Ryman Arts Program inspires students

Senior Harrison Chang and junior Herman Wang received scholarships into the Ryman Arts Program, which provided them each with $1,000 in free classes at Cal State Fullerton and Otis College along with art supplies.

After submitting an online application, which consisted of an art piece and a teacher recommendation, applicants were notified of the results July 11.

“I heard it is a great program, and I feel really lucky to have been accepted. It was a little complicated because of their application rules, but it was fun because I got to try something new. All applicants were required to draw from real life which means you couldn’t copy a picture or from someone else’s drawing. I didn’t think too much of it and drew things that I saw everyday, such as a stapler and my shoe,” Chang said.

Classes are split in semesters, and this fall term will extend from Aug. 20 to Nov. 19. The beginner class focuses on composition and sketching, the intermediate class begins incorporating watercolor and portraiture, and the advanced class teaches acrylic painting and mixed media. While Chang is new to the program, Wang has completed two semesters.

“If you’re going to apply, you need to be ready to dedicate yourself to the program,” Wang said. “Honestly, I thought I was pretty good, but then it turned out everyone else there is better than me. But, the organization has expanded my knowledge of many different art techniques and improved my creativity and imagination.”

In addition to classes, students can participate in extracurricular activities such as visiting the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts (LACMA) and drawing at the Make Your Mark at the Park event in Grand Park.

“I think the art museums will be a new experience for me and I am sure that they’ll be very educational. I have also never been to an art event before, so it feels good that I’m actually doing something public with my art,” Chang said.

After completing three semesters, students become alumni, which include and receive additional benefits such as internships at well-known companies like Disney. Graduated students also have the opportunity to exhibit their artwork at the LA Ryman Arts Building.

“I think it’s a great opportunity that helps us all improve as artists, especially since we don’t have to pay for anything,” Chang said. “These programs give us a boost that helps them develop our own style, which can lead to becoming greater and more influential artists in the future.”

By Angela Cao, Arts editor
Photos courtesy of Harrison Chang and Herman Wang.