WENTWORTH – Regan Kunst grew up in the Reidsville area, and Lauren “Lars” Clifton in Eden. Little did they know as they approached high school that their lives would collide, they would become fast friends, and follow the same pathway into their futures.
After graduating from Rockingham County High School, they both enrolled in Rockingham Community College to pursue their associate in fine art degrees.
In their second year at RCC, the best friends are taking Art 214 this semester – Portfolio and Resume – with Philip Haralam, assistant professor of Fine Arts.
The dozen or so students in that class are learning to write resumes, cultivating interview skills, preparing a portfolio of original artwork, and assembling a photographic portfolio. By the time the semester is over, they will know how to mount original art, and photograph and display a professional slide portfolio.
“It’s definitely a really valuable class for Fine Arts majors,” said Kunst.
Student Art Show
One of the big projects that students undertake in Art 214 is to curate the annual student art show. This year’s event was set up in the Activity Room of the Whitcomb Student Center, and ran Dec. 1-3. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there was no official ceremony, although some family members visited the evening of Dec. 1.
On opening day, Kunst and Clifton manned the tables at the entrance of the show during a lunchtime shift.
Putting on an art show is no easy feat.
“So much goes into it … like when your setting it up, you have to make sure pieces look good next to each other, and are not too crowded” Clifton said.
“And you need to be organized so you don’t have to scramble to figure out which tags go with which pieces,” Kunst add. “It was hard corralling all the students who are not curating and getting their information and all their work.”
But the end result – the show itself – was well presented and full of incredible works of art.
Throughout the room, drawings and paintings hung on folding panels and walls, and ceramic and pottery pieces were displayed across numerous tables draped in black tablecloths. TVs showed slideshows of digital art and photography. A third slideshow of photos of students working on their art both at home and in the studios at RCC’s Center for Creative Arts was also put together for viewing on a large screen on one end of the room.
There were some special exhibitions in the gallery. One area showcased “Depictions of the Historical Village: Painting in Nature,” featuring log cabins done by students in Art 244, RCC’s Watercolor class.
A nearby wall included a special display of works from faculty member Kirsten Sadler’s class.
“My drawing students had the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with UNCG students in an exhibition for UNCG's Art Truck, which is a mobile art gallery. Students were asked to respond to the pandemic/life and create a piece reflecting it,” Sadler said. “Unfortunately, the exhibition couldn't be displayed in the art truck because of the rising COVID-19 cases.”
The exhibit was turned into a virtual gallery, which can be seen at https://www.greensboroprojectspace.com/art-truck-projects.
Clifton and Kunst both had pieces in RCC’s Student Art Show.
They both do a lot of digital artwork for cartooning, and Clifton has done some watercolor cartoons – but finds the need to “ink” the outlines.
“I’m really into storytelling, cartooning and animating. I’d really want to get a career in that, and make my own series,” Kunst said. “At RCC, you learn about illustrating and how to make are and what it means.”
While she is unsure of her plans after her RCC graduation Kunst said her “ideal” is to attend SVA – the School of Visual Arts in New York.
“There are not very many schools with Cartoons as a major,” she said, “but SVA is really well-known in that aspect.”
But her best friend at the other table has already been accepted to SVA.
“I’ve been wanting to make a cartoon since the fifth grade, through high school and now I’m taking art classes here,” Clifton said. “It’s good to get all the basic art classes out of the way and transfer all of the classes (to SVA), and then take classes that are specific to the major.”
Gerri Hunt is Director of Public Information & Grants for Rockingham Community College.