WSU Student Travels Country Taking Arts to Parks
OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University art education major Amanda Joy spent the summer traveling the country teaching printmaking and laying the groundwork for future art endeavors, particularly in state and national parks.
Joy was awarded the $2,600 John A. and Telitha E. Lindquist Scholarship for Creative/Artistic Endeavors. She used the money to hold an afternoon printmaking workshop for 50 people in the Hiouchi Information Center of the Redwood National Park near Crescent City, California. She also purchased a printing press and a button-making machine to use at the workshop and as a future teacher.
“People were able to come in and ink some of the material that I had carved representing the Redwoods and Crescent City, California,” Joy said. “They would choose which one they wanted, and then I would help them through the process of putting ink on the design and pressing it onto the paper. They could also make their own buttons to take home as well.”
Joy said her favorite part of the project was participants’ excitement when they lifted the paper and saw how the prints turned out. In addition to the workshop, Joy traveled to 27 states in 37 days to set up opportunities for future workshops in parks. She wants to unite art, nature and community. Joy had planned to conduct additional workshops this summer, but the government shutdown disrupted communication and park scheduling.
The Lindquist Scholarship is intended to help highly motivated students from the Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities pursue creative and artistic efforts that will enrich their educations and careers. Students must demonstrate talent in the arts or humanities, be in good academic standing and be nominated by a faculty member.
Joy was twice awarded the Lindquist Scholarship. Art professor and director of printmaking Kathleen “K” Stevenson nominated Joy this year. Stevenson has mentored Joy and helped her expand her printmaking skills.
“As I like to say, art is emotional brain surgery,” Stevenson said. “It gets you in a very different place, but it sneaks up on you from behind because you have such a good time doing it. It is creative, but it also plays such an important role in how we understand ourselves and the world these days.”
For this year’s scholarship project, Joy and Stevenson agreed Joy should gain experience with community outreach.
“I have always been a big proponent of using the arts as a way to engage with people and give back to the community,” Stevenson said. “Because of Amanda’s interest in printmaking and education, it seemed natural for her to get involved connecting with the community and discovering ways of taking the arts and expanding them beyond just those who study it.”
Joy arrived at Weber State after 11 years away from school. Her husband’s health forced them to return to Ogden from Arizona where he had been pursuing a degree in physical therapy. Joy knew she needed an education that would not only help provide for her family as a teacher but also would inspire her own children to pursue an education.
“My goal is to become a better person, to raise my kids to be better people and to hopefully help my students use art as a vehicle to share their voice and their story when they might not be able to verbally do so,” she said.
Joy said the scholarship and the mentorship have provided her opportunities to grow as an artist, a student and as a future art educator.
Last year, Joy used the scholarship to attend the Connecting Collections program in New York City, which teaches art educators how to use museums and different activities to engage students in the arts. She also attended a workshop on color woodcuts and different styles of stencil techniques in Lincoln, Nebraska, with world-renowned printmaker Karen Kunc.
“The opportunities have helped me to expand my knowledge, expand my practice and further develop my teaching philosophy,” Joy said. “I have been able to figure out the kind of educator I want to be. It has also provided supplies that I can use in my future classroom, which offers long-term benefits for my future students as well.”
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