Reagan Wigboldy – Fall 2017 Honorable Mention

Meet Reagan Wigboldy, a a junior at Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais, Illinois who is majoring in Art. We would like to congratulate Ms. Wigboldy on being selected as one of the three recipients of our Fall 2017 Honorable Mention Commendations for a Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation Scholarship. You can read Reagan Wigboldy’s artist statement below:

There is an intricate web that reaches its tangled arms across the world, formed and thickened each time a soul opens up to another. Our longing for relationship characterizes humanity. The art I create, regardless of media, is an exploration of the pain, trust, and love that comes alongside these connections. As expression surges through my fingers, I watch the joy of a new friendship scrawled onto a page, the pain of those lost twisted into rusted wire, and the confusing longing for God carved into the pages of a book.

I was pulled in countless directions when working to narrow down a major, but a single passion glistened through each of my interests: story. I am drawn to character development, whether it be developing backstory through writing, expressing relationships through drawing, or creating life through special effects makeup. Animation and 3D modeling enable me to pour into the depth and detail of a character, thus enhancing the quality and intricacy of a plot. I love taking a character’s story and creating an illustration, specifically drawn from who they are and who they’re becoming. I will not come up short. As I continue to learn, I constantly remind myself: why squander an art education on simply following rubrics when the assignments can be used as an opportunity to express one’s soul and create something never done before?

The allure to story naturally kindles my affection toward adventure games; however, I have a love for strategy as well. I thrive in the field of mathematics and enjoy solving calculus problems for their puzzle-like aspects. Though I want to focus on art, the left side of my brain needs to be constantly challenged as well, for me to complete my best work. This strengthens my adaption of and endurance with coding. Finally, working in the field will allow me to make a difference in the fight against hyper-sexualization of females rampant in the game industry. It allows me to grasp purpose in aiding the equality and diversity of video game character representation.

I am a decahedron surrounded by cubes. This used to be my strong opener: an attention grabber that lead into my thesis and pulled together my final point at the end. I would talk about my journey from a timid, lonely middle-schooler to beginning to really discover myself and my inability to fit into a box in high school. Though the friends I found in high school inspired me to grow as a person, they weren’t responsible for my change, something extremely important that I initially missed. Life shifted and friends changed; I was left without direction, or even definition. Gradually, I realized that growing isn’t finding the group that I strive to be like, but discovering the bonds that I can make through each relationship that I form and the pieces of my life that they highlight. As I make more and more connections from each point in my life, I’m not adding more sides to myself, but finding myself in a tangled journey through dimension. I am not a cube, but neither am I a decahedron. The growing mess that is my life has passed by polygons and polyhedrons, and endlessly grows in complexity and beauty.

Checking it Out, 2016 ©Reagan Wigboldy

Genesis, 2017 ©Reagan Wigboldy