Art is only a three-letter word, but as they say, “big things come in small packages.”
It means so much to me and to an ever-growing network of people that I have had the pleasure of meeting in my two years here at University of Maine at Farmington. For my whole life, the arts have been an essential part of who I am and I know they will continue to be as important to me in the future. I have had the privilege of fostering my love for so many different areas of the arts here at this beautiful little school. Costume Design, Photography, Journalism, even Administration – these are all both old and new-found loves for me.
I am an Art Administration student and it couldn’t be a better fit for me. My favorite part about the major is that it’s new. Everyday I can see how it’s shifting and evolving and I get to be a part of that change. In just two, short years I will be tackling the ever-changing world of art. My passion for creativity paired with my business background will help me achieve success. My brain is colorful and creative as well as black and white and logical; these are qualities that help me thrive as an art administration student.
I wasn’t too involved in the artistic community during my first semester here, a regret of mine, but I have definitely made up for it in my past few semesters. My first dip in the artsy waters here was working one on one with Beth Dorr, a costume designer, as a part of Jayne Decker’s Space Lab and Performance class. There, I helped alter and pull costumes for the performance of “Keely and Du.” Working in costume design through the Space Lab class as well as the Costume Design class I am enrolled in this semester has given me some incredible opportunities. Together with my class, I made the costumes for the performance of “The Tempest” directed by Jayne Decker. Now, I am currently designing costumes for a one act I am directing myself, called “Write Me a Love Scene.” Working with this incredible mentor through these experiences has taught me to deeply respect and love the craft. These opportunities I’ve taken advantage of will help me for my upcoming summer job as the costume designer at a children’s summer theatre camp in Smithfield, Maine.
I have also opened my eyes to photography recently. It is a hands on and technical form of art in which I can express myself, but there is still some left-brained science to it. I enjoy photography because it allows me to capture the beautiful things of our world, which others may not take the time to see. My first “look through the lense,” as you might say, was last May when I accompanied Ralph Granger on his yearly trip to England and Spain for a photography class. I was blown away by the beauty of the world and it’s different people, places and cultures. I was humbled by the experience of travel; learning how the technicalities of photography can create beautiful pictures was just icing on the cake.
Journalism is yet another new artistic interest of mine. For the past two semesters I have worked as the Webmaster for the Farmington Flyer. There, I have gotten to work with new technologies and marketing techniques, which is excellent experience for my future in art administration. This semester I have also worked as the editor of the new arts journal, “Knack”, as part of Steve Pane’s Project 2 class. With “Knack”, the class and I write articles pertaining to everything going on in the arts in and around Farmington. Our goal is to show our appreciation for all types of arts, explore our individual fields, and educate those around us about arts events in the area. Working with “Knack” has been a phenomenal opportunity and I am excited about all of the things I’m learning through its production. As editor I’ve had to manage lots of ideas and people, bringing every creative mind together to make one really great thing.
It’s interesting that I found Art Administration as an actual major at UMF, because ever since I was a little girl arts leadership has been a passion of mine. When I was little I would always take on that leadership role, helping the teacher hang up our class paintings in an aesthetic way or dressing up my sister and her friends and having them put on a little play. When I got a little older and entered high school, I organized a monthly acoustic music event at a local arts center. I gathered young musicians, marketed the events, did the catering myself, and even sold tickets at the door. These acoustic nights are some of my best memories of high school and knowing that I made it all happen makes it that much sweeter. Last summer, that arts center hired me as the in-house Arts Administrator. I was in charge of marketing art classes via radio and internet, handling payments and accounting work, as well as planning evening events. Working there really gave me the confidence I needed to let me know I’m right where I belong in the arts world.
All of these experiences I have had thus far, and those I will have in my future at UMF, have helped me grow as a person and as an artist. Everything – art forms I’ve learned in classes and hobbies I do on my own – are things I can turn around and share with my community of artists. I believe that is the essence of art administration and what I hope to do with my degree. I hope to add to the beauty of the world by helping creative souls achieve a common goal.