Senior Elliot Gress (BFA ’16) was recently featured on PBS’ Arts Bridge. Checkout the video and read our interview with Elliot after the jump.

Catch Elliot Gress’ interview at 7:17

Why did you choose the Art Academy of Cincinnati?

I chose the Art Academy for a few reasons; the size of the classes, the city of Cincinnati, and the opportunities to expand.  Unlike larger colleges the Art Academy has offered me one-on-one learning with my professors where I can speak with them on a very personal level and not be treated as just another number.  The City of Cincinnati is growing daily and has many more feats to come, since moving here 3 years ago I have seen this city polish itself continually and have been apart of the make-over myself.  Finally AAC has given me the chance to be a part of multiple residency opportunities and because of that I have been able to make valuable relationships that I know will prosper in future as I continue to practice as an artist.

What do you find most inspiring about being a student at the Art Academy?

What I find most inspiring is truly the people around me at the Art Academy.  This “all under one house,” approach to the school has led me to meet any and everyone from just about every fine art discipline you can think of.  I have had the chance to meet and connect with many different artists and make meaningful impacts on them and vice versa.  Just being able to take in the scope of what is going on around you constantly is enough to keep myself motivated.

If you could provide any advise to a young artist what would it be?

Be open, first and foremost.  You are way too young to truly already know who you are at the fullest and I can only urge you to be open to new possibilities and variables.  Art is a precarious thing but your ability to react to it is what really makes your work yours.



Elliott is from Noblesville, Indiana and majors in painting at the Art Academy. His favorite music to listen to while making work is rap, hip-hop, jazz or soul. If he could only have one art supply for the rest of his life it’d be a BIC ballpoint pen, they’re “unbeatable.”

Image by: Rémi Glistovski