Christine Hill Supports Creative learning at any Age, at CCAD

By Jennifer Wray, Writer at Columbus College of Art & Design

Before she became Director of Community Education at Columbus College of Art & Design in 2016, Christine Hill worked as a designer goldsmith and jeweler for 30 years (and continues to own her own studio business creating limited edition and custom jewelry). A CCAD Fine Arts grad, Hill started teaching intro to jewelry at CCAD in 2012, “and that experience changed my life,” she says. “The more time I spent working with young creatives helping them figure out how to harness their talents, the more I wanted to be at the school full time.” Below, Hill talks about her work and CCAD’s Saturday Morning Art Classes for creatively minded students and adults.

Jennifer: CCAD’s Community Education program is expanding its adult offerings with Wednesday classes this fall, in addition to the Saturday Morning Art Classes for kids and adults. What prompted that expansion? Who do you hope to serve?
Christine: We decided to add adult evening classes because people in the community requested more opportunities to take classes at CCAD that fit into their schedules. It is clear that our culture as a whole is moving to one that expects life-long learning engagement for the best employment opportunities. We’ll continue to look for ways to support creative professionals to stay at the top of their careers.

Jennifer: What is the benefit of Community Education classes at CCAD?
Christine: The benefits to youth who participate in community arts programs include higher GPAs, development in higher order thinking skills, including problem solving and critical thinking, and better attitudes about community service.

Adults who pursue life-long learning keep their minds sharp, improve memory, increase self-confidence and find people who share common interests.

Jennifer: How does your own creative history inform your work in Community Education at CCAD?
Christine: Jewelry design was what I consider to be an accidental career, because there were no jewelry offerings at CCAD when I was a student. Being an artist and creative person requires an open and curious mind and a willingness to go where opportunities present themselves. My education gave me a broad foundation that allowed me to excel as a jewelry designer, communicating directly with clients and bringing these designs into reality. My toolkit of skills includes drawing, painting, sculpting and metalsmithing. Today, an artist is also required to have software knowledge for many applications in creative industries.

Our goal is to create an engaging environment, so that wherever you are in your career, there is a place for you at CCAD to receive support and educational opportunities. Interestingly, my current job was a midlife career change for me. It has been an amazing and gratifying experience. Hopefully, what we are doing here is helping adults to revisit and explore their options, whether it’s a career change or life-enriching activities.

Jennifer: What is the best thing about the Columbus art scene right now?
Christine: The best thing about the Columbus art scene is the amount of energy in independent galleries popping up and artists taking promotion and publication of their work into their own hands.

Registration for Columbus College of Art & Design’s Saturday Morning Art Classes for children and adults is open through Sunday, Sept. 9. Wednesday evening classes for adults start Sept. 12 and Saturday Morning Art Classes for children and adults begin Sept. 15. Learn more at ccad.edu/takeaclass.

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