Collyn Aubrey

Collyn Aubrey, Bachelor of Fine Arts, stands within piece at exhibition titled In the Waiting Line

Major: Fine Arts – Interdisciplinary Arts

Class of: 2017

I did not consider art a career choice until I won a cover contest my senior year of high school and was invited to give a speech at the Art Education Partnership in Denver, CO. I shook the governors hand in front of a large crowd of teachers and directors. It was then that I realized the power of visual communication.

“My passion is to bring art to everybody, particularly through arts education and gallery exhibitions.”

I have always been interested in a range of art mediums and felt constricted by formal school practice. When I transferred here from the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts, I found the most supportive teachers who pushed me to explore beyond the boundaries of traditional training and believe in myself as an interdisciplinary artist. Through that process I have gained a better understanding of the conceptual language of visual art.

BFA Exhibition: “In The Waiting Line”

The pieces in this show are anchored in subjective experiences but speak to greater social issues today. I create anatomical structures from ceramic material in mixed-media installations. My work lives in the present, and instigates conversations that push the viewer to question social constructs, for example gender fluidity. I question the nature of politics and the ‘role’ of a woman and artist in today’s society.

The Fine Arts students here all come together as one community, in one building. There are very active student-run art clubs at the college and I got involved in all them. Through Clay Club, I was able to participate in the NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) and CCACA (California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Arts) conferences, which gave me a new window into the professional art world and showed me opportunities to move my career forward. Being president of the Art Club my senior year has given me confidence and leadership skills, as well as helping me make amazing connections with both students and teachers. I had the most fun coordinating the Annual Juried Student Show and the Art Prom event at the end of the school year.

Best of all, I interned with Sarah Lillegard, the Gallery Coordinator. Together we worked through a full year of mounting exhibitions in SNC’s four gallery spaces: bringing visiting artists, public relations, creating advertising, and installing and de-installing the art. This has been a life changing opportunity to get practical experience doing something I love and want to pursue in the future.

At SNC I found a community of students and teachers who truly inspired my growth. I would never want to experience undergraduate education in any other way. My next step will be an MFA program. I hope to continue learning for the rest of my life.

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Sheri Leigh O'Connor
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