California Summer School for the Arts: More Than an Education (2023)

California Summer School for the Arts: More Than an Education (1)California Summer School for the Arts: More Than an Education (2)Descargara Quicktime movie of an animated group drawing project completed by CSSSA students in 1997. Students draw a car from each angle, then the drawings are filmed in turn to create an animated piece. 660KB. Courtesy of and © CSSSADescargara Quicktime movie of a cut-out animation project completed by CSSSA students in 1997. The task required flying, swimming or jumping, morphing, and the use of two colors and tones. 990KB. Courtesy of and © CSSSA.

Use:Photos in this article, courtesy of instructor and photographer Gary Schwartz, are for 3D viewing. To view them correctly, keep your face ten inches from the screen and cross your eyes to blend the left and right images.

California Summer School for the Arts: More Than an Education (3)

(Video) Inside California Education: Summer School Matters

Prior to 1987, highly talented and artistically gifted high school students did not have many opportunities to meet and learn from entertainment leaders. The California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA) was then established, and to date nearly 4,500 young artists have taken advantage of this unique opportunity. CSSSA began as a unique public-private partnership that provided high school students with a place to pursue seven different areas of artistic interest in a summer camp-like setting. By 1992, CSSSA's animation program had become a real powerhouse.

This month-long, in-depth animation program for high school students was created by well-known animator Christine Panushka. Panushka has won notable awards, including the Grand Prize for Animation at the 1986 Aspen Film Festival.Fears and nocturnal fantasies: a bedtime story for a girl.and the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival forthe sum of themin 1985. He recently garnered attention and success with his online animation festival, Absolut Panushka. Panushka, a visiting professor in USC's Department of Animation and Visual Arts, has been hired by CSSSA Director Rob Jaffe to lead CSSSA's new Department of Animation. He hired teachers, developed programs, planned student days, and planned to teach animation history and life drawing, and take students to studios to create a new generation of innovative animators.

Emmy and Oscar nominee Gary Schwartz has been a faculty member for six years and was the first faculty member to induct Panushka. "The truth is that we are jealous," Schwartz said. “We are giving students what we would have wanted when we were their age. I think it's the best show of its kind in the United States."

Ruth Hayes, a freelance entertainer, agreed. "It's the highlight of my learning year," she said. “It is wonderful to work with the students because they are very anxious. It's great to work with them because they want to, not because they have to."

A true animation program.

A comprehensive high school animation program was such an amazing new idea, and Jaffe loved the concept. “As far as I know, animation was not taught in any high school in 1987. It was considered more of a craft than an artistic application.” (However, Dave Master, now at Warner Bros. Feature Animation, began the animation course at ROP Rowland High School in La Puente Valley around this time. The CSSSA is governed by a prestigious Board of Trustees and principals who have extensive experience in all areas of the seven disciplines. Their network ensures that the school attracts excellent teachers and professors guests. The program was initially based at Cal Arts and then moved to Loyola Marymount where, ironically, there were no animation facilities. The following summer it transferred back to Cal Arts, only to move back to Mills College. A Final Move in the summer of 1992 he brought the show back to Cal Arts, where it thrived.The show's growth trajectory would make any analyst proud.In 1989, 24 aspiring animators drew until their fingers hurt. In 1997, 250 applicants applied for the fifty available places. Today, the program has $600,000 in private endowments. Corporate sponsors are proud to be a part of this innovative program. The Walter Lantz Foundation recently made a significant contribution in the form of a $100,000 grant, to be paid over four years, creating the Walter Lantz Foundation Endowment Fund. However, not only the private sector is aware of the importance of this program. Rosalie Zalis, Senior Policy Advisor to the Governor, stated, “California Summer School for the Arts provides students, who represent all of California's unique diversity, with the opportunity to hone their artistic, creative, and problem-solving skills. , which will provide them with the valuable tools needed to help today's emerging high-tech and entertainment industries.” Such participation ensures a steady influx of talented animators for years to come. Students come from every imaginable background from all over California. “The program is very diverse. From small rural areas to large metropolitan areas, this program gives students access to the arts that they normally wouldn't have. For the first time, they are exposed to a serious artistic experience," Hayes said. In addition, the quality of the students is exceptional. "They are smart, talented kids," Hayes continued. More than 50% of these students receive scholarships from the school. While California students are encouraged to apply, there are currently no scholarships available to them.

(Video) Inside California Education: A Return to School – A Return to Summer School

California Summer School for the Arts: More Than an Education (4)

students react

Alumnus Corinne Lambalot said: "I loved it. Before I left, I wasn't sure if I wanted to go into animation. After that I was motivated to become an animator. I am significantly improving my portfolio to focus on animation as a specialty. I want to be Disney main character animator. Everyone was great and I made a lot of friends.”

Ursula Glaviano shares Corinne's enthusiasm. “The performance on the last day was incredible. Other people come from other departments and you can hear their reactions to your work. The show really convinced me that I had no choice but to go into animation.” Mónica Martínez enjoyed the program so much that she participated in it three times. “I wasn't sure what I wanted to do in art. Now I'm working on my portfolio and I want to major in experimental animation at Cal Arts." A Connecticut student worked two waiter jobs for one year to earn $3,000 for foreign tuition. Clear evidence of how seriously these students take their work and how useful and special they find the program. Bobby Podesta is currently an animator atthe life of a beetleI was at Pixar and had little art training before CSSSA. Highly motivated, he demonstrated a second sense of movement in animation, one of the most difficult aspects of animation production to master. Seeing these gifts, the teachers filled him up and he loved every moment. "Honestly, it's one of the most amazing experiences of my life and if you talk to anyone on the show, they'll say the same thing. There's just no such thing in mainstream schools."

