A City Campus

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Normally, you’re told to go check out a show, go to a concert, and visit a museum AFTER the semester is done, right? That’s if you don’t go to Columbia College Chicago. This is just another benefit of going to a progressive school in a dynamic city.

This semester, I’m taking a course called Ideation and Theme. The goal of the course, as the title suggests, is to generate story ideas. Our assignment was to visit the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) to find inspiration for short films.

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This assignment could not have come at a better time. The Art Institute is offering free admission to Illinois residents, and this was just the push I needed to take advantage of such an opportunity. The first section I hit was the impressionist wing. I was compelled to check out the works of Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir and Gauguin, to name a few. Then I had my Ferris Bueller moment staring at “Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat . After seeing the classics I made my way to the American history wing and took in a piece called “Red and Pink Rocks and Teeth” by Georgia O’Keeffe. The other paintings in that section influenced my interpretation and inspiration of the piece. I don’t know why, but it made me think of a vampire caught in the desert. Ding, ding, ding…story.

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Sure, there are many ways to work. I can hold up in my bedroom, eyes blurry with fatigue, struggling to wring an idea from my sleep deprived brain. It’s just that I believe that scenario is so cliché. Why make things difficult? I can step outside of my classroom on Wabash and gain access to thousands of years of history. I can walk down Michigan Avenue and soak in thousands of years of inspiration. From the arts to the sciences, the city of Chicago is an amazing extension of the Columbia College Chicago campus.