and issues, they blogged about their thoughts on the program’s WordPress site, and in the end, each student created a unique short film, from conceptualization to filming and editing.

If it sounds intense, that’s because it is. This summer experience is intended to give students a glimpse into the world of professional artmaking and all the critical discussion it entails. This summer students also had the chance to talk to a college and career advisor about longer-term opportunities in the arts.

Given this, it’s not surprising that many students go from Art Options to college-level art studies. We learned from teaching artist Angela that one former Art Options student, Miguel, received a full ride to SAIC this fall; another, Shaquita Reed, is studying fashion design at the Illinois Institute of Art and was recently featured on Sixty Inches from Center discussing her wearable sculptures. Yet another former student, Cam Harris, is a junior at the University of Missouri studying Architecture (not to mention the beautiful photography he does on the side). Next Friday, we’ll be posting a followup Q+A with Cam. You won’t want to miss his musings on how to stay creative throughout life, how architecture and photography connect for him, plus the spoken word film he produced with Art Options a few years back.

Read the specifics: You can check out the Art Options 2013 impact report, including student survey responses, RIGHT HERE.

Read the students’ summer blog HERE.

And below…check out Art Options 2013 final films. These are just two examples; you can browse all student projects HERE.

Thanks to Art Options sponsors:

Jim and Kay Mabie