My project mentor for this fellowship is Lenore Thomas. We met in my first studio arts course that I took at Pitt, Drawing 1, which was a really pivotal point for me. My mentor encouraged a really great classroom environment where all of the students in my class felt so comfortable with each other and it was so helpful for my creative process. They also encouraged me to pursue an art major (I settled for a minor) because she really liked what I brought to the classroom environment and saw potential in me. This encouragement was so valuable to me and led me to being able to really open up in my final project which in turn led me pursue this fellowship a couple years later.
My mentor does a variety of creative work, some of which can be found at https://lenorethomas.com/section/191293.html
I really love the themes of vulnerability throughout a lot of her work and that’s what I personally connect with the most. For my project we have often discussed how they approach vulnerable topics in their work and how I can apply that to my project.
This mentorship has been incredibly helpful to me, especially since my mentor has made a career out of her art. I have already been able to learn so much about the creative process and I look forward to learning more about displaying work, exhibitions, etc. from someone who has had such a successful and impactful career.
Professionally, I want to make sure that I keep creating throughout my life. I want to reach the point where I am able to cultivate and curate an exhibition with people who have similar work themes as mine (small towns, vulnerability, addiction, etc.). To make this happen I really need to expand the artists that I know and have personal relationships with. To do this I can join organizations in the community for artists, attend exhibitions and gallery events and more.
Academically, I would love to connect with someone who has completed a JD/PhD program since that’s an avenue that I’m really heavily considering for my future and I personally don’t know anyone who has pursued this path.
If I could collaborate on a creative project with anyone I would love to just work with other students in the studio arts department on something. Or, I’d love to collaborate with a social justice organization on campus to create some art together. Also, since some of the themes in my work involve family, I think it would be awesome to collaborate with my siblings on a project. They all love art as well so I think it could turn out really cool!