Students singing, playing instruments, or carrying art supplies. It is easy to notice it all as soon as the sliding doors of the Center of the Arts building prop open. Every single classroom provides different venues for art students.
The four floor building holds a creative space for musicians, artists, fashion connoisseurs, photographers, and filmmakers. For many students, the Center for the Arts also provides encouragement and guidance from fellow classmates.
Third-year graphic design major Kelsy Caal found that she was constantly jealous of the people who knew what they wanted to be during high school, which prompted her decision to attend Pasadena City College after hearing that the school had a great graphic design program.
“The arts programs here are good,” said Caal. “The professors always motivate you to do your best in and out of the classroom. Being able to have these art classes in community colleges essentially prepare us to transfer and become even greater artists.”
Creativity and the art that it encompasses is different for everyone. To some it might be slam poetry, knitting, or painting nails. The end result in finding a creative venue however has been a great one for many students on campus.
Although not being an art major, third-year architecture student Josh Alvarez found the arts building helpful to what his personal interests are.
“As an artist and musician, I’ve found the arts building to be highly beneficial in helping me grow as an artist because of its convenience in letting students explore the realms of art, music, and design,” said Alvarez. “The arts programs is a clear example of how a person can discover who they are and what interests them by attending a resourceful community college like PCC.”
Exploring an art form has provided many with personal and academic growth and resources for their future careers. The majority of students learn and build on their passions differently and take use of the art venues that surround them.
However, to a few students, the arts building serves as more of a resource than a safe space to hone their craft like fourth-year music major Daniel Salazar.
“I’ve never really thought about the arts center as a representation of who I am as an artist,” said Salazar. “I see it more as tools that will help me to get to the level that I want to be in. But i do absolutely believe that the arts are extremely well represented around campus, you see everything everywhere. The gallery, music hall, photo labs, it’s all right here.”
There are the distinct few people who are intrigued by art for one reason or the other and take it upon themselves to learn a new skill. For others, it falls into their lap.
First-year student Ryan Melendez, who has performed with the Tournament of Roses and was a part of the Pasadena Harolds during his senior year at Schurr High School, became motivated to play music when he was handed a cornet at the age of ten.
Melendez expressed that the Center for the Arts does a great job by providing liberty for students to express their own personality through music, art, dance, and so on.
“I personally do not agree that the building represents who I am as an individual in my art because the building is just that, a building,” said Melendez. “It has a variety of talented individuals thriving inside its classrooms; it’s selfish to say that it represents my individuality as a musician.”