Our Culinary Arts Program has been very busy this past month, creating many taste-tastic dishes, and learning all sorts of techniques! Chefs Yves and Patrick are totally taking it to the next level this year!
Soup week in Culinary Arts was a huge success!
Students learned how to cook and plate many different types of soups from scratch, and were kind enough to share these tasty creations with the rest of the school!
One of our Culinary Arts Students, Justin, decided to enter a Halloween contest by the For the Love of Chocolate Foundation. For the Love of Chocolate Foundation provides scholarships for qualified students in the specialized training of the pastry arts. The contest Justin entered required participants to make a Spooky Wedding Cake. Justin worked tirelessly for over two weeks on his cake, and the results are simply amazing! You can check out more of Justin's tasty creations on his Instagram Account at @SweetsByJustin!
When Chef Yves mentioned a cake competition for my Culinary Arts class, I knew I would be interested. I thought about how stressful this could be knowing that I already have so much on my plate (with my Culinary Classes and my ASM Program) and this would be my first cake competition ever. But I chose to be a risk taker and joined the competition
Once my application was finalized and I was accepted in the competition, we were told to make a Halloween themed wedding cake. I immediately started sketching a few designs. I am a big fan of combining old and new, so I decided to create a gothic three-tiered cake with some old school piping using royal icing. For the modern aspect, I wanted to carve the cake and create sort of a dramatic forest scene and add two black crows made out of chocolate as opposed to the traditional bride and groom cake toppers.
I’m really bad at time management, which is something I’m trying to improve on. Before making this cake I created a calendar for the month of October. I designated a task for the cake for each day. Three weeks before the deadline, I was able to make a list of what I needed and I was fortunate enough to have Chef Yves help me obtain the stuff I needed and provide me with all the powdered sugar that someone could have in the world! The whole process took two weeks. From coloring the fondant, making the frosting, carving the birds out of chocolate, piping the frosting, and so much more.
Throughout this whole process, I could feel a sense of doubt from people. I think people often underestimate the capabilities that a person of my age could do, but if you put your heart and passion for your work, nothing is impossible. A few weeks had passed and there was only one week before the deadline of the contest. We had to be done with our cakes on the Friday of that week and deliver it to the South Side to be judged the day after. I started feeling the pressure. A lot of people anticipated the result of what I’ve made, and yet I was not close to being done. Those 5 days were the most stressful days I’ve ever had to face. I was scared that I was competing against college students and people who have been in this field for far longer than I have. I was scared of disappointing people, especially my mom who was a former cake decorator, but I was fortunate enough to have people support me throughout all this and encourage me to fight through because I was really close to actually giving up. Eventually, I was able to finish the cake on the morning of Friday, October 26. I was lucky enough to have my best friend’s mom, India Tougne, take time off from her day to deliver the cake with me since I don’t have a car.
I ended up losing in the competition, but to me, it was never about winning. I saw this competition as an opportunity to get introduced to a field that I would like to be part of in the near future. My mom told me that it’s okay to lose, that’s just part of life. It’s the experience that matters. I’m always going to be thankful to everyone who helped me achieve this. To Chef Yves for providing me with everything I needed. To India for picking up the cake and delivering it all the way to the South Side. And to Alex, Dora, Bre, and Elodie for always encouraging me to never give up and the kind words they had for myself and the cake. This experience taught me that if you do something you’re passionate about, there’s no limit to what you can do!
This past week students have been working on plating techniques. Check out the plate job they did on this mouthwatering Pork Tenderloin!
With our Winter Showcase quickly approaching, we expect the kitchen will stay in high gear. Culinary Arts will be exhibiting their work, along with Visual Arts December 5th, in our 5th Floor Gallery, The Center Space. Come on down and grab a taste yourself!
- Until next time. Stay creative, Chicago!
Last week our Photography and 3D Modeling & Animation classes were given the opportunity to receive a private tour of the new Ralph Arnold Exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Photography. We are so fortunate that our school is right in the heart of downtown Chicago, our classes have easy access to the museum campus, nearby events, and more. Travel for a field trip like this is a simple 10 minute walk down Michigan Ave!
Born in 1928, Ralph Arnold was a Chicago based artist and one of the fathers of modern collage. During the 1960s-1970's his complex photo-collages commented on media, gender issues, sexuality, race, the military, and politics. Arnold drew from his own experiences as a gay, black, military veteran and rose to be a prominent member of Chicago's modern art community, working alongside those like Ed Paschke he created amazing exhibitions. Later in life Arnold focused on education and teaching the young artists of tomorrow!
When we found out the MCOP was going to profile Ralph Arnold in this exhibit, we knew we had to bring our students to check it out! Students were given a private tour and participated in some thought provoking Q & A with our host at the MOCP.
"I believe Ralph Arnolds time in the military proved to be violent as all wars are. It may have been hard for him to fit in with the rest, as he was looked as an outcast being gay as well as African American. Arnold inserts his identity into his artwork by using specific media in his collages. For example, he provokes the audiences' emotions by using graphic images of violence. By doing this, he may be trying to reveal to us how the violence he endured in the war is not too different from that in the streets of big cities as a result of street violence and police brutality." - 3D Modeling & Animation Student, Aaron Bergante.
