Testimonial: Jamey Erickson, CVA alum 2004

Growing up in rural Minnesota, going to “art school” wasn’t something that was done. You maybe went to a University that had an art program, but art school’s just weren’t something you would consider.

In the fall of 1998 I decided to take a risk and visit a couple of these art schools I’d managed to find online. I made the trip up to visit two of them in the same day, and after being told to “come back when I was serious about pursuing art” by one, we nearly turned around and drove home after pulling up to see the next school was merely a house on Summit Ave in St. Paul. Something felt right, though, and we decided to go inside. Almost instantly I fell in love with the building and the community within and around the school became very apparent. I couldn’t sign the dotted line fast enough.

I attended the College of Visual Arts from 1999 to 2004, graduating with one of, what I still believe to this day, one of the most well rounded educations I could have received. I immediately returned the following semester to teach at at the college, as I couldn’t kick this strong urge to give back to the place that made me what I was that day. After five years of teaching I was nominated to serve on the board, which I did for a two year term.

All said and done, I’ve been inside those walls at CVA for 14 years in some capacity. It was my first home away from home and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it. Closing the school would be closing a very large part of my life. Running a small non-profit of its size is never easy, but we’ve always risen to the challenge, and will continue to do so going forward if given the opportunity.

Please help us keep this important part of the Minnesota art community alive.