When Imogen Blomley ’17 grouped her finished pieces together for the Diploma Programme (DP) Art Exhibition, she was proud. She had a beautiful collection to choose from—paintings, ceramics, photographs, and illustrations—and it was clear she had pushed her boundaries and grown as an artist over the two-year program.
She also had one single thought pop into her mind: oh my god.
You see, Higher Level (HL) art students must have a harmonising theme for their exhibition, and while Imogen started with surrealism in mind, as she made more and more art she realized she was unintentionally building another one altogether: home. Imogen laughs, acknowledging the irony, “I’m going away to university, leaving home, and my theme was that: comfort and home.”
It seems Imogen is forever surprising herself, even when it came time to pick what university she’d be headed off to and exactly what she’d be studying. “At first,” Imogen explains, “I thought I wanted to study Business. I never actually had any experience in Business… but that’s what I thought.” This coming from a student for whom her post-secondary counsellor, Mr. Al Graveson, found the following to best describe her as she crossed the stage on convocation: “when a student loves her HL course, shares her art in a community exhibition, designs the set of a school play, then chooses a related university major, you know she has found her passion.”
It seems her decision to pursue the arts came to nobody’s surprise except maybe her own.
Once Imogen set her mind on studying art, she started searching for the best schools and building her portfolio, a task which coincided, naturally, with the start of Diploma Programme mock exams. She was nonetheless determined, “I was swamped during my mocks. Every night I was painting, then studying… that’s all I did, paint and study.” In the end, Imogen had created 20 pieces which she handpicked for her portfolio.
She was accepted to every program she applied to.
Deciding which offer to accept came easily to Imogen, who made up her mind the moment she opened the acceptance letter from one school: Concordia University. “The acceptance letter is what told me,” Imogen affirms, “I just knew, and it all worked out so well from there: I got my choice room—it’s a residency in an old nunnery—and my choice classes… everything worked out.”
Come fall, Imogen will begin her first year in the Design Program at Concordia, a decision which will take her across the country. With the impending move, Imogen is unmoved; in fact, she’s excited. She’ll be living and learning in the heart of Montreal. Imogen looks forward to making new friends and immersing herself in the city’s rich landscape of culture, history and art. Already, she is searching for museums to discover, galleries to explore, and enrichment classes to sign up for— Montreal at Night, for one.
I am stronger as a person. I can deal with things on my own, and can figure things out for myself. [The Diploma Programme] gave me a sense of independence. I’m set for next year.
With so much to look forward to, there are a few things Imogen will miss from the place she called home for the last eight years. Her DP Art cohort, for one, who became “like a family.” She’ll also miss Mrs. Laurie, her DP Art Teacher, who inspired Imogen as an artist long before actually joining her class; in fact, having her as a teacher was the thing she most looked forward to since enrolling at Meadowridge. Finally, she’ll miss Mrs. Laurie’s room, a room which Imogen describes as both inspiring and chaotic. “It’s such a homey space,” she explains, “I’ll have to recreate that somewhere.”
And while the Diploma Programme isn’t something most of our graduates will miss, Imogen credits the IB for preparing her for university: “I think I’ll be set,” she explains, “I am stronger as a person. I can deal with things on my own, and can figure things out for myself. [The Diploma Programme] gave me a sense of independence. I’m set for next year.”
Imogen is entering her first year at Concordia with an uncanny confidence and clarity. While others enter university hoping to just make it through, she has planned an entire immersion into the arts. “I want to learn design. I want to take an internship. I want to take coding. I want to make my own website. I want to be an artist.” Imogen confides, “I’m going to learn everything. I’m going to take a broad approach and narrow it down over time.”
This way of thinking—a uniquely open-minded approach to the future—paired with an undeniable talent has already guided Imogen well. Who knows what wonderful places it will take this graduate next.