Congratulations on receiving an Fine Art Honorable Mention/ Spring 2023 and best wishes ongoing to:
Rachel Christiansen a Junior at the University of West Georgia, working towards a BFA in Painting.
“At the start of college, I had intended to go for art education. I thought I could work as an art teacher while also writing and illustrating children’s books. I then shifted my focus to be entirely on illustration. Consequently, I chose to pursue a BFA in painting for that purpose due to the school not having an illustration degree.
At school, I also enjoy getting to take part in student exhibit shows and have been encouraged by the results and people’s feedback to keep pursuing a career in art. One thing that I love about painting, or any art form, is its ability to convey what words sometimes can’t. Paintings can portray sound, movement, and memory all at once. I created a series of watercolor paintings last spring based on memories from when I toured with a ballet company. I liked the challenge of working to connect different aspects of the experiences into cohesive flowing artworks. Physical artwork is also such a sweet thing that I can give to people to enjoy. I like producing work unique to the individual or group who will receive it.
Last school year, I began work on a children’s book that I had had an idea for. My goal in doing the project was to get practical experience in writing and illustrating children’s books to be better equipped after graduation. The title of the book is The Adventures of Penelope Cluck and I have since self-published it. It is about a chicken using her imagination to travel to far off places. My goal is to make it into a series in which Penelope will use her imagination to travel to other countries and learn about the different cultures and traditions of those places. I want to encourage children to get outside and use their creativity and imaginations. In a day filled with entertainment on screens, children do not have to exercise their imaginations like they used to in order to entertain themselves. I think this is a great loss as I remember my own childhood filled with outdoor adventures and learning how to create things with my own hands.”