Mentor Program in the Arts

Jodi Clark “I’ve had a lot of awesome instructors, but Emiko Miyano in Design really stands out. She actually put me into the Mentor Program in the Arts.”

For Jodi Clark of Australia, art is a lot more than just wild creativity. It’s a path to ever-expanding awareness and potential. It’s also a path that she eagerly shares with others for whom it means something even more: Hope. “I’ve worked with New York City kids at a summer camp in Upstate New York for the past 10 years,” she says. “And this appeals to me because they’re underprivileged and they need a few breaks—and creative outlets—in their lives.”

In her sixth semester at SMC, Jodi states, “The art program at SMC is absolutely tremendous! I’ve had instructors here who also teach at USC, UCLA, and Otis. So I feel like I’m getting just as good an education here as are kids who are paying at least twice as much to go to specialized schools. And in the Mentor Program in the Arts, we pretty much get to focus on our own stuff. So I’ve done painting, graphic arts, and sculpture, and I’ve been thoroughly encouraged to freely experiment in a lot of different mediums. I have no idea what I’ll be doing in the distant future,” she says with an easy laugh. “But I hope I’ll still be surfing, doing my art, and somehow be making some money, as well.”

Jodi adds, “There’s a huge international crowd at SMC, and they’re in every sort of major. I think you really get your ‘bang for the bucks’ here that you pay as an international student. And I have to tell you, I was a little bit frightened on my first day because I thought I’d be surrounded by 18-year-olds. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that I wasn’t even the oldest ‘kid’ in my first class!”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.