Makenna Connors: Art as self-expression

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Photo courtesy of Makenna Connors

Given free reign, freshman art history major Makenna Connors was tasked with a cut-out project that consisted of sketching out a design on a white sheet of paper and then transferring it to a black sheet of paper and tracing the intricate design out with an Exacto knife for her 2-Dimensional Design class.

For Connors, the design she chose, a tree, was so intricate that it took about three weeks to complete.

Drawing inspiration from her relationship with her father, Connors said that the tree represents the Celtic tree of life. Since her last name is of Irish origin, her father was always interested in his family’s rich traditions and Celtic history.

The celestial scene on the top of the tree represents one of her favorite childhood activities that she continues with her dad to this day — stargazing.

“As a first-semester art student, this was a cool opportunity to express yourself. Whereas a lot of the other things we’re doing are learning concepts … this was a good opportunity to practice fine motor skills and choose our own design,” Connors said.

Within the class, there was a wide variety of designs from waterscapes and silhouettes to landscapes and abstract work like Connors’. This characteristic of the class is one of her favorite parts about being an art history major.

Since there are so many different types of art, there is room for everyone, and Connors encourages anyone who is interested to take art classes like 2-Dimensional Design or Basic Drawing to fulfill the fine art requirement.

Connors said: “There are so many different types of artists in the classes with different goals. We are all very artistic in our own ways and you can see so many types of self-expression.”

As someone who grew up being encouraged to be creative, she became her own type of artist. Just as she blended her two loves of art and history into her college experience, Connors hopes to one day do the same in her career.

While Connors is not set on one path at the moment, she shared that she is open to teaching or working within an art gallery or museum, as well as entertaining the idea of doing some crime-solving for the FBI on art theft cases.

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