Review Comment

Painting 2/3

August 09, 2013

Dancy, Mira
Painting 2/3

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic. I've taken a lot of visual arts classes at Columbia, and I can say hands down that Mira Dancy is the best art teacher that I've had. Mira is incredibly kind, very approachable, honest, constructive, and (what sets her apart from others teachers I've had) really really engaged in her students' work.

I knew from the outset that her class was going to be great -- rather than spending the first day just taking role and giving us an overview of the class, Mira took us on a surprise field trip to the Met, where we looked at paintings together as a class and talked about what we liked, understood, hated, and struggled with.

Though her tolerance for bullshit is low, Mira approached even the shittiest paintings with an open mind. She has a particularly keen eye for connecting students' work with the work of successful artists, which helped guide a lot of us when we were struggling. Crits could drag on for as long as four hours for our class of eight (especially towards the end of the semester when we were all engaging with painting for more time outside of the classroom), but in all honesty, I'm glad they did. Our long, open conversations were the result of nothing more than Mira being thorough and making sure each student got the best advice and guidance that she could give. Additionally, Mira was really great with helping all of us to find our own voices as artists. She encouraged experimentation, was really open to discussing new ideas about theory and practice, and never tried to pigeonhole us into one particular brand of painting or thought.

10/10 wish I could take her class again.

Workload:

We were expected to spend about 6-8 hours outside of class painting every week. More like 8-12 hours toward the end of the semester.

June 29, 2005

Rayne, Blake
Painting 2/3

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Did your grandma ever tell you "Life is what you make of it?" Yeah, well, mine did. And I think I heard those words all semester long in Blake's class. Some people disliked him because the course lacked structure. Personally, I loved it. Visual arts classes aren't about assignments, they are about doing your own thing and figuring shit out on your own. Blake understands that, and all he asks of his students is to work hard at whatever. The first day of class he took us to Starbucks and bought us coffee and we talked about what we were into. He's intense, eccentric, and fucking brilliant. Sometimes he's late, like to crits and class, but hey, his keen eye and amazing comments/advice more than make up for his lateness. If you want a painting class where you learn how to hold a brush, then this is not your class. But if you want a good environment, with a non-invasive professor who pushes you just as much as you need to be pushed, then you WANT TO TAKE A CLASS WITH BLAKE RAYNE.

Workload:

No assignments, put in as much as you want, But the more you put in, the more he will give back.

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