Art Academy of Cincinnati Reviews
Great school that gives you a healthy dose of learning of not only your field, but a great kaleidoscopic view of all other avenues of the art world (styles, techniques, etc) so you have a great perspective of all things art, which will ultimately help your particular discipline and strengthen your abilities.
Paying to go to this school is a lot like going to a fancy private salon to get your hair done. You expect the service to be exceptional and personable, and while it is the latter, service can barely be what you paid for. I went to this school for two years before going somewhere better. For one thing, it's literally in the middle of Over-Rhine. The first first minutes of freshman orientaion is spent on talk on avoid gunshots, your phone being stolen from your hands, pan handlers, and being killed. The building has obly one entrance, which is safe, but usually only one or two security guards and sometimes they aren't present when they should be. Even when they are, they will let people walk in sometimes, if it isn't too suspicious. The dorms are in two different buildings; one across the street from the school, and another a few bocks down. I will say the newest ones are very nice. Each room has ab upstairs and downstairs, full laundry and kitchen supplies(full sized) and you can grill, bake, and fry things on your own stove. However, the older dorms are further down, about 2 blocks from the school atheare falling apart. They are in a more secluded area of OTR, and there are a lot of abandoned buidings near by so drug situations can be frequent. As for the school itself...I will say the class set up is good. They put emphasis on knowing how to discribe and explain your work via writing as an artist, and why it's important. However, the curriculum for each subject is a little overdone. You spend the first year as a freshman doingprojects that touch on themes of each major, but it isn't very challenging. The many students are competitive in nature and you can easy get caught up in this rat race of art that gets you nowhere but more stressed. Be cozy up to teachers before you settle in class. They have about 2 different teachers teaching the same class and you have to choose the one that teachs the way you'd learn better. The teachers are friendly, but not very helpful. They buddy up to most students, but if you don't do thinfa their way, many times they will push against you. Even if you show how and why your method may work. Most students are nice, but won't talk to you unless forced...and that is just the nice ones. Many are caught up in their own little bubble, and tend to not communicate, especially if you are underclassmen and they are older. Many are not friendly and you may find yourself sitting alone during lunch. There is an independant restuarant that used to operate downtown, but has moved into the school, serving as the primary sorce of food. The food is actually pretty tastey and a great price for the portion sizes. The obly issue is that some students work the restaurant at times and theyaren't very attentive or hygenic all the time. The best days to get food is when the owner (big guy with a beard, can't miss him) is or a select full of the student workers. Luckily there is sone great, cheap places around like Subway and Venice on the Vine. There are little to no extercurricular activites or clubs. And the few there are would be hard to get into because they are usually grouos of close friends. Students(and staff) aren't always considerate of other cultures or people of color, as I'll put it. It can be hard to find a groove, or fit in if you aren't a grossly indpenant, determined, rich, hipster-esque white person into boarderline offensive objective artwork. It is a good school program, and the projects in studio classes are pretty beneficisl, but everything is in a protective bubble. Even the internships. Everytings is local and it can be difficult to impossible to be noticed for your work when 100 other students are doing the exact same event, convention, or internship. The internships don't connect you to anywhere you csn start a full , many times. The school's studio classes are actuascy pretty beneficial. The figure drawing as well. However, it can be difficult to excell in the school, and the issues listed will bother you greatly if you aren't someonr who's independant, has money, able to aquire many materials quickly and frequently, and good with paving your own way. While the teachers are known to baby students and do some handholding, it often times is not helpful.
I just want to reiterate what a commenter made to the other review that the review is for another school, not the Art Academy of Cincinnati. The AAC has been around since the late 19th century and is a wonderful school to attend. I know that a lot of changes have been made since I left and a new president was elected, but it seems to be for the better. My biggest issue with the school was the fact that the photography program felt like it was a second thought for the school in comparison to the design program. Equipment issues was a big problem and I would have appreciated more photography classes to be required for the course. You also have to make sure that you like the teachers work whom you will be working closest with since the school does have a small faculty. There was a student in my class that always seemed to disagree with the photography teacher and it caused a lot of tension in the class setting. However, just like with any school, one size does not fit all and it is up to the student to ensure that the AAC is the right school for them. You will be in small, intimate classes with teachers who really care about your success and that is rare to find. On the other hand, the school is very pricey and unless you have skills for a design position after graduating or are will to move to a big city, you will most like have to still get an MFA. The school could really benefit from having better career services for its students. Overall, check out the school and see for yourself if you like it and check out the video it made promoting the school on its website or on youtube.