Kris and Bob O'Connell had a "phenomenal" time at MIAD's Parent/Partner Day on Saturday October 22, and gained a much greater understanding of the education and daily life at an art and design college.
"We loved the event," Kris said. "It was a lot of fun."
Kris participated in a drawing class with MIAD Drawing Professor Steve Horvath. Her husband, Bob, particularly enjoyed the workshop "Critique 101." The class sought to help parents understand some of the many nuances their students consider while working on projects, including the techniques that make a work of art "good" or "bad."
Neither Bob nor Kris have significant art training, so they are thankful that the sessions will help them have more meaningful conversations with their son C.J. O'Connell, a Foundations student.
David and Cynthia Bishop, parents of Foundations student Bennett Bishop, attended the event to get a better feel for their son's academics and to learn more about the college itself. They were happy to be able to see student work in classrooms and the halls, along with the professional works featured in MIAD's galleries.
"It's a visual education, I want to visually see what he's up to," David said. "It's exciting to see the work, too."
Parent/Partner Day provided an opportunity for MIAD to share how students' educational experiences will inspire their careers and their lives, and to strengthen parents' relationship with MIAD in the important role as students' coaches and mentors.
This year's event marked the highest attendance since its founding, and participation by parents of students of all class years.
MIAD coordinated Parent/Partner Day to coincide with the college's Alumni Reunion, and the Student/Alumni Art Sale. Together, these events broadened the opportunities for students and parents to engage with one another, and with alumni, who play a key role in the MIAD experience and whose career paths provide invaluable insights to students of all class years.
Among the days many activities were several workshops, tours of design firms and galleries, and discussions, including one about "Innovation and Learning" in the Foundations year led by MIAD's Provost David Martin and students, and another led by MIAD alumni called "Life After MIAD." The day concluded with a reception at the site of the Student/Alumni Art Sale that brought students, parents and alumni together once again.
Beth Sahagian '81 (Sculpture) was glad to be one of the many alumni who participated in the Alumni Reunion along with the Student/Alumni Art Sale.
"I wanted to reconnect and see a lot of my old friends. I like the camaraderie of the students. I like to see what the students are up to," Sahagian said. "It's the best time I've had in years."
Click here to view the MIAD Parents' Blog.
Click here to visit the MIAD Alumni Association's page.
Top image: Yvonne Lopez '09 (Communication Design major, Printmaking minor) taught a printmaking workshop on Parent/Partner Day.
Bottom image: Many parents, including Kris O'Connell, participated in MIAD Drawing Professor Steve Horvath's drawing class.