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This past weekend on Friday night I had the pleasure and privilege of witnessing an absolutely amazing Senior Thesis show at Fontbonne’s Art Gallery. Some of my close friends’ work was displayed and even though I had  a sneak peek of their work prior to the show, seeing it opening night was an amazing experience.

And it was jam-packed! What a successful turn-out. The work itself included a wide variety of styles and mediums from painting to photography to graphic design to ceramics and really everything in-between. Each senior is expected to compile a body of work for the show that showcases their skills and really gives viewers insight into what their art is about. It’s really an expression of that artist as a person. Each piece has its own meaning for each artist–be it aesthetic, political, or emotional.

It really got me excited for my senior show next year. Photography teacher Denise gave me some great advice: don’t wait. There are always some complications when it comes to hanging/printing/framing/matting your work. With my Junior Synthesis show I was pretty down to the wire. It helped me realize the sooner I frame my pieces the better–which means that the work needs to be completed (or at least tangible) in order to frame it.

My advice for artists who might be in my position is this–don’t wait on an idea! This semester has really been a time of enlightenment for me. When I have an idea, I write it down or draw it out right away. Now I have a whole collection of ideas and somewhere to start. And, when it comes time to apply for internships + jobs, you’ll be ready with a portfolio full of creative and different ideas.


I love our Fine Arts program. Fontbonne teaches more traditionally than some colleges, which means there is a heavy emphasis on the human figure.  The figure is used in every studio class. Along with understanding human anatomy, there is a strong urge for students to know techniques of old master painters, or at least have an ideal about past painters. Depending on the professor, you might find yourself drawing/painting/sculpting the human figure for 10 weeks of the semester or more.

We do offer classes that stray from the traditional figure, still life and basic technique, too. Bookmaking which is offered every few semesters, is a great substitute drawing class. You learn to produce books, stitch together folios, bind books, etc. You produce about 6-7 books. It is a great class that gives you the opportunity to be creative in a different way.

Any painting/drawing class taught by Tim Liddy will be very open ended and allow for so much out- of-the-box thinking which you may feel, as an undergrad, you don’t get to do in class very often. He is so open to any and every ideal you could think of and he is great at offering suggestions and doing everything he can to help make your ideal happen.

Mario Carlos is a drawing professor who, with more advanced levels of classes, will give you more free reign on certain projects. Victor Wang’s drawing class is another class that does more non-traditional projects but I have never taken this class.

A newly added class that is offered to artists is Woodworking. I was in the first group of students to take the class and you learn basic concepts of woodworking, safety, and how to use common tools. I am in the process of making a splayed leg side table 🙂

Photography, another great class, is definitely one to allow your creativity to flow. Our photography classes use (usually) 35MM  black and white film. Some people use larger format film, which we do have the equipment for. We have a great dark room too. Photo is a lot of work and can be a little expensive, but it is well worth it for the knowledge, experience, and great shots you get.

As a graphic designer, Illustration Techniques definitely keeps you thinking. We did a lot of projects, focused on the ideal being presented, how to present/express your ideals thoroughly and talk about them. It is interesting because you can feel like you are illustrating something so clearly and when you present the project, people might not get it. That is a very valuable experience to have.It was also a ton of work,but well worth it.



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