After my senior year of high school, I was a little lost on where I wanted to go for college. I knew that I wanted to study art but I hadn’t found a place that felt right. My high school art teacher recommended me for a summer art camp hosted at Fontbonne University. I hadn’t seriously considered Fontbonne before then. My older brother had attended FBU for a year, and I didn’t think much of it, but there was a lot for me to learn that summer, and not just about art.
While attending the 4-week camp, I got to meet a handful of graduate students who also sang praise for Fontbonne. They claimed the biggest hallmark of the Fontbonne Fine Arts Department was the emphasis on classical training. They lamented friends who had graduated from other art programs but still couldn’t draw. Fontbonne, they told me, would give me a strong foundational education on the formal elements of art to better prepare me for the incredibly competitive art world. I took their recommendation under advisement.
The campus was charming and easy to navigate. A smaller student body appealed to me, having come from a very small high school. The location in the Clayton/University City area was prime.
But here’s what really sealed the deal for me. Everyone in the art department seemed to know each other. It wasn’t clique-ish, but it was neighborly. People walked in and out of the building all the time during the summer camp, and they always were saying hello to somebody. But they never referred to Misters or Misses in the faculty. It took only a little while to figure out that everyone was on a first name basis with the teachers, and that is an excellent selling point.
Now in my third year as an art student, I can vouch for all these things. The teachers are very personable and almost all of them go by their first name. Victor, Hank, Keith, Tim, Cat…. the informal atmosphere makes going to class a pleasure: an opportunity for self improvement, not a chore. As a student who wants to spend their life doing what they love, Fontbonne was an excellent choice to find a way to do just that.