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Artist Claire Watkins talks with NYPOP students at her studio at the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation
When NYPOP was founded in 1990, there were five alumni of UMassAmherst living and working in New York City's professional art scene. Since then, more than 1,200 UMass students have participated in NYPOP classes. Today more than 100 alumni are living and working in New York.
Each semester, two NYPOP classes alternate weekend trips to New York City, making a total of four trips each. Each Friday, students meet with a different art professional to talk about their career, their experiences working in the field, and to get an idea of what life will be like after art school. While there is no one, clear path to becoming a professional artist, NYPOP seeks to illuminate the possible routes one can take. We travel to studios and workspaces all over New York City, meeting with artists in a variety of points in their career - from well-established art stars to newly emerging artists.
In addition to visiting our guests, students meet with the NYPOP faculty for discussions about trends, exhibitions, and events happening in the art world. Saturdays are open for students to explore galleries, museums, and art events on their own. Before returning to Amherst on Saturday afternoon, students meet again with the NYPOP faculty for a discussion about their experiences.