Class of 2006
Major: Visual Arts
Since I graduated in 2006 I have been pursuing my passion as an artist. My first real gallery show was my Senior Thesis, “Amalgamation,” which had a wonderful turnout and response.
After graduation, I hung my work for three shows in Western New York and since then have gained a greater confidence in my abilities.
In the beginning it was mortifying for me to hang my work on public display. Outside of Bonaventure I felt vulnerable to the judgment of others, of something so brimming with personal meaning. I paint to express an emotional landscape or moment, and that felt like a sacred entity that I was exposing, almost as if someone was spying through my window or listening to a private prayer.
The September following graduation I moved to Biloxi, Miss., for three months to help with Katrina relief work. Soon after my arrival I met artist, William Goodman, from Jackson, Mississippi and worked alongside him to create a public mural. Later he commissioned me to assist him with painting a private mural in a Mississippi Delta loft apartment.
That was a major realization that my artistic abilities had an actual value. It was an amazing time and an invaluable experience that helped me on my journey. I returned to Biloxi, and helped in the creation of two more community murals aided by children from local schools.
I moved to Morrisville, Vt., in 2008 to serve as an Americorps VISTA Volunteer at a non-profit organization called River Arts. There I experienced the indirect service side of the arts as I was responsible for creating, scheduling and managing artistic programming for children and adults. I worked side by side with artists, teachers, community members and organizations to culturally enrich the lives of an underserved community.
Through River Arts I met many community members and have had the opportunity to work as an artist’s assistant with area photographers, sculptors, dancers and painters.
I had my first Vermont sale in September 2008, which inspired me to create a Web site showing my work.
Following the creation of my Web site I sold five more paintings, averaging out to be about one sale every couple of months. Sales have been steadily increasing (despite economic insecurities), which brings great joy to see that art still plays an important role in the lives of others.
Since November of 2009 through March 2010 I have been selling one piece a month and have four commissions awaiting completion.
I currently have my work hanging in three shows and am working to expand my venue base. I am improving upon my Web site and broadening my virtual reach through online venues. I recently had business cards made and my life as a professional artist is becoming more and more of a reality. At this time it is not enough to solely live on, but I believe it can only get better.