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Art & Design

Rachel Lynn MccoyRachel McCoy '24

Why did you decide to study your major?  

I always knew that if I was going to go to college, it would be for something I love and am passionate about, and that is art. I decided to double major in the 3D track and leadership in the arts because I found a love for sculpture while going for my AFA, and I figured studying leadership in the arts would be good to major in to help me fulfill my dream of working in a gallery or museum.  

What are some of your favorite classes so far?

I am a transfer student, so I haven't done many classes that have gone toward my major, but I have really enjoyed the Adobe Suite class I took. It taught me so many things that I had been wanting to learn, and I have already put those tools to use in other classes and home projects. I also have enjoyed my Community Arts class. It challenged me in ways that were way outside my comfort zone, but in the end it really helped me practice group work in ways I had never done before. 

Tell us about a unique experience or project you've worked on for your major. 

A unique project was designing murals to paint for an organization in downtown Spokane. It taught me the process of designing and redesigning according to likes of organizations you would potentially do work for. 

What advice would you give to someone thinking about majoring in 3D art and leadership in the arts?  

My advice to give to others about the 3D track and leadership in the arts majors is to expect to be pushed way outside your comfort zone. Don't be afraid of being pushed or critiqued, and never be afraid to speak your mind when it comes to the decisions behind your projects. In the end it will help you grow as an artist and a person. 

What's your dream job?

My dream job is to open my own gallery and give the opportunity to other beginning artists to show and sell their work. 

Who has been an important connection for you at Whitworth, and why?  

My transfer advisor really helped me navigate Whitworth when it comes to figuring out classes, financial aid, credits, etc. I'm a person who needs all the information to navigate and be successful in a new environment, and he helped me figure all of that out so I wouldn't end up a very confused and frustrated ball of mush. I really appreciated the time and effort he put into helping me. 

Why did you choose to attend Whitworth? 

I chose to attend Whitworth not only because of the campus, but because of the student-to-teacher ratio. Getting to go to a university where you can actually build a relationship with your professors, where they can learn and remember you name, is a great feeling. You don't feel like just a number on a piece of paper. 

Abby SandersAbby Sanders '25

Majors: Art and Graphic Design

Why did you decide to study art?  

I've always adored art and could never get enough of it growing up. When I learned that I could do art as a career, I was all in! Studying it in college seemed like the best path from there.
What class has been your favorite so far?  

My favorite class has been 2-D Design taught by Rob Fifield. The class goes over color and composition and how this impacts how we see art and the world around us. There's a particular lecture he gets very excited to teach every semester, and it is definitely worth the excitement if you are a big nerd for color theory.

Tell us about a unique experience you've had or project you've worked on for your major.  

In my 3-D Design course, one of our projects was to create a replica of our favorite shoe using only cardboard and hot glue. I now have a cardboard Doc Marten sitting on my shelf. I must say it's a great conversation starter!

What advice would you give to someone thinking about majoring in art?  

Take advantage of the resources the school provides. The professors in the art department are open to sharing advice if you ask. On assignments, it is encouraged to try things and make mistakes. Don't do the bare minimum, but experiment and have fun!

What's your dream job?  

I hope to find a graphic design position or internship after college. However, my dream job is to eventually work freelance by selling my artwork and/or illustrating books.  

Who are three people who have made a difference for you at Whitworth?

  1. The drawing and painting professor, Gordon Wilson, who is now retired, impacted me greatly in my artmaking. In the kindest way, he pushed me to keep going when I was frustrated and challenged me when I was overconfident. I left his classes feeling both encouraged and humbled.     
  2. I took Foundations of Christian Leadership my first semester, which was taught by Kent McDonald. He was one of the first people I met here and who welcomed me to the Christian community on campus. Kent is very wise but also the kind of person that will randomly fist-bump you in the hallway.
  3. Lily Reavis and I met in our freshman seminar class for art majors, and we've been close friends ever since! It's great to have someone like-minded to go through the highs and lows of life with and, of course, share a bunch of silly jokes with.

How would you describe Whitworth?

I really couldn't describe Whitworth any better than the school's own motto, "an education of mind and heart." Almost every class I have taken has that message somehow structured into the curriculum, and I've come to value that more and more as I've attended school here. It has given me the chance to integrate and challenge my worldview in all areas of my education, which I think is pretty unique.

Maya Markillie '22

Why did you decide to study art & design?

I have always enjoyed making art but came to Whitworth undeclared. After taking Glass 1 my freshman year at Whitworth, I realized that this was the medium that worked best for me and that I wanted to continue glass work in the future, which led me to the 3D art major.

What are some of your favorite classes so far?

So far, my favorite art class is Glass because it introduced me to the medium which I have come to love. Surprisingly for me Adobe Creative Suite has been another favorite of mine although I had originally assumed that I would have no interest in digital art. It was actually quite engaging and helpful!

Tell us about a unique experience or project you've worked on for your major.

Glass artist Nathan Sandberg visited my Glass 1 class and showed us how to create glass cane with kilns that could be cut into murrine. After visiting Venice where murrine is prominently displayed in much of the glass work and understanding how to do it myself, I had the opportunity to work on my own murrine pieces my sophomore and junior year.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about majoring in art & design?

If you're not sure, it never hurts to take a couple of art classes. You may find your new favorite material or reignite an interest that will help you figure out what you want to do. The Whitworth Art Department is pretty awesome and they love to meet with and talk to potential art majors, so I would suggest having a conversation with any of them also!

What's your dream job?   

Because I am also double majoring in environmental studies, I am very interested in making art that brings to light important issues of human degradation and sparking conversation about how our actions affect the world we are a part of. My dream job would probably be to make a living off of my art that spreads awareness of our current environmental issues. I would love to be self-employed!

Who has been an important connection for you at Whitworth