Academy of Art of Highland Park

“Look What I Found”

We artists are gearheads, thrilled by cool and useful gadgets. So come enjoy our studio Director’s regular column, “Look What I Found!”

Enjoy Ana’s bits about her adventures near and far while looking for cool tools, instruments, furnishings, and other materials that pertain to the artist’s deep practice in studio and field.

This column is shared weekly with our email list subscribers! Join here. Or find her on Instagram, @aahp_online.

Thomas C. Valenti 

receives his prestigious advanced degree


As Director and Chief Instructor of the AAHP, it was my honor and greatest thrill to attend online the advanced degree graduation ceremony of our very own, Tommy.


Tommy has served not only as a grad of our children’s studio; not only as grad of our honors college portfolio program for teens; not only as our staff member extraordinaire; not only as a grad with high honors at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISDI), but is now also a graduate of the Instituto Europeo di Design (IED) Barcelona. The IED, now celebrating its 20th anniversary, is a renowned training ground for critical thought and action in advanced design.


The IED admits select, young creatives from all over the world to join, as Tommy did so successfully, a rigorous, intensive program. The entire school is dedicated to the creative problem-solving that drives research and work methods in innovative and sustainable design. The institute also prepares young designers to enter the world of viable entrepreneurship, so as to best serve the many social functions of the artist and designer.

Tommy is the latest AAHP grad to receive an advanced degree beyond college, and who do so not just in the arts, design and architecture, but in other fields of study. As for Tommy, he received his Master’s degree in Fashion Technology and Wearables at the IED on Thursday, 12.12.22 before a live and online audience.

Besides receiving his diploma, Tommy also stood as one of two students–among all members of the class of 2022—to receive the honor of serving as student speaker at the graduation ceremony. Tommy was tasked with the challenge of contextualizing the program for one and all, and from a student’s point of view. Though an avid student of español, Tommy was welcomed to speak at the podium in English. 

As one of the IED academic leaders noted during the graduation ceremony, creative thinkers who pursue change are often seen as fools. Yet among creative thinkers and doers, the apparent mad fool is that individual who steps into the unknown with great courage, and a great gathering of skills, only to change the world for the better, and for every one of us. Tommy is just that sort of world-maker, and he makes us ineffably proud and blessed.

—A.E. Soto-Canino, Director and Chief Instructor, Academy of Art of Highland Park

We’re excited!
Welcome to the Studio Year 2022-2023!
All student programming kicks back into gear on 
Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022
We warmly welcome all returning and new student practitioners to a new season of learning, growing, and creating things anew. 

“Art is long and Time is fleeting…” 

Famously true words from A Psalm of Life, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

Truly deep studio practice does promise to make the individual smarter, kinder, more perceptive, emotionally stronger, and a more resourceful, creative problem-solver overall. And that’s true for anyone in any walk of life, and across all career tracks and what jobs one may ever hold. Roll up ‘em sleeves. Let’s do this!
Introducing the

Da Vinci’s Toolbox
Online Program
for Children
Big Blue Sky
Online Program for

Tweens and Teens
Fine Art Classes
Studio Program
for Adults
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