West's Art Alumni Day as Fulfulling for Alumni as Students

West's Art Alumni Day as Fulfulling for Alumni as Students
Posted on 01/17/2018
This is the image for the news article titled West's Art Alumni Day as Fulfulling for Alumni as Studentsstudents looking at alumni artA career in art can mean anything from fashion design, illustration and architecture to animation, graphic design and automotive design. That’s what aspiring artists at Lakota West learned at this year’s 15th annual Art Alumni Day, where more than 20 alumni returned to share their post-graduation experiences and lessons.

“Our students get to actually see what the next step might be for them in college and even beyond,” said Visual Arts teacher Stephanie Gauer. “Doing it this way opens up their eyes in a way that a lecture format couldn’t have nearly the same impact. It really brings all the possibilities of their future in art to life.”  

Colorful portfolios filled with paintings, drawings, ceramics and textiles, some complete and some still in progress, filled West’s community room the last day before winter break. The open house format gave students free reign to visit the tables that best matched their interests.

“I want go study graphic design with a minor in drawing or painting,” said Lakota West senior Zoey Oxley. “I definitely met a lot people who showed me that’s possible as a West student and what my life might look like if I take that next step.”

“It was really inspiring to see what paths people choose and what they’re doing,” added Lakota West senior Ceci Farrara, who got to see several examples of what a first year major in illustration looks like.

As for the growing list of visiting alumni, it’s an easy decision to return and carry on the tradition of Art Alumni Day

“When I attended as a student, I was so inspired to learn that there is a career in the arts for me and that I wasn’t limited to a science or English field, like I thought before I landed in AP art,” said Class of 2016 graduate Hanann Marawi, now studying fashion design with a minor in animation at the University of Cincinnati. “I think it’s really important to come back and show students that you can have a career in the arts and still be happy, still make money and still do what you love.”

Class of 2005 graduate Zachary Whitaker returned to share his job in automotive design with Tata Motors in London.

“This is my livelihood and my passion, so I think it’s important for everyone to see what you can do outside of the normal core classes,” Whitaker said. “Every company now needs design and art and to be able to market themselves and students should see how they can fit into that.”