Where to get your art on

Washington State is a place where an artist can grow and explore his/her art. It is also a place where aspiring artists can find a decent education via the numerous art schools in the surrounding area. Among them are the Seattle Art Institute, Cornish College of the Arts and the Seattle Academy of Fine Art. Although they all have their own strengths and weaknesses, along with large price tags, each of them has something to offer amateur artists.

Cornish College of the Arts is private non-profit four-year university with a variety of courses offered to its approximately 800 students. It’s rather small considering the size of its rival schools, but it makes up for it by encouraging students to get to know their professors within this tight-knit community. Nellie Cornish established the school in 1914 with a mission to expose students to all art forms, providing them with a well-rounded education. The school has since produced several prominent artists and actors. One of the more famous former students of this prestigious school is the actor Brendan Fraser. He made famous from movies like “The Mummy” and “Crash.” Its tuition can be considered quite high, equaling up to 27,400 dollars a year.

Compared to Cornish College of the Arts, the Seattle Academy of Fine Art is considerably younger at twenty years old. Its origins trace back to New York City, and somehow it found its way over to the west coast, where it has been teaching art students in the Seattle area ever since. They are more willing to work with students, negotiating tuition and payment plans. Their education focuses on the classical aspects of art; they offer programs that follow this philosophy.

The Seattle Art Institute is a school that has its ups and downs. For starters, the instructors are still practicing in their perspective fields and have a lot of “hands-on” experience and knowledge. Instructors have a reputation for working with the students and helping them along their paths, making it easier for the students who struggle with their work. Its teachings are technical in nature and focus on how to do the work rather than just textbook education. However, the Seattle Art Institute’s instructors are not all qualified teachers (they may not have a degree in teaching), which may be a problem to some students who expect a more traditional approach to learning. Another down side to the school is the massive tuition bill. Depending on what type of degree you are aiming for, the money it takes is considerably higher than the colleges above. An Associate’s degree could run up to 42,000 dollars, while a Bachelor’s degree can end up costing more than twice that. Its admissions criteria is lax compared to the other colleges, but in terms of cost, it definitely exceeds all the other schools. In the end, the student has to decide whether the price is worth it or not.