Laney Knudson
Laney Knudson
Pre-College Summer Session

Every summer, high school students spend three weeks at MCAD finding out what college life is really like.

The Pre-College Summer Session at MCAD is a three-week, residential program that allows high school students to try out their skills at a college level. Students pursue a major and receive three college credits at the program's completion.

“I feel much more comfortable in my abilities as an artist and in my future success. Because of PCSS, I am so excited for the future and cannot wait to continue to make more art and animations.”

What surprised you the most about the Pre-College Summer Session?

I was completely blown away by the amount of talent in the program. I never thought that there could be so many people who share the same passions as I do. Everyone was so kind and it was refreshing to be in such an open-minded environment where I could really be myself.

Laney working hard in the animation studio; photo by Forrest Wasko

What aspect of the program has had the biggest impact on you?

PCSS gave me the opportunity to not only grow as an artist but as a person as well. Before going to the program I was really worried about living on my own away from home, but after going through the program I realized that I am a lot more capable than I thought I was. I was able to make work that I was extremely proud of, meet new people, and create connections all by myself. The thought of going off to college used to scare me, but now I’m much more excited and know that I will be fine.

How has your artistic practice changed since the program?

Before PCSS, I was pretty much on my own in terms of how to animate and make art. I didn’t know where to start or the basics of what I was doing. With the support of my teachers and the TA’s, I was able to experiment with a lot of different mediums and step outside of my comfort zone in the way I create things. I no longer think of animation as a medium to just move characters around, but as a new way to invoke emotions in others.

What was your favorite experience outside of the classroom?

Hanging out with so many cool new people and being inspired by all of the incredible art around the city. One of my favorite trips was to the Walker Art Center. Walking around the museum was awe-inspiring, and because of the people I was with, I saw and appreciated the art in a completely different way than I would have normally.

Walker Sculpture Garden

Laney and PCSS Night Manager, Ryan Hughes, at the PCSS Graduation Exhibition; photo by Forrest Wasko

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about attending the Pre-College Summer Session?

I strongly encourage anyone who is thinking about going to PCSS to just go. It might seem scary or outside of your comfort zone, but I walked away from my experience a new person with a greater appreciation for art. I feel much more comfortable in my abilities as an artist, and in my future success. Because of PCSS, I am so excited for the future and cannot wait to continue to make more art and animations. 


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