Day 3 of student profiles

Haiden Williams: Dual Enrollment at Kendall College of Art and Design


Reena Mathews, Staff Writer

Growing up with artists for parents, there was never any question for senior Haiden Williams when it came to art.

“Having those influences and being around that environment,” Haiden said. “I naturally just thought, ‘I wanna be an artist.’”

Haiden’s artistic roots began with drawing, but soon that manifested into a love for photography. After receiving a camera as a Christmas gift, Haiden became extremely invested in taking pictures, but soon grew bored of photography. After stumbling upon interesting video edits on social media, filmmaking became her new passion.

“I’m really into music too,” Haiden said. “So, I can incorporate that into video as well. I can incorporate all my passions into video, which I love, like photography, music, and the outside. You can just do a lot with video. You can really manipulate people’s emotions and make some big changes in the world with film.”

However, in terms of school, Haiden wanted more. She wanted to expand her artistic horizons. As a result, Haiden decided to dual enroll this year at Kendall College of Art and Design.

“In high school, at least with the art classes that I’ve taken, a lot of people are kind of there just to fulfill their requirements for graduating,” Haiden said. “[College is] a lot more serious. At Kendall, usually people are in their artwork and they’re fully invested. At Kendall, [art] is why they’re there, and they’re serious about it. So, that’s really nice because I am serious about my artwork.”

A print shop in downtown Grand Rapids, Woosah Outfitters, introduced Haiden to printmaking, and inspired her to pursue the style of art, so Haiden chose to enroll in a printmaking class at Kendall. Haiden attends the school on Tuesdays and Thursday for the three hour printmaking class in the morning. The art form is new to Haiden, but she quickly found a love for it.

“Printmaking is another way that I can use my abilities to [do art] in another process,” Haiden said. “I really like the process. I think that’s why I love printmaking so much.”

The class consists of mostly juniors and seniors in college, which was a significant adjustment for Haiden and has proven to be a positive.

“[Being with older classmates is] really nice,” Haiden said. “I obviously was really scared about it, and I was really intimidated, but I’m in this class for a reason. I think I was mostly scared by their skill level. We all just work together, and it’s really fun to talk to them and get to know them. I think it really eases my anxiety and worries about going into college [because] I know what it’s like.”

[Being with older classmates] is really nice. I obviously was really scared about it, and I was really intimidated, but I’m in this class for a reason. ”

— Haiden Williams

A class meant for juniors and seniors in college is certainly more difficult than high school classes. Nonetheless, Haiden has been more than able to keep up with her older peers.

“I feel she measures up to the other students in my class,” said Cindi Ford, the professor of Haiden’s printmaking class. “I actually forget she is in high school. Haiden talks to all the students and really is a role model for some of them. Her work is one of the best in my class, so she is respected by all the students.”

As for FHC, Haiden does sometimes feel as if she misses out on some relationships because she spends less time here. Overall though, the college class has proved to be a positive. Her unique schedule has caused Haiden to enjoy her limited time at FHC more.

“Because I’m able to express myself [at Kendall], it helps me to appreciate my classes more,” Haiden said. “It’s really nice to be able to get out of the school sometimes, and not have such a monotonous routine.”

Even Haiden’s friends have noticed the positive effect Kendall has had on her.

“I think the dual enrollment has made her more happy overall this year because she’s able to pursue something she really enjoys doing,” said senior Maddie McLaughlin, a close friend of Haiden. “Plus, she’s told me that the class been a really fun challenge for her because it’s a higher level of art.”

Altogether, the college course has proved to be an amazing experience, providing Haiden with a plethora of new lessons and people in her life.

“[The class] opened my eyes in seeing what it would be like to pursue art as a career,” Haiden said. “It has allowed me to build a great portfolio for applying to colleges. It has stretched my comfort zone, and has given me more confidence going into college. It has given me the opportunity to connect with a variety of people.”