Life as an Art Student: Haley Funk

My morning consists of a routine drive to the campus Starbucks to order my usual, iced coffee with a hit of caramel and cream. Shortly after, I arrive at Heuser Art Center, the Fine Arts building at Bradley University. This building has housed over half of my Fine Arts classes and consists of studio majors such as painting, ceramics, drawing, print making, sculpture, and photography. I’ve known many of my fellow colleagues for almost four years and it’s been phenomenal being surrounded by individuals who are like-minded artists creating and developing their place in the world as professionals.

The hallways usually greet me with my colleague’s artwork hanging throughout the corridors, creating an inviting and prideful environment to house our work. After all, it wouldn’t be an art building with blank walls.

First thing in the morning I have painting, which is actually my favorite time of day to work. I tend to be the most productive during the morning hours. The class sizes are usually pretty small, I would say an average of 5-6 students per class so this allows the learning environment to be very intimate and personal, which in return, allows us all to feed off of each other’s creativity. My personal studio space is in the corner of the painting studio where I house all of my paintings. My favorite thing about this area is the sunlight that pours in through the windows on sunny days. It’s the best.

We are responsible for building our own stretcher frames, stretching our own canvas, as well as prepping it for oil paint. It is definitely a labor of love. We work primarily with oil paints, and are encouraged to explore at the 300/400 level in order to develop and solidify our artistic voice. I am particularly interested in abstract oil paintings right now, drawing reference from contemporary artists such as Becky Yazdan, Emily Filler, Andrea Wedell, Kate Carr, and so many more. Research is a crucial aspect of our learning process, so before we even begin painting, we generally do preliminary research and sketches.

Walking to my afternoon History of Photography class consists of colorful stairs and the distinct color transparencies made by Hattie Lee leading up to the third floor.

My last class of the day is my Book Arts class taught by Robert Rowe. Right now we are working on a ‘clam shell’ box for our sewn binding books we completed earlier. It’s as cool as it sounds. We are learning a lost art in book making and Professor Rowe takes full advantage of giving demos during our studio time.

Then, if I’m lucky, sometimes my day as an art student ends with some of my favorite fellow artists at Project 1612. Here is a picture of us getting the garage/ gallery space prepped and ready for the upcoming 2019 exhibition year. I’ve learned so many professional and personal developmental skills during my internship there. It’s important to be activily participating in exhibitions and seeing the curation process first hand. In fact, I think this step is crucial in the process of being an art student.

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Haley Funk is an artist and student working in Peoria, IL. She is attending Bradley University where she is earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting, as well as her Bachelor of Science in Psychology. More of her work can be found on here