Students express feelings towards pursuing art as major

By Marah Morrison
Contributing Writer/Spectator

What motivates students to major in art? Does it take them out of reality and let them escape into the pictures they paint or perhaps draw?

Should you really believe what a lot of people say when they state, “Oh you’ll never get a job in art,” or “Art is such a waste of time?”

We talked to Edinboro University students on what motivates them in the artistic world and what they’ve taken away from the university programs.

“Art is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me,” Shannon Murray, an art major here, said.

Murray grew up liking art as a child, coloring pictures in books and later drawing those pictures in those books. Murray is considering going into ceramics and jewelry making because she finds that more enjoyable than illustration, which can be somewhat difficult for her.

“I think it’s the background I already had in art, particularly metal smithing, just growing up with it in my family, so that’s probably why I decided to pursue it,” Garett Allen, another art major, said. “I hope to either become a professional studio artist or even teach at a college level.”

Having your motives and knowing what you want is very important in becoming an art major.

Most of the students who were asked seemed to have something involving art in their background, or they grew up with art and it’s their dream to pursue what they want to do with it. 

“[I was] always making things when I was growing up,” said Abria Denato, a metal major, when asked about her motivation. “I want to work in a museum someday and work on conserving metal artifacts,” she said.

So already knowing what motivates art majors to major in what they love, maybe the costly factor of it is something to consider.

A large section of art dominates the Edinboro bookstore in the university center.

Not only are art majors paying for their tuition and other important things, they must have some expenses towards the specific tools that they may need, whether they’re in metals, sculpting or painting.

“The materials can be pretty expensive. Usually, it ends up coming out as a wash whether you sell the piece or any of that stuff, but it does cost quite a bit of money,” Allen stated.

“I’m a metals major so [it] definitely is costly. I haven’t had too much trouble with it, it’s just being smart about how you’re spending your money and that knowing maybe I can’t do this project, it’s over, I’m going to have to work in copper this time. Definitely costly,” Denato also said.

“Follow your heart, find the spot where you fit in and don’t worry too much about what’s going to happen after because you’re going to find your spot and it’s all going to be okay in the end. Don’t let after school change your mind about what you love,” Denato said.

“Do what you think is right. If art is right for you, then pursue it. It’s not necessarily going to be the most money-bearing thing in the world, but you know, it could be. There are artists who make a lot of money if money’s what you’re after,” said Allen.

“I’ve been exposed to art from the time I was little. My mom is an artist, so it was always something that I was into,” Bethany Butler, an art major, said.

“Have confidence in your ability, because if you do not think that you can do it, there is no way you’re going to survive the criticism,” she said.

Having confidence, being smart about how you spend your money and also pursing what you love doing looks to be very important when it comes to being an Edinboro art student.

But they’re striving toward a very important feeling, as well.

“It can be a really rewarding thing to create things that never existed,” Allen said.

Marah Morrison is a contributing writer for the Spectator. She can be reached by