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Arts High

Perpich Center for Arts Education - an arts high school in the Twin Cities. To get into this school, you had to apply. Legit fill out an application, submit an art portfolio and interview with the heads of the school. The who process was daunting. I worked all summer on my admissions project. A handmade book filled with all my artsy photos – mostly taken with a disposable camera.


INSERT: I just dug it out of the garage, and I can’t believe it. I had forgotten these images but among them are gumball machines, koi fish, pop, and candy wrappers. I JUST got it out, like right now, as I’m writing this, and I can’t believe how similar my work from twenty years ago is to the art I make today. Twenty years between and my subjects haven’t changed. What a random and happy moment.

We had to include a final photo that incorporated the words, Hinge, Coalesce, Drift, Burst and Curve. I can’t remember how they all fit, but obviously BURST is the Starburst wrapper.

The Final Photo

The night before the interview, I didn’t sleep at all. I knew I would fail. I knew I would turn bright red and forget how to talk. They called me in, three women. Someone asked me a question; I have no idea what it was. I gave my answer; I have no idea what it was. I remember glancing over at one of the interviewer’s notepads lying on the table where she was writing notes about me. And that’s when I saw it. A moment I will never forget. A moment I often think about because it changed everything

. I saw her write down the word WOW! I saw her write down the word WOW and then underline it and then add an exclamation point. WOW! That was my turning point. I couldn’t believe I saw her write that. Was that about me?! All of the sudden, I had a surge of confidence and I knew I could knock this interview out of the park. Instead of worrying about my answers, I focused on the WOW!


A month later, I received a letter saying that I was accepted into Perpich Center for Arts Education. The school that changed my life is so many wonderful ways.

I was far from discovering my love for painting at this point and applied to be in the film and photography department. Pinhole cameras, darkrooms, Super 8 cameras. I even made a stop-motion animation.  The school itself looked like a museum. The lockers were painted, the walls were covered in art, the students were brave and the teachers were inspiring.  Studying and making art from dusk til dawn. Literally, we would get to school at 8am and sometimes wouldn’t leave until 8pm. This sacred place was a sanctuary for the shy, scared, and timid. It was an ideal greenhouse for late bloomers like myself. It was a dream.



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Mar 10
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Anna you are now a FABULOUS artist (that's 1000 X better than WOW!) ! I had the privilege to see your artistic spirit grow as a young adult.. I loved reading your memory of your interview at the Arts HS. 💕

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