Julie Van Such
Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild graduate
At the recommendation of her art teacher, Julie Van Such began attending Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild as a junior in high school and continued through the end of her senior year.
“I loved the time I spent at MCG because it was an outlet for me to create work for my portfolio and also gain feedback from so many different people. I enjoyed the atmosphere of being around kids from different schools. All of the teachers were inspiring in their own way and most were relatively younger, which made it easier to relate and get personal feedback than any of the teachers I had in high school. I felt really comfortable and met some of my best friends there.”
Applying to Colleges
Julie feels that the resources and instruction she received at MCG provided a real advantage when it came time to start applying to colleges.
“I definitely would have struggled getting into the colleges that I applied for without the portfolio preparation that MCG offered. It gave me the facilities and the teachers gave me the encouragement I needed in order to create art despite any hindrance. I really admired the staff and trusted them when I was learning how I could apply my artwork, develop my skills further, and eventually enter into a career in a design field. When I was applying to colleges, it was so helpful to talk to everyone in making my decision about what school was right for me.”
What Julie Learned at MCG
Julie is now a full-time student in her junior year in the textile department at the Rhode Island School of Design. Prior to her experience at MCG, she was unaware of everything that the arts could offer, not only from a personal standpoint but also in terms of attending college. MCG gave her the motivation and the means that she needed and seriously lacked.
“Before I came to MCG, I didn’t have a place to work on my artwork or anybody to work with. My financial situation had deprived me of seeking art education outside of high school. I learned so much in two years just by attending MCG at few days a week. I mostly learned printmaking and photography skills thoroughly, but I also gained basic skills in digital media. These experiences are still valid to me on an everyday basis in my silkscreen work on fabric. I would have never gotten the insight or experience on my own without the portfolio review trips or the lecturers from the top art schools and visiting artists.”
Julie has high praise for the programming at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild and offers strong words of encouragement for anyone seeking to fulfill a lifelong ambition.
“Don’t let anything hold you back from making your goals become your reality! If you have the drive, then you can always find the means—but it has to start within yourself. That’s the hardest part.”