The application process

Panushka warns applicants about the common reasons for rejection. "Don't copy Simba or Spiderman," he said. “We always have twenty to thirty of them. We want to see the characters that the students have created.” Portfolio reviewers take notes on each applicant. Upon request, a CSSSA staff member can review an unacceptable candidate's notes over the phone so he can strengthen her portfolio for the following year. To be eligible to participate, applicants must submit three still images: one technique, one exemplary work for their character, and a third work of their choice. Then they explain everything in writing. Students learn about the program through word of mouth, high school art classes, and the organization's website. The four-week summer program is one of seven CSSSA departments and encompasses visual arts, animation, music, film/video, writing, theater, and dance. After a brief introduction, animation students delve into life drawing and animation renderings. One of the first exercises is to create a zoetrope. No matter who you're talking to, from students to teachers, the one word that keeps coming up is "intense." In fact, all CSSSA programs are designed to be delivered at the graduate level. During the program, students work six days a week and get little breaksSeveral high schools now offer rudimentary animation programs. However, budget constraints at these other schools mean that materials and software are limited or out of date when students receive them. Panushka commented: “We do not allow our students to use computers. They have to have animation in their hands, in their blood, to develop a sense of timing, which is essential for characters to move believably." Just because they're high school students doesn't mean they're judged any less harshly. than university students in animation. Panushka continued: "It takes university students a year to make a minute. Some of these kids do it in a week and a half. At the end we put all the strips together on a roll. The children animate and wait with you look forward to the view I “I have never seen students work as hard as they do.” Many of the benefits of the program only become apparent after just a few days of the course Students mature For some it is the first time they have been away from home Maybe you have always been that weird kid who sits in the back back of the classroom and draw. "It's the first time you've met people who are just like you," Podesta explained. Schwartz reported that students are certainly changing. "You see kids who are completely different people."

California Summer School for the Arts: More Than an Education (5)

(Video) Inside California Education: Summer Matters

The summary

Students participate in a variety of activities, but basic foundations like life drawing (taught by Cal's art teacher Cornelius "Corny" Cole) take place every day. One day could include life drawing, animation, and then a visit to Disney. Students must take drama and dance classes to understand movement. "We are focused on introducing them to other artistic disciplines," Hayes said. Another part of the day is an hour-long animation screening, which can range from Eastern European animators to early Fleischer cartoons. There are also conversations with people like Craig Bartlett, the creator ofHello Arnold!French animation theorist and creator offantastic planet,René Laloux. Not many local high schools offer such casual exposure to industry stars and artistic visionaries. Guests from all walks of life, from recruiters to writers to production managers, donate generous amounts of their time.

As students stick to the one-month schedule, they get closer and closer to their final project. In 1997, each was given two weeks to create an animated piece by hand, which had to be at least ten seconds long and included animations of flying, swimming or jumping, metamorphosis, and the use of two colors and sounds.

Students use paper cutouts, paints, drawings, and other materials to translate their ideas into visual images to show their classmates at the end of the program on opening night. The students whoop and cheer and rejoice in their artistic achievements. You will learn about animation, but you will gain much more. They learn that they have to do everything they can to be successful.

Results that last

The program is now a decade old. The innovative educational project has spawned a host of talented animators who are now at some of the world's most respected animation institutions. CSSSA graduates join the ranks of animation houses like Disney, Pixar, and Warner Bros. Feature Animation. Podesta currently works with five CSSSA students at Pixar. "Now we are starting to see the impact of the program in the art world," he said.

Parents are amazed at the changes in their young artists' behavior when they return home. One mother wrote: "What have you been doing? My son is cleaning his room!" Creating an animated film requires a lot of concentration and organization. It's natural that these traits carry over into other aspects of students' lives. Hayes noted that students "...need to go home and figure out how to continue this artistic practice on their own. account and without support." Hundreds of drawings become a single living entity. "It was the first time I saw anything from my own train. It blew your head off,” Podesta confirmed.

(Video) Inside California Education: Growing California's Artists

Also, the program seems equally rewarding for the faculty. "If I were a millionaire, no matter where I was, I would go back to teaching CSSSA and that's the truth," said Gary Schwartz. Panushka added: “Students keep coming back to say thank you. It's not something they have to do."

For more information on the California State Summer School for the Arts and the upcoming application deadline of March 1, visit their website (accessible via AWN).animationsdorf) or contact them at the following address:

California State Summer School for the Arts 4825 J Street Suite 120 Sacramento, CA 95819 (916) 227-9320

John Roslyn is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and artist.


What is the acceptance rate for California State Summer School for the Arts? ›

The admissions process is highly competitive. (Last session approximately one in three applicants in most departments were accepted).

How many people are accepted into Csssa? ›

Approximately 500 California students attend CSSSA each summer, with 20 spots open to students from out-of-state.

How much does it cost to go to Csssa? ›

Out-of-State and International Students – $6,500

Once a student is invited to attend CSSSA, they will receive an invoice for the tuition balance by email. They must submit their tuition balance by June 5, 2023. An additional charge for administrative processing is added to the online invoice.

What are the disadvantages of summer school? ›

Con: Summer School Courses Move Quickly

This means your professors have to pack more into each day than they would during the spring and fall semesters. Sometimes the classes are longer, and other times the homework is more intense. You will have tests and quizzes with more regularity.


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