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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA students let their art speak for itself with help from College of Fine Arts


    With all the emails from academic advisers about cap and gown orders and grandparents prodding you for the date so they can buy their plane tickets, you may be left wondering if switching your major would be easier than switching into the real world at this point.

    As UA seniors begin their last semester and start taking the final steps toward graduation, emotions are running high over future plans and aspirations.

    Some students immerse themselves in the job market, while others rely on internship interviews and graduate school applications. For UA fine arts majors, it’s all about letting the artwork speak for itself and hoping for the best.

    “I’ve applied to exhibitions and I’ve applied to galleries … You apply and you hope you’ll get accepted, but 99 percent of the time you don’t,” said Nicole Isbell, a senior in the UA College of Fine Arts.

    Isbell said she has always been diligent when it comes to her academics. Juggling being a model student with promoting her art has proved to be a challenge, and uncertainty is setting in as graduation draws near.

    “Everyone in the art world is always anxious from one day to the next, and I’m no exception,” Isbell said. “Some days I wake up and I’m like, ‘This is going to be the best life ever and I am set and I am totally going to have a great time and be successful and rise to stardom,’ and then other days I’m like, ‘I will never make it out of this room and my walls will be the only thing adorned with my work.’”

    If you’ve ever set foot inside the Student Recreation Center, you’ve probably seen the work of Jeff Lowry, an illustration major here at the UA.

    Lowry finished a series of enormous murals in the Rec Center in summer 2011, going into his junior year, after spending more than a year on them. While the project gave him incredible experience and recognition, he sometimes still feels uncertain.

    “Most of the reservations come from myself,” he said. “I have those moments where I’m just like, ‘Am I really going in the right direction with my art?’”

    Lowry has had his work published, and he often draws the chalkboard illustra0tions inside the U-Mart.

    After graduation, Lowry hopes to work toward a master’s in fine arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

    “I knew it was what I wanted to do, but the whole process is just stressful,” Lowry said. “Especially since I only applied to one school, because it was the only school with the program I liked. So I had to kind of put all my eggs in one basket.”

    According to the School of Arts’ website, it is one of the top-ranked art schools in the nation.
    The college works to open doors for those who pursuing a career in the fine arts. The resources provided by the school allow students to grow within their field, which promotes discipline and an overall sense of accomplishment. Every student has a vast number of options to explore within their chosen field.

    “I guess you could say I have an interest in graffiti, so I was always starting to draw little characters,” Lowry said. “I had a background in design and have always loved drawing.”
    Lowry said that he loves to work in all sorts of mediums, but has a strong dedication to his chosen major.

    “I love illustration because I feel I have more of a personal voice versus design, whic h gets hidden behind whatever the client needs, and illustration you’re hired more for your own visual language and ideas,” he said.

    As graduation looms and butterflies begin to swirl in the stomachs of seniors, students in the College of Fine Arts look back on their experiences at the UA with fondness.

    “I wouldn’t know half of what I do now if I didn’t come here. The program here is great. I’ve loved the past four years,” Isbell said. “I wouldn’t change a second.”

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