Blind Contour by Olivia
Blind Contour by Olivia

Photos by Jessi Larum

A glimpse of the life of transfer student Olivia Saleh.

Transition is an inevitable part of life. When that transition comes from switching colleges, sometimes it can be stressful, but it can also be an incredible experience for students to develop as individuals as much as they develop academically. 

Transfer students, who make up thirty-eight percent of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design's student body, come from locations across the state, the nation, and the entire world bringing many different perspectives and skills along with them, and adding tremendous value to the college. First-year transfer student Olivia Saleh shares her story—  

Why did you decide to transfer to MCAD?

The first school I attended was the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. I intended to go there for drawing, because they have a great drawing program. I took an advanced study in printmaking my first year and fell in love with it. I also became interested in making books during that time and one of my teachers told be about the print, paper, book major here at MCAD. Upon further research, I decided I wanted to transfer because it seemed to be the right choice for me. 

And was it the right choice?

Definitely. MCAD has wonderful facilities. This first semester I took a papermaking class and absolutely fell in love with it. It is such an interesting process. I can’t wait to be able to take more classes in my major. Especially Intaglio, which is a class I am taking next semester. The head of the print, paper, book major, Natasha Pestich, is a very kind person and has helped me realize that this is the right program and place for me to be.

Tell me a little about yourself.

I am a human being, first and foremost. I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and I began creating at a young age. There was a wonderful art program at my school and the art teachers, who I am still in contact with today, were amazing. I grew up in the suburbs where if you didn’t play a sport you were looked down upon. I never found a sport I liked; I have no hand-eye coordination and never liked the idea of team sports. It was not for me. My outlet and “extracurricular activity” was art. I love playing around with mixed mediums in my work. I play around with collage, drawing, ink, watercolor, fibers, and anything else I can get my hands on. For now you can find me fervently creating every single day.

What are some of the greatest memories you have made here?

I have made great memories so far in the semester that I have been here. The clubs and events that MCAD hosts are incredibly fun. Ice Cream Mountain has got to be one of my favorites. I also love that MCAD has a program for students out of the country to spend a semester here. I have loved having the opportunity to meet the foreign exchange students. I am definitely thinking about taking part in this opportunity to travel and I want to visit Brighton for a semester because of Jack Stephenson and Seamus White who speak highly of that school.


Will you share some of your work with us?

Knitted book

Fish installation

Franny and Mustache Man

Photograph of Zoe