Michelle Allen of Monticello, Utah, received a bachelor of fine arts degree in illustration from Southern Utah University in December. To earn her degree, Michelle was required to complete the final step of her undergraduate career by featuring artwork in the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) fall showcase in the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA).
The BFA showcase features the work of graduating senior Art and Design students, many of whom spent four or more years perfecting their processes and honing in on their personal styles and skills. Refinement in the program comes from studying under faculty who push students to succeed and stretch their limits. This final showcase gives SUU student artists the opportunity to exhibit their artwork in a museum before moving into their professional careers.
Showcasing a portion of her most recent artwork, Michelle’s exhibit was comprised of pieces ranging in mediums of paper sculpture to ink and watercolor. She said she enjoys working with traditional mediums because it helps her feel more connected to her artwork.
“I like creating characters in my artwork to help tell stories,” said Michelle. “I chose these pieces for my BFA show because they best express my style.”
To get to this point, Michelle had to work closely with her professors to test her abilities and step up to the next level. She has been given opportunities to enter her work into contests and meet professional illustrators.
For Michelle, it was very rewarding to see her artwork hanging in the museum; but she knew it would not have been possible anywhere else. She said that without the smaller class sizes, she would not have been able to have one-on-one interactions with her professors. “At SUU, the professors really do care about you and the art program is fantastic.”
“Having professors who care about me, my artwork, has been amazing,” said Michelle. “My professors have helped me feel like I can do anything I put my mind to. I wouldn’t be who I am without them.”
The next step in Michelle’s career is working to achieve her dreams of either illustrating a children’s book or becoming a character designer for Pixar. No matter the dream, the quality of education and personalized attention at SUU has prepared Michelle for the world that awaits.
Learn more about the College of Performing and Visual Arts.