Izzy Olgaard - Class of 2018 (Mount Holyoke College)
I took a class with Kane Stewart Digital Photography One, that’s the only photo course offered at Mount Holyoke. And Kane is a amazing teacher. Before I graduated, I wanted to take one more class with Kane. He just does one or two semester we he teaches. I’m a studio art and film studies double major. I’ve had some scares thinking I wouldn’t be able to major in both, but I’ve worked it out. It’s weird, especially cause we’re kind of recommend to not take more than two studio courses per semester, cause it’s a lot of work in a studio class. I just had to spread out all of my art classes and film classes. Right now I’m just taking advanced studio. You have to take it your junior year one semester and two semesters your senior year. It’s based on building a portfolio and building what you think your art is about. There is no real guidelines. It’s just mostly work and there are critiques. You kind of learn from that.
Handmade Pictures just sounded awesome. I like it. The people are nice. Everyone is easy going and relaxed which is really refreshing. You can’t really compare it to MH art department cause we don’t have any photography at all. It’s just kind of refreshing to go to a place that has that part. I haven’t gone and taken a final exam, written exam since my junior year. And that was for an art history course. Usually we have papers due. My last semester I have one paper, and three final projects. Film studies finals are almost always papers and for art is almost always a final project. I’ve haven’t really noticed a huge change. Grade wise we would get a grade after an assignment or final project was turned in. We haven't really gotten a grade like that in Kane’s class. It’s not that weird, because a lot of my professors forget about grades until the end.
The grades I do get back are usually papers that have been graded, but that’s it. Sometimes I get graded on my art. But it hasn’t happen this semester yet. I’m also taking a class at Smith and it’s Production design for film. And so those have been presentations and projects. We have gotten grades from that.
I have not explored the campus at all because it is so spread out and very confusing. I’ve only know exactly where the photography building is and that is it. I know my one parking lot. I had a Five College film conference in the Adele Simmons Hall auditorium, too.
Mount Holyoke College:
I am a legacy which means my grandmother and mother went here. They didn’t push me to go here. They were open to where ever I wanted to go. I toured here and then stayed here over night with the field hockey team. I just thought the team as a whole were really nice. I felt like I would belong at Mount Holyoke when I had the overnight. I applied early decision. And that was it. I also hated all of the college searches and applications. It was nice to be able to do one.
I was definitely nervous as a first year. I wasn’t expecting to want to go off campus just because going to UMass scared me so much. But then I took my first off campus class at Smith. And it worked out well. Now I’m taking two Five College classes this semester: one at Hampshire and Smith. I wish I had gone to Amherst. I tried to work things into my schedule, but nothing every worked.
It’s really weird. I was looking at my planner and flipping through the weeks. And there are only two weeks left and then I’m graduating. Right after graduation, I have to move out of my dorm and move to Brooklyn and start a job. I graduate on Saturday and move in on Monday then I start work on Tuesday.
To college bound students:
If you don’t know what you want to study, take a variety of classes, something will happen from that. If you do know what you want to study, then take those classes immediately then your college will be a much easier experience.
A glimpse of Izzy's final senior project, a photo series.
"My motivation to do this series was the urge to contain a day and to capture what my norm is at this point in my life. After graduation, my day is going to be much different: in location, in activity, and in people. This is a documentation of my day pictured in 24 photographs. Each photograph was taken within each hour of my day on April 4th, creating 24 images.
This series of photographs was taken on a Yashika-Mat twin lens reflex camera. I restricted myself to 2 rolls of film; each roll of film for my camera has 12 images. I then made silver gelatin prints in the darkroom.
Since I was unable to retake a photograph for that hour I spent the whole day thinking about what would make the best image for the hour. The next day after I finished photographing this project I woke up at four in the morning about to reach for my camera to take another picture. This project made me aware of what I see in my day and made me constantly think about taking a picture every hour for 24 hours."