New York City Trip Gives Students Fresh Insights into Creative Careers

Last month, a group of School of Art students traveled to New York City to meet with independent artists, emerging technology practitioners, and other creative professionals. In artist studios, at galleries and museums, and in corporate presentations, students heard first-hand about the types of careers available to them, what it takes to succeed in these fields, and how to stand out in competitive industries.

More and more, employers look for job candidates who are creative, innovative, flexible, simultaneously self-directed and collaborative, and responsive to critical feedback—traits that the School of Art helps students grow throughout their time at CMU. For students, this New York trip demonstrated firsthand how they can channel these valuable skills into successful futures, whether they aim to be studio artists, start their own businesses, or work in creative roles at companies. The trip builds upon the success of the School of Art’s ongoing career-focused series Student / Futures.

Khushi Nandgaonkar, who plans to start a sustainable wearable art business with CMU alum Kathy Zhang after graduation, said the trip “broadened my perspective on what’s possible to achieve and what I can do.” She said she appreciated “hearing artists talking about how they got where they are and the work they put into it. I feel inspired to also try my best to make my business successful and to give it all I have.”

Shori Sims also said she appreciated the more intimate setting of meeting artists in their own spaces, which is a different experience than the artist classroom visits the School of Art regularly organizes. As an aspiring studio artist, Sims said the trip showed her that “everything I want to do in the future—to have a studio, to live in my studio, to be an artist assistant to support my own work—is possible.” The visit with Jo Messer was especially influential, providing a model of how a young artist supports themselves early in their career.

The three-day trip included:

-Studio visits with painter Jo Messer and new media artist Federico Solmi
-Tours of exhibitions at the New Museum, the Museum of the Moving Image, and Jeffrey Deitch Gallery
-Presentations from Google and Adobe representatives
-Visit to HvA Design studio
-Meetings with Stephanie Riggs, author and immersive designer; Lance Chantiles-Wertz, Co-Founder of Indistinguishable From Magic Inc.; and Eric Wright, Founder of the Puppet Kitchen

This trip was organized by Professor Johannes DeYoung along with Associate Head Elizabeth Keller, Pre-College Director Bill Rodgers, and Business Manger Wayne Savage. It was made possible through the Student Experience Fund generously funded by the Juliet Lea Hillman Simonds Foundation.