"Despite viewing Arnold's other art pieces, my mind keeps going back to his piece called The Soul Box. It might be the mixture of different media used in this piece that caught my attention. The Soul Box depicts photographs of African-Americans, a music sheet of the song “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and a picture of a watermelon. It also has a picture of a hand painted with the American flag, as well as a few fists in different parts of the piece. It is mostly made of different pictures, a lyrical sheet in a tube shape, a glass marble, a pillar, and a miniature wheel. Seeing this piece makes me feel conflicted, I truly admire its intricacy but at the same time feel upset by the piece because I know the meaning behind some of the objects in the Soul Box... like the racist connotations of watermelons and the song “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” This song was sung by escaping slaves and makes me feel upset. I believe that Ralph Arnold created Soul Box in order to convey the hardships and history of African-Americans."
- 3D Modeling & Animation Student, Metzli Castellanos.
After viewing the exhibit our photography students created their own photo collages inspired by Ralph Arnold's work!
Thank you MCOP for an amazing experience, we can't wait to return!
- Until next time. Stay creative, Chicago!
Thanks to the wonderful collaborative efforts between classes, we at Advanced Arts had our first Figure Drawing Studio Marathon! For two days, the conjoined classes of Drawing & Painting and 3D Modeling & Animation squeezed into one of the larger classrooms in the building and worked with a few amazing students from our Dance Program as models for the two day workshop.
Drawing & Painting Teachers Matt Bozik & Alex Goldin, and our 3D Teacher Emily Steffen set up a the workshop for both their classes. Dance Instructor Melinda Wilson, excited about the collaboration, offered a rotating set of Dance Students to model for the workshop, bringing the amount of classes collaborating on this endeavor up to three!
Matt Bozik took the lead on day one, morphing into a "Figure Drawing Drill Sergent," he had all students pumped up and pumping out amazing work from the beginning of class to the very last minute! Here is Matt's reflection on the workshop:
"Last week’s figure drawing class was a blast! We combined students from the 3D Animation class with Drawing & Painting. Additionally we were very fortunate to have dancers from our Dance Program model for the students. The lesson involved learning how to make gesture drawings. Most students enrolled in the Advanced Arts Program are very good at contour line drawing and rendering but without gesture the drawings can sometimes appear stiff and lifeless. In last week’s workshop dancers struck awesome, active posses and students were asked to focus on the action and movement of the pose in their drawings. This needed to happen quickly in seven seconds or less. This was a new experience for most students however in a relatively short time they made exciting drawings capturing the movement and the weight shifts of the dancers. Students from all three classes learned from each other and seemed to really enjoy the experience."
The workshop began with a lot of quick gesture drawings. Matt led the warm ups in high-energy, fast-paced exercises, which caused the students to make a lot of work quickly, with little time to hesitate. As can be imagined, the students from the Dance program provided amazing and challenging poses for this portion of the lesson!
Once warmed up, we took a short break to set up for the longer poses, including a chair and backdrop with directional lighting. Students then began to work; Drawing and Painting students focused on using highlights and shadow on a toned paper, 3D Animation on proportions and drawing in a realistic fashion, abandoning their usual "cartoon-style-safety-zones."
The second day began similarly. Students had more options for the longer poses and were provided an array of mediums, from charcoal, pastels, inks, and a range of colored paper. We opted for several longer poses that day, with the instructors Matt, Alex, and Emily stepping in to provide a range of poses and body-types. We took reference photos at the end, and the students from Drawing & Painting will be working further on pieces based on what was gathered in those two days. 3D Animation plans on using the reference photos for upcoming sequential art and animation projects.
Despite the slight crowding of having over 30 students in one room, the energy was electric and contagious! Everyone got to make a bunch of great work, make friends with students from other classes, and share in a traditional artistic experience in a fairly non-traditional setting!
- Until next time. Stay creative, Chicago!
Welcome all new and returning students! CPS Advanced Arts Program at Gallery 37 is a magical place where students from high schools across the city come together to create in a beautiful space. We think you will soon agree. Our accomplished teachers and teaching artists are committed to nurturing your ideas and curiosity while supporting you to express it through the creative process of art making. It is our hope that you take full advantage of this opportunity. I can say with confidence, that If you focus and are committed to personal growth, you will be amazed by what you can accomplish by devoting ten hours per week to your craft. If you want to pursue performance, culinary, visual or digital art in college, our program will prepare you well for post-secondary success. Our students have been accepted to many of the top art schools across the country, and most attribute their success to AAP. We understand that coming downtown every day is a big commitment. To be successful you must “show up” and by this, I mean not just physically show up, but show up in mind, heart and soul – be present! Here’s to an amazing year! We are here for you!
It's the end of May and the much needed sun has returned to Chicago, banishing the rain clouds that have plagued our dear city the week before. It's hard to believe we are so close to summer, and wrapping up another successful year in Advanced Arts. Our students have been busy this spring, and our 3D Modeling/Digital Design class has been especially busy this month.
In other 3D Modeling/Digital Design news, the class instructor, Emily Steffen was nominated as a High School Innovator by Columbia College Chicago. She attended an innovative educators conference at Columbia during their Manifest Show. Educators from as far away as Mexico City attended and spoke extensively about the individual challenges they face as educators. They were also given exclusive VIP access to the Manifest show, and to behind the scenes workings. Emily was especially happy to see the finished work of graduating Senior, Angel Blanco. Angel came in February to speak to her class about going into gaming as a major in college, and the different career paths available to one if they choose that path. Angel also shared his final project in progress with the class, a game about a Big Foot who must disguise himself as a human to escape a campground. Seeing how far the project came from start to finish was truly a treat for our 3D Modeling/Digital Design students.
Congratulations to the 3D Modeling/Digital Design class and their instructor on a fantastic spring full of exhibits and innovation. We can't wait to see what you have in store for next year!
- Until next time. Stay creative, Chicago!