Art Signature Experience Presentations

Erika Egliskis ’23, Editor

One unique aspect of Peddie is the Signature Experience Program, the opportunity for students to design their own independent research or creative work outside of school. Students participating in the Arts Signature Experience, have consistently taken art classes at Peddie and, this past summer participated in a wide variety of experiences all across the world. Students concentrated on interests such as visual arts, film, music business, composition, production and performance. On the night of September 21, nine seniors in the Arts Signature Experience presented a recap of their summer work to the Peddie community in the new Ding Music Hall.
Ava Bajwa ’23, who spent four weeks at The Cooper Union school in New York City, studied graphic design. Bajwa particularly enjoyed working with artists both on campus and throughout the city, often visiting museums such as the MET and MoMA. “Being surrounded by an environment where the sole focus is art allowed me to completely immerse myself in my work,” she highlighted. Overall, Bajwa’s “Art Sig helped [her] better understand the art world and how [she] can use art in a variety of careers.” Bajwa, who isn’t majoring in art in college, wants to continue pursuing her passion in the future.
Chiwoo Ahn ’23, Peddie’s own rockstar, participated in the New York University’(NYU) What Makes A Star program. When asked about his biggest takeaway from the Art Signature Experience, Ahn stressed the importance of being proactive. “All of the guest speakers started their careers sending emails about internships with a mindset that the worst thing that could happen is not receiving a reply.” More broadly, Ahn believes the Art Signature Experience has impacted his life because “now [he has] a sense of what [he wants] to pursue as a career – tour management. Even if that doesn’t work out, [he] learned that there are many other opportunities in the music industry that [he] could take.”
Caleb Solidum ’23 also took part in a music program at NYU, focusing on recording and production. Solidum is confident the Art Signature Experience helped him decide to pursue music in the future. “Going to NYU opened my eyes to the opportunities as a musician and music producer,” he said “I realized that creation and imagination work best in a collaborative space. Passing off ideas with like-minded producers was one of the most significant takeaways. Being at NYU felt so different from my usual life, but I hope I can revisit it sometime in the future.”
Finally, Madinah Drinkard ’23, an aspiring architect who studied at Washington University in St. Louis, located in St. Louis, Missouri, is excited about how her artmaking will play out in her Honors Studio class this year. She believes the program was beneficial for her because she learned that “visual art can carry over into professional fields other than graphic design.” She also “became more comfortable with using 3D materials and other mediums.” Drinkard wants to become an urban planner because while art is a factor, it is not the main focus. That way, she can work “without feeling the pressure to create art pieces that the public will enjoy.”
The Art Signature Experience students enjoyed their summers greatly, because of the freedom they had and the length at which they were able to pursue their interests. Eligible art students are highly encouraged to apply to the program, as it will be very rewarding and beneficial in deciding whether they would like to pursue art as a career.