Today I was cleaning my room when I found the note I sent myself when I was still at Oxbow, that we all received 6 months later. It brought unfathomable nostalgia of the most important four months of my life, and reminded my distracted self to tell/talk to you about a couple things.

First, I wanted to thank you for the opportunity I was given during my time at oxbow. I really mean it when I say this. As you may remember, I neither came to Oxbow as an aspiring artist, nor with a devoted passion towards a specific medium of art. I am passionate about business, specifically entrepreneurship, and branching off from everyday school to step out of my comfort zone is one of the qualities to become one, and to become successful. I was struggling in school, not so much academically, but being confident and believing I can achieve. Oxbow taught me how to believe in myself. From the talks Mo gave me about what I am capable of, to the approach of projects through the encouragement of different teachers, and to the adamantine bond with each of my classmates. I spent endless hours on my final project, and was rewarded greatly through the outcome and praises I received for the plastered sculpture. It was that moment I realized I am just as capable as anyone else; that achieving is just a matter of devoted work and high ambitions.

I was able to collaborate with my classmates passionately about all different things. I got to experience what it was like to be successful as a team of different ambitions. I didn’t have to be aspiring in a field of art to be successful at the school. My inspiration was built around the people who surrounded me, who supported me unconditionally, and who helped me realize my purpose at the school.

I hope my note resonates with you, and shows you how grateful I am to have been a part of such a highly regarded school.

Nigel Egrari
Fall 2013

I learned to drop all previous assumptions I had about people because I had never met anyone like the other students at Oxbow. For the first time, my peers and their insightful thinking inspired me. For example, during the ‘Einstein’s Dreams’ presentations, I kept looking around the room thinking, I can’t believe all of these students are talking the way I think.

Sara DeLong
Spring 2010

New York is tiring, and excellent, and rancid, and sweet, Ginsberg and Homer. My Oxbow is looming far away; I must think of others sleeping in the room I slept in, I am still very much attached to my experience. How am I to compare even Cooper Union to OS21? I must thank you for what was the best time in my life. I knew from the things I had heard that the school was going to 'change my life,' and unbeknownst to me, it snuck up and changed the feet on my legs. I am so happy to have gone to such an incredible school. Thank you for doing real cool things with funny little kids.

Paternell Henderson
Fall 2009

At Oxbow, I got to try inquiry-based learning for the first time. This allowed me to control the amount of rigor and the depth of research in my topic, as well as picking a topic that I found most interesting. From going through this new process of learning, I feel excited to go back to the rigor of my sending school to apply the inquiry-based perspective to my classes. 

Meave Cunningham
Fall, 2015

My semester at Oxbow transformed my life. I felt totally prepared for college, completely comfortable with myself, and fully able to tackle any challenges that were thrown at me. These feelings were never present before I went to Oxbow, and I thank the semester program every day for preparing me for my first steps into adult life.

Lauren Steinberg
Spring 2010

Oxbow forced me to create, and by creating, I established foundation for my thought.

Jamie Roux
Spring 2003

Oxbow opened me up to what was out there in the world to go out and grab, and gave me so much that I take with me everywhere I go, with everything I do.

Nina Palomba
Spring 2008

If at any point Oxbow doubts the good it does, I just want to reassure you all that you’re changing the lives of young artists every semester.

Colin Davis
Fall 2009

My brother, Gus is in the process of getting his PHD (Environmental Science) at Sydney University in Australia. I asked him what his workspace was like at Sydney Uni, to which he responded, "Nice, but its not Oxbow". This prompted a discussion between the two of us about how incredibly fortunate we were to have attended Oxbow. The hand full of kids that get to attend Oxbow every semester have to be some of the world's most fortunate teenagers!

From Gus and myself - Thank you Oxbow!

Ray & Gus Porter
Fall 2012 & Spring 2002

I wanted to write you this letter because recently I’ve realized how beneficial my time at Oxbow really was. I am currently taking an Ancient Humanities class at Reed College and I constantly find myself imparting much of my knowledge gained from Oxbow on my study of Greek thought. I didn't realize at the time how beneficial the circle drawing really was (my Final Project was drawing a 'perfect' circle). I must confess that once presented, the concept seemed a little contrived to me, but now I realize that it was an excellent exercise in attempting to attain perfection. It seems to me like that is what everyone is trying to do. Whether it be art, philosophy, physics or religion we all want to find order within the disorder. We are all governed by entropy and that tension of striving for order, while being pulled by disorder allows for infinite beauty. And I guess if I had to write "What Art Is . . ." again that is probably what I would say. So I just wanted to say thank you. I think Oxbow really gave me a strong foundation for dealing with entropy. Oxbow forced me to create, and by creating I established foundation for my thought. I wanted to thank you for introducing me to Joseph Campbell and the study of myth. I think that I will probably major in religion or philosophy and minor in art. Or the other way around, but regardless I am wholly invested in the quest for truth and perfection and beauty and I think Oxbow allowed me to pursue that in a serious manner.

Jamie Roux
Spring 2003