As a graduate student at UC Irvine, I would like to respond to the article by Cathy Curtis, "Just What Are Those Grad Students Up To?" (Calendar, May 15). Of the 16 graduate students interviewed, all with the exception of one had an overall positive attitude toward the current structure of the Studio Art Department. The article states, "Depending on which student you ask, some faculty guidance (a) must be sought out, (b) is not especially worth the effort, (c) is downright irrelevant." This is a misleading comment, when the general consensus of the graduate students is (a). The open structure is, for many of us, the reason for choosing UCI. We like the flexibility in choosing when and to whom we would like to talk at the most appropriate times possible.
The article included a student's statement: "There's the overall feeling the school is a joke. Nobody has any illusions that this is a great, hot program." This comment was not (attributed), and from my contact, it certainly does not represent the majority of graduates. One graduate artist stated: "Most of the teachers, they've been here 20 years. They're dead." This is an inaccurate analysis, as there are 17 faculty members, three of whom have been here 20 years, most of whom are both innovative and vital.
Finally, this article's overall tone and cynicism do not truly reflect attitudes of the current graduates, who pursue art as an endeavor requiring both skill and creative imagination.