Feature: Overcoming athletic struggles in artistic pursuit

by Katie Davert

Being an athlete, Emily Quinn never considered anything to do with art until her senior year of college, where she had to take an art class.

All students at FPU need two art credits to graduate and Quinn decided to take ceramics as her first art class. “I took ceramics in high school so when I saw it on the list of classes, I thought it would be fun to do again,” said Quinn.

(Photo: Emily Quinn)

Going into the semester, she was nervous because four years had passed since she done anything ceramics related. The college course is designed for students to hand build, throw and glaze their own pieces. After the first few weeks of teaching, the professors are there to only guide the students. It’s the student’s responsibility to put in more effort than is required for a regular course to produce their best work.

As an athlete, Quinn didn’t realize how much time outside of class it would take up. Quinn spent up to four hours a week after class with one of the tutors to work on her skills. “Tutoring hours interfered with my lift schedule so balancing both of those schedules was difficult,” said Quinn.

Most students make their best pieces at tutoring because it is usually one on one learning whereas in class, there are twelve students and one professor. Halfway through the semester, students begin making bowls, moving on from making cylinders. “The first piece I made that I was excited to finish was one of my last bowls. So much work goes into making each piece and if I messed up one step, I messed up the whole piece,” said Quinn.

(Photo: Emily Quinn)

Towards the end of the semester Quinn spent over two hours with one of the tutors in an attempt to perfect her handle making skills. “When I realized I could make a mug and it would look like one you buy in a store, I realized how much I liked this class,” said Quinn. Next semester, she plans to take ceramics II along with Print Making, and Drawing I.

After completing these classes, she’ll graduate with a Visual Arts Minor along with her degree. “I’m glad I decided to take ceramics, even though I was nervous about it. I picked up my art minor at the end of junior year but never thought I’d be able to finish it. If I hadn’t taken ceramics, I would’ve had to drop it,” said Quinn, “I can’t wait to see what I’ll make next semester.”

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