Student Spotlight: Lauren VanStone

Hannah Dombroski

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Every summer, Pratt Institute hosts over 400 high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors to their campus in Brooklyn for nearly a month, where they encounter the life as an art and design college student. Students choose a major focus with the school’s undergraduate opportunities, and then they are then enrolled in their art history or development classes. Once completed, the students can earn four elective college credits.

Sacred Heart’s own, Lauren VanStone, was selected to participate in the program after the college noticed her art pieces on social media. She has decided to major in comic creation. Through late June to early August, Lauren lived in the senior dorms along with a few suite mates. The program allows international students with various backgrounds and experiences to share a common interest in the arts in a different area. Lauren’s suite mates were originally from China and Singapore, so she could not only learn art, but the perspectives of other cultures.

The students followed a full schedule of classes from Monday to Friday that were led by the institution’s faculty of artists and professional designers. Lauren was able to experience a class instructed by Floyd Hughes, an artist known for illustrating the Marvel Comics mini-series Hellhound, MTV Animation’s Downtown, and designing CD sleeve paintings for bands such as AC/DC. In these classes, Lauren learned art techniques from all over the world and their traditional styles developed throughout history.

Family and friends of the students are invited to a final exhibition to view students’ accomplishments. The goal of the workshop was to ready and prepare future artists, designers, and creative thinkers for careers, and Lauren believes it proved to be true.

Lauren’s overall impression of the program was positive.” They provided many new opportunities and new people to interact with. She says, “I would highly recommend it to those interested in art to attend a workshop like this one, but they should explore other opportunities to develop their skills.”