Ryman Arts Fosters a Growing Alumni Network

By Christina Saucedo, Ryman Arts alumna and Board Alumni Representative

As Alumni Representative for Ryman Arts, I was so excited to plan my very first event, ‘Launch Your Career In The Creative Industries’! The goal of the event was to have the alumni come together for a very fun, informal but very useful day where they get to meet one another and have their work reviewed by industry experts. We were hosted by Eleventh Hour in the Marina, the perfect spot for such a creative group of people. Our day started with sandwiches, treats and coffee from Porto’s! It was so great to see the alumni reconnecting and meeting new people! It definitely brought back the memories of the snack table days in between our Ryman Arts classes!

We were lucky to have two really great presenters that day: Patrick Hidalgo, an Otis College of Art & Design graduate who teaches at Da Vinci Public Charter High School and James Takata, a Ryman alumnus who has directed many documentaries and short films and works on shows like Sons of Anarchy. During their presentations, they both touched on the subject of loving what you do and the importance of taking time away from your work and busy life to do art for yourself whether that means creating designs you love and selling them or doing quick sketches and studies in a sketchbook. When planning this event, it was important to me to bring in presenters who had careers that the alumni might be interested in pursuing themselves in the future. I’ve always had a ton of support from my family in art but I know from friends and from being a TA at Ryman that not everyone can see that there are many careers that can stem from being an artist. During his presentation, James even remembers his first ever critique at Ryman Arts and knows that it was those experiences that led him to where he is today.

The rest of the day was dedicated to the amazing one-on-one resume and portfolio reviews done by Jeff Ganter and Julie Reyes of Eleventh Hour. They are both experts in what the industry is currently looking for and are able to pin point what the strengths and weaknesses are in their work. The alumni were all in very different and transitional stages of their life, from being in school to being a working artist thinking of making a career change. It was great to see and hear the excitement from the alumni once they had their reviews! They had a clearer vision of where they wanted to go and what they needed to work on and were so thankful for the individual reviews. It was also really great seeing the alumni coming together to show each other their work and talk about their jobs, school and what kind of work they want to do.

I hope everyone had a great time and loved all of the energy and positivity of the day and hope to plan more alumni events that we can all get excited for! I would love to hear from alumni on what kind of events you would really like to see happen so I can get started on planning the next one!