I have been busy working on new images and was going to write about that for this week’s blog post, but early in the day I was notified of a loss. My alma mater, The College of Visual Arts, in St. Paul, Minnesota has announced that this is the last semester they will be an institution. Come June 30th, they will close their doors for good.
This if fairly heartbreaking for me. I think most would not understand why, and that is because, for many, the institution that they attend for their undergraduate is large. The special thing about CVA was it’s size. When I attended, from 2004-07, there were a total of approximately 180 students. That included all years and all majors.
When a school is that small, of course there are some special relationships that develop. Not only between the students that attend, but also between the faculty and the students. Some of the people I consider my best friends from when I was at CVA are some of the faculty. CVA went further than just a school to attend in order to get my BFA; it became a part of me, a piece of my history and identity that I was extremely proud of. So, for me, today feels like a small part of me has been ripped out and no longer exists.
I am also saddened for all of the current students that will never get to have the experience that I remember. And most of all, I am saddened for the faculty, both full-time and adjunct. In a small market like the Twin Cities, it is hard to be an artist. CVA provided both an outlet for those that wanted to give back by teaching and a semi-stable income to some fantastic artists. Now, those options are gone, and I am afraid for what might happen to those faculty I know so well.
I don’t want to go on too long about how much I have been hurt by today’s news, but it is a type of loss that is not often felt, and as an artist that knows a great art institution has been lost, I feel it quite deeply. And while not all my times were the best, CVA became like family to me, and it is always difficult to lose family.