Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Graduation weekend

Zack and his ancient mom, just after the graduation ceremony

We've been back from Minnesota for a couple of days, and I'm still in Major Recovery-From-Travel mode, but I did want to write a bit about my son's graduation from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD).

MCAD is a small art school (there were less than 100 people in his graduating class) located right next to the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Zack graduated with a BFA in Comic Art, MCAD being one of only two colleges that offered a degree in Comic Art when he was applying to college four years ago. From everything we've seen and all he's told us, it's a terrific place, and the graduation ceremony definitely confirmed that impression.

Graduation was held in the Children's Theater, which is part of the art institute complex. The room was large and comfortable, and the stage set was gorgeous (done in my favorite color palette, with lots of blues and teals and purples, so what could be bad, right?). The ceremony itself was a wonderful mix of formalities, whimsy and humor - just perfect for an art school that encourages creativity and individuality. The masters' degree recipients all wore commencement garb, but the bachelors' degree recipients could wear whatever they wanted; this led, as you can imagine, to a fascinating range of garb, from the graduate who wore the tux he'd rented for his wedding (which happened the following day), to the guy who graduated in a black toga covered with green glitter drawings, to Zack, in the 'dressy' outfit you see above. Some of the guys wore jeans and t-shirts spattered in paint, which seemed totally appropriate. Each masters' degree graduate had a mentor, and I loved the fact that each and every one of those pairs hugged each other when the diploma was delivered.

Best of all were the speeches (one speaker for each class and a keynote speaker), each different but all three were terrific. Who knew that it was actually possible to enjoy a graduation ceremony? Not me, for sure!
After the ceremony, there was a reception in the main MCAD building, where we got to see the display of Senior Projects (an amazing range of work, from comics to illustrations to furniture to fashion). It looked like every graduate had designed a business card, and I have two of Zack's new cards right next to my monitor.
It's very rare for someone to know what he or she wants to 'be when I grow up', but Zack has known since he was nine years old that he wanted to be a comic artist. I'm so grateful that he found a school like MCAD, where creativity and individuality are encouraged along with the highest standards of performance, that he was admitted to study there and that he's graduated!
Congratulations, Zack! You rock!


Revalani said...

Echoing the "congrats" -- to both Zack and his mom, who did such a terrific job raising a mensch.

...deb said...

What a great photo! So glad you posted about your trip...and I look forward to details sometime, hopefully soon.

kcatmull said...

That is a great photo! I love being able to see a picture of this happy event --

- katecat

Libbi said...

Thanks, youse guys!