The title of this blog really is the biggest lesson I’ve ended up learning here at Fontbonne this semester. Not that I didn’t know or believe in following my dreams before, that’s one of the reasons I’m here in the first place, but I guess you could say that the lesson has been solidified. One of the best things about all my classmates in the art building is that they have a lot of the same dreams and goals as I do, and it’s an inspiration to say the least. We all want to create art and share it with the world in one way or another. We share our ideas and help each other work through challenges. It’s so easy to get caught up in the social ideas of having to work yourself to death for a big house, luxury car, and mountains of debt from buying things. I’ve met more people being happy with making a modest living doing what they love and appreciating what they have. The secret to that has been that they’re following their dreams and going after what they’re passionate about. Life is short, we only get one shot at it, so do what you love and make some amazing memories along the way.
This semester is wrapping up and it’s hard to believe that it’s already done when it feels like the start wasn’t that long ago. I feel like this semester has presented so many valuable lessons that I’ll be able to carry with me into the summer and beyond. I learned that one of my biggest passions is ceramics. I love working with clay to create something beautiful. Best of all, there is so much support and encouragement from teachers and fellow students to do what you’re passionate about that it can help drive you forward in your goals.
Like many students, I will have to work a lot during the summer, bills are a never ending reality, but after this semester I’ve gotten a renewed confidence in the art that I create and a resolve to continue creating ceramics over the summer. A local pottery shop, Krueger Potter Supply, has studio space and classes available all summer. That, coupled with a generous opportunity to sell my art at a gift shop in St. Charles, and my summer feels complete!
I could not have stepped out and taken these opportunities if it wasn’t for the support and encouragement from my teachers and classmates here at Fontbonne. I feel grateful and beyond blessed. So I would just like to say that if you have a passion for something in your life then go for it! This life is so short and we only get one shot at it. Do what you love and always go with your gut, it’ll help steer you down the right path. Cheers!
When I began my first semester here at Fontbonne this spring I knew that I was going to learn a lot. With three studio art classes and one modern art history class, how could I not? The thing that surprised me the most was how much I’ve learned in my modern art history class. In general I don’t care for most modern art. I know that art is generally subjective, and everyone likes different things, but I admit I wasn’t looking forward to being visually assaulted by elongated figures, arbitrary color, and abstractions.
The surprising thing was the information behind the art that my professor supplied to us. Historically, art has been influenced by society, technology, politics, religion, etc. Modern art is no exception to these influences. I learned that social upheaval, the Industrial Revolution, and both world wars had a huge impact on the art being produced at the turn of the century. Logically, this all made sense to me, but to see the visual progression of this process was something else entirely. The artists of this time period were literally trying to change the world around them through their art; they had a message they wanted to impart to the general public and they did so fearlessly. Their spirit and passion is something to be admired. Learning each artists’ story and seeing the resulting work has been a fascinating journey and I’m very grateful to my professor for each lesson.
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