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Earlier this summer, an amazing opportunity came my way. I was asked to help produce a fashion show by the director of the fashion merchandising department at Fontbonne, Mrs. Angie Liljequist. She knows that I want to pursue a career in event planning, so this would be a great way for me to gain more experience. I am so glad that Angie approached me about this. I have helped plan and run many events on campus, but this was my first public one, therefore a way to gain more exposure in the St. Louis area.

Janet Riehl is an artist who creates a lot of work that features women in clothing that celebrates African culture. She wanted a casual fashion show to correlate with her work, and have it run at the opening of her month-long exhibit at the Portfolio Gallery on Delmar Boulevard (the exhibit being titled Women and Wardrobe). This opening would also serve as a fundraiser for the gallery. I met with Janet earlier in the summer to discuss her vision and so that I could see her artwork. I also met with Robert Powell, the creative director of the Portfolio Gallery, in order to see the space I had to work with. The gallery is really neat place, which is a vintage three-story house. After these initial meetings, I proceeded with my work.

Angie let me borrow some clothes that the fashion merchandising department has on hand for the costume history class. They were all garments worn traditionally in African culture by men and women. I gathered additional clothes, shoes, and accessories to style these looks in a more modern way. I recruited four models to wear these looks. I had connections with each of these girls after they modeled for the fashion show this past spring that my fashion promotions class produced. In addition, I reached out to a local fashion designer, Amelia LaSalle. I thought her designs complemented Janet’s work well too. Amelia’s collection was displayed on mannequins (also borrowed from the fashion merchandising department, and somehow all fit inside my small car).

Janet wanted it to be a casual and free-spirited event. So, there was not a formal runway show. The models were each stationed in a different room, and were there to mingle with guests and give them information about the traditional use of the garment they were wearing. I am excited to say that the evening was extremely successful! So many people showed up and had a great time. I received many compliments and recognition. It was all a bit surreal. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and appreciative of all the help from Angie, Janet, Robert, Amelia, and the four models. Great connections were made that I hope to continue building on in the near future. It is thrilling for me to plan an event and see it come to life. More and more I have solidified the fact that event planning is my passion and what I want to do in life.

Myself with the models: Brittany, Alyssa, Latoya, and Quinisha Myself with the models: Brittany, Alyssa, Latoya, and Quinisha


Which Fontbonne course has made the biggest impact on me so far in my college career? Well, I must say that I’ve had many fantastic courses since my freshman year, but I’m going to have to choose my Art History course. I completed both Art History 1 and 2 my freshman year, and somewhat regret it, but only because I will no longer be taking that class again. I firmly believe that the professor has everything to do with the way you learn, and the one I had for Art History was nothing short of that expectation.

The professor I had was named Kevin Wilson, and anyone who has had him knows that he is truly one-of-a-kind. Not only does his sarcasm reign supreme over the course of the hour and a half, but his dry sense of humor really connected with me. He made the class interesting, and quite frankly, made me seriously consider having Art History as a minor. Because I’m already an art student, and took art history in high school, this class only verified the fact that I truly do love learning about how art has evolved through the ages.

Whether you are an art student, or a non-art student, I highly recommend you take this class, even if it’s just for the heck of it. I guarantee you will have humorous stories to tell, and more than likely learn more in one semester than you would in a year.


Alumni Posts

I’m Free!

by Alumni Posts on November 19, 2012

in Academics,College Life

2 paintings, 2 handmade wooden frames and 3 posters. 52.5 hours of in-class time and at least the same amount, if not more, working outside of class, so over one hundred hours spent on the show. It sounds easy making art 24/7, fun even, but it was so demanding of your time/energy/skill/brain. I literally would go to class and paint, go to my next class and paint, go back to my room and paint, paint at night, paint in the morning, paint on Saturday, paint on Sunday. For hours. My desk, dresser, floor. All covered with paint pallets. My room was never clean. I literally lived my work. Now, my work is submitted, and I am free.

As a graduating BFA student, you have to partake in the Senior Thesis Show in order to graduate. It is my first gallery showing and I am sure it is many other students first “show” as well. To be honest, it was simply exhausting… but so exciting. The whole point of the show is to produce work that is reflective of all you have learned as an art student and focus yourself in a direction with your work. Each participating graduate produces 5-8 pieces, outside of class, that all come from your own thoughts and imagination. I feel accomplished.

Now, there are fewer pallets in my room, it is actually clean, and I rediscovered my desk. It feels empty. I have spent the last few days literally doing nothing. Things I didn’t have time to do before. And I am ok with that. I am still working on projects but they seem less pressing because the deadline is a little further away and I am more in control of the situation.

The opening is Monday, November 19th at 6 PM. Family and friends are coming. Strangers are coming. I am excited to celebrate, really take it all in and share the moment. There will be food, drinks and art. All for free. It can’t really get any better than that. I hope to see you there!!


