Arts alumni are an accomplished crew. They have great advice for students and fellow graduates, and know that arts degrees teach skills that are sought-after in the professional environment.
Angela Morgan graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art from the Department of Art in 2000. She is an artist who works out of Fernie, British Columbia but shows her work across Canada, Europe and the UK.
The art department, although it may be small by some standards, it afforded space to spread out and dive right in and experiment with all mediums.
If you could give one piece of advice to an undergraduate completing the same degree that you did, what would it be?
Take full advantage of the professors' knowledge, the support technician's expertise, working amongst like-minded peers, and keep an eye on the graduate students and how they practiced. I always found the faculty and support staff were knowledgeable and accessible.
Originally when I graduated with my BFA in 2000 I was accepted to Graduate School at UCalgary for the following year to take my MFA in Painting. I felt that only holding a Bachelors would not be sufficient for what I wanted to accomplish. As life would have it only two months into the program I discovered I was pregnant with twins, and decided to withdraw and defer my Masters. In the meantime, I set up a studio in the garage of my home and got to work painting and preparing for motherhood. I never did return to complete my MFA, as I discovered I was doing exactly what I had always dreamed of - having a successful art career. My art career has steadily expanded over the past 17 years, and I still feel I've just barely scratched the surface on all I'd like to do.
I work full time as a professional artist and employ two exceptional people in my studio to support my art practice. I focus fully on the creation of art, and leave all the practical details to these competent people. I am a believer in do what you love to do, and to let others do what they do well. I exhibit full time at my galleries and produce 5 - 7 solo shows a year, in addition to participating in half a dozen group shows.
I feel the professors at the university, during my time there, were integral to my success. Encouragement, words of advice, and an unwavering passion for art all inspired me. In particular, the support for studio practice at the university level was very important.