Being accepted to the upper echelons of post-secondary art schools is notoriously difficult, with some of the top schools having an acceptance rate of a mere 22%. It requires impeccable grades, dedication, and immense artistic talent to get a spot at any art school – let alone multiple.
Luckily for Grade 12 student Rin Audsabumrungrat, she exudes all of the above in spades. In natural response to her enviable talent, she received acceptances and scholarship offers from University of the Arts London (UAL) and Parsons School of Design - The New School in New York. She was also accepted to Savannah College of Art and Design and School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She’s a shining example of how when young talent is fostered, encouraged and given opportunities it can blossom into something truly incredible.
“Art to me is basically a space or a world where I can be myself comfortably and express my own opinions and emotions. In a way, it's also my voice because I'm not as talkative. I use art as a way for me to talk and express my opinions out loud,” she says.
Like many SMUS students, Rin is an incredibly accomplished and creative artist. She received a perfect score on her AP Art Studio portfolio in her Grade 11 year. She also participated in the six-week Rhode Island School of Design pre-college program before that school year even started. What makes Rin a uniquely different student artist is that she may receive perfect scores for her AP Studio Art portfolios two more times this year, says teacher Brad Ingimundson.
AP Studio Art at SMUS is three different and distinct courses: Drawing, 2D Design, or 3D Design, depending on a student’s specific interest. Rin is that “exceptional student” who committed to taking the course three different times to highlight her talent and interest in all three artistic areas.
“She is a compulsive drawer, a natural designer, and a deeply thoughtful artist who innately understands the power of the visual image for communication and persuasion,” Brad says. “We at SMUS are truly fortunate that she is in our midst.”
Having taken AP Art Studio three times in two years, she’s created pieces in varying media, from acrylic paintings and sketches to hand-sewn pieces and dresses made entirely from paper. She spends her free time drawing detailed portraits just to learn how to better draw wrinkles and textures on someone’s face. Each piece is beautiful, and the level of finesse displayed is incredible for any professional artist, let alone one in high school with many other academic and social demands.
For one of her AP portfolios, Rin created a series of candid portraits of her friends without telling any of them. These paintings, she says, are a kind of goodbye present to the friends she has made during her time at SMUS.
Rin came to SMUS as a boarder in Grade 9 from Thailand and says she feels like she has grown in her artistic journey in a way that she wouldn’t have if she had stayed in Thailand.
“The Thai education system really values STEM subjects like science and math. I feel like if I had stayed in Thailand, I would probably end up going to med school,” she says. “[At SMUS], I think I've learned to focus more on the [artistic] working process and incorporating different ideas and social issues into my work. … In Thailand, it was really about making it look perfect; making it look exactly like the original image. [Being here], I think my art became a lot more expressive.”
After much deliberation, Rin will attend UAL to pursue a degree in fashion design, with the ultimate goal of creating her own fashion brand. She says this decision is in part impacted by her artistic influences: Maria Grazia Chiuri, creative director of Dior, and Brad Ingimundson.
Like Chiuri, Rin hopes to use her future runway shows to comment on social issues and evoke cultural change. She says Brad has been her most influential teacher and has helped her in her artistic journey by providing great instruction and helpful criticism, instead of blanket praise, which has been incredibly helpful for her growth.
We are proud of Rin’s achievements and growth as an artist while at SMUS, and we will be eagerly waiting and watching to see how she uses her talents and skills in the years ahead at UAL and in the fashion world.