It was a very different time when I graduated in 1965, and it's hard to imagine what you are going through now, but I want to encourage you to keep on creating. Creating has uplifted me in so many ways and given me the inspiration to keep going. I remember times when I'd come home from my 9 to 5 job exhausted and would pick up my brush and get a whole new life. So don't let the current situation get you down. Pick up that brush or chisel or brayer or whatever you use and get renewed. We'll all get through this together and art will contribute to that in a big way.
Congratulations to all of you for getting this far. Keep on keeping on and stay safe.
My painting is called "Six Feet."
Congratulations on your having achieved the status of graduate. I know from my own experience way back in 1960 that it was an arduous goal. At that time, the "inmates" of Givens were struggling to complete their thesis projects including multiple "all-nighters" but miraculously most everyone managed to put together the necessary documentation to finish. At the time, the technology was T-squares, triangles, pen and ink, handmade models, as opposed to the highly computerized processes you currently use. Now, you can be confident that you have received the most advanced tools to enable you to enter professional practice that Washington University and your seasoned professorial staff have enabled. Best wishes for you and your potential contribution to the field of architecture.
Brooklyn, New York
Artists have a "Sense of Invention," and today, need as well a philosophy of "Expecting the Unexpected!" As a 1965 WashU graduate with a BFA in painting, I recommend remaining open to new technology and adapting to re-education to develop new skills. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to study U4ia, a CAD program originally developed for aeronautical texture mapping (and also, in conjunction, Photoshop) in order to utilize these skills towards a career in textile print design! As an offshoot idea, I stacked up in CAD programs my ink drawings of wild plants from the Hawthorne Conservation Area to create, in gouache watercolor, a new approach towards paintings, which to my surprise, were juried into exhibitions at The State Capital in Pennsylvania, The Watercolor Honor Society in Springfield, The Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, and Salmagundi, in New York City.
Best of luck to Washington University graduates!
St. Louis, Missouri
Dear Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts Class of 2020,
This totally strange and unsettling situation you find yourselves in makes this graduation time very unique—and not in a good way. It is sad. It is so disappointing. It is a time you will never forget! None of us will! This uneasy situation will pass, and things will eventually get back to normal. You will tell your children and grandchildren about it and how you survived the Pandemic of 2020! You will tell them how you had to miss your graduation—completely—and how you were unable to display your art and have receptions for family members and friends to come admire your work. However, you did it! You've completed your education—for now, anyway. You have a right to be proud of your accomplishments in spite of the lack of ritual "pomp, and circumstance!" Be relieved. Be safe, be well!
Wishing you all the best now and for the future,
Carol Diaz-Granados, Ph.D. - BFA 1964, Cert. in Journalism 1966, MA 1980
Los Angeles, California
My love of the arts—all of the arts: painting, cinema, photography, poetry, drama, etc.—has sustained me all of my life. The wonderful education I received at the Art Institute of Chicago Junior School (1958–1965) and at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Fine Arts (1965–1969) truly has resonated in me throughout the years.
Dorothy Tanning says it well: "Art has always been the raft onto which we climb to save our sanity. I don't see a different purpose for it now."
Please go out into our wounded world and create art that will heal. That is what we need now more than ever. Art of all kinds holds that promise and capability. I believe it. And I believe in you.
With Love and Good Wishes,
Kristin Glover, BFA 1969
P.S.: The image I share with you was taken while in residence at the Paris WU studio in '08. It was taken on film with a 1947 WideLux camera given to me by one of my mentors and dear friends, Haskell Wexler. I call the photo "Le Chef Takes a Break."
South Bend, Indiana
Dear Class of 2020,
Just like college I have put off writing this until crunch time when I'd "cram" for exams, projects due, etc. Washington University gave me a solid foundation in art, one that served me well. I taught art for 29 years in the public schools. During those years I exhibited professionally both in group and one-person shows. I was the state chairperson for the Women's Caucus for Art and volunteer exhibits chair for a gallery. Wow, sorry to go on, but my art training has served me well, and I trust will carry you throughout your career. Just this year, I was a featured artist in For the Love of Art Fair in South Bend, Indiana at age 78.
I wish you all well and encourage you to keep making art.
Natalie Klein, Class of ’64
All artists are dreamers, and more often than not, those dreams have a foundation somewhere. For me, the foundation of my dreams was at Washington University's School of Fine Art. In all probability, my dreams for the most part were no different from those of my classmates. My dreams centered on achieving recognition as an artist, with art gallery representation in New York City. On a second track, the dream was to become a professor of art, teaching painting and sculpture in a university art department or art school.
The art gallery never materialized, but teaching as a Professor of Art at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Virginia did.
Often our dreams are sidetracked by an opportunity that can become the success we long for. In 1972, the opportunity for me came creating the first nonprofit art gallery in the state of Virginia. With the financial help of local business men, the Second Street Gallery, a civic minded project, became a huge success and is in operation today.