Alumni Posts

Hi All!!

by Alumni Posts on September 11, 2012

in Academics,College Life

Hi all! I am new to the Fontbonne University blogging community so an introduction is only appropriate.

My name is Kelia, pronounced “Kayla.” A lot of people, teachers included, know me as “Kayla,” but freak out when they see my name on paper. So don’t worry if when you read my name on paper you wonder who the heck that person is. It happens to the best of them. Once you get over the weird spelling, I think it means we are friends.

First thing first, I am a senior! This is my last semester of college. Last. Semester. How insane is that?! Unbelievable. Three point five years have never gone so fast in my life. If there were a mantra that should be scribed all over every notebook/agenda/wall of incoming freshman, it’s this: Life goes too fast. Appreciate it, have fun, worry less, smile more. Just because you are a college student does not mean you should adopt the stress level of Obama. This is something I wish I would have tuned in on. Have fun while you can and study when you should.

I am majoring in Fine Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design. I love art. Every type. I love to create. I will probably be writing a lot about this. Expect to see musings about my art classes, which are: Painting with Tim Liddy, Life Size Painting with Victor Wang, Senior Project with Tim Liddy, Digital Imaging with Denise Shilling, and Wood Working with Mark Douglas. If you have no idea who these professors are, go find them and introduce yourself. It’s not everyday you get to hang around actual, real life, thriving Artists. The Art Professors of Fontbonne University are incredibly talented and profoundly caring. They create art, and they sell art. Some of the works are in New York, Europe and Hong Kong. They are kind of a big deal. Shake their hands, ask them questions, be their friend.

The other class: Kitchen Survival: Cook Well, Eat Well, Live Well (the special topics course.) Because of the awesome dedicated semester topic of Foodology, this cooking class was offered and I could not resist. I love food, I love to cook and bake and I love to be healthy. Best class ever. I will most definitely be writing about the creations from this class.

I am from Kentucky. I was born in Ohio as a 3 month early premi. I live in Northern Kentucky when I am not in ST. Louis attending school. My family lives about 7 minutes from Cincinnati Ohio, where I plan on landing a job. Expect to read about me missing my family, friends and my amazing boyfriend of 3 years and 7 months. Hey, long distance relationships suck, so every month counts.

Exercise: I love it! I love to run and have run competitively since 7th grade. I have been playing soccer since the age of 4. In high school I ran cross country and played varsity soccer at the same time all four years. I love the dedication and physical demands you ask of your body as an athlete. I found Fontbonne because I was recruited by a past cross country coach and fell in love with the school, the program and the area. I ran Cross Country and Track for 2 solid years, switched to soccer last year, and this year I am doin’ my own thing. I like to lift weights, I like to run, I like to sweat.

I am really excited to share my experiences as a last semester college Senior with everyone! Thanks for reading,



Grinding paint like the masters.

by Alumni Posts April 30, 2012

I have been taking Victor Wang’s Oil Painting Techniques class this semester. In the class we go through the painting methods of three master painters;  Jan Van Eyck, Titian, and Peter Paul Rubens. These three painters exemplify the three central methods of traditional oil painting. Since I have been learning about traditional painting methods, I have […]

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Visiting Artists

by Alumni Posts April 19, 2012

Every few months the art department invites a visiting artist to come and do a critique with the graduate students. Most of them are professors from nearby schools, but sometimes they are more prominent painters. For the last two days we have been spending time with Jerome Witkin. He is a phenomenal painter with works […]

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Change is Good

by Conner April 16, 2012

Well, this is it. There’s just four weeks left of my first year of college! I can hardly believe it. This past week was quite a busy one, with final projects being introduced and other class related things to do. SHESA (Student Human Environmental Sciences Association) is sponsoring Denim Day in a couple of weeks, […]

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A week in St. Louis.

by Alumni Posts March 12, 2012

This has been a great week! The weather is finally starting to look like Spring, so my wife and I started off the week by going to the zoo. We visited all of our favorite animals, like the new baby lion who was chomping on a big bone. Kenzi, the baby elephant was adorable as […]

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Friday at the St. Louis Art Museum

by Alumni Posts February 27, 2012

One of the greatest things about St. Louis, in my opinion, is the St. Louis Art Museum (SLAM). The museum is free to the public and hosts a great collection of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, and sculptures. I go there quite a bit since it is located in Forest Park which is right by Fontbonne! […]

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Why Art?

by Lizzie February 16, 2012

Would you like to know my major? Well, tell me what you think! I am a Fine Arts Major, and I’m also planning on doing Education as well. I’ve been drawing ever since I was about 5 or 6 years old. Boring, right? Not quite. As the years came by, I began to open myself […]

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.