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Syracuse University Alumna Explains How She Found Artistic Passion

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Shannon Ferguson - Syracuse University

Shannon Ferguson - Syracuse University

Shannon Ferguson

Syracuse University, College of Visual and Performing Arts

I first discovered my passion for art in middle school when I learned how to draw from life, but I always loved to draw and paint growing up. My favorite part of creating my work is being able to share my own narrative and experiences through art that may be different from others. I can do this through a variety of media, including printmaking, painting, book arts, interactive art, and sound art. The hardest part of creating for me is figuring out the best way to convey the message I want to communicate—like what medium to use or how to display my work.

I picked the studio arts program at Syracuse University because it allowed me to explore in a variety of media as well as be involved in different student groups on campus like dance organizations and being a founding member of the printmaking club Command Print. This involvement has helped me learn important leadership skills for the future. I am also a member of the Renée Crown University Honors Program at Syracuse, and through Honors I have participated in civic engagement as well as taken academic courses that have challenged me and influenced my art-making practices. I have also had the opportunity to study abroad in Florence, Italy, during my junior year, and I took courses in painting, printmaking, and art history in my semester there.

Syracuse University has helped me make a lot of great connections with alumni and professionals that will help me after graduation through visiting artists, gallery openings, participation in conferences, and artist talks. I am also a SOURCE (Syracuse Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Engagement) Grant recipient, and through this financial and academic support I am able to create a thesis and body of work that I am extremely proud of and excited to share.

In 10 years, I hope to see myself continuing my interdisciplinary artistic practice, as well as receiving an M.F.A. in studio arts. I do plan on taking a break between my undergraduate and master’s degrees, and I would like to travel and learn about art-making practices around the world. I would also like to teach on the college level after receiving my M.F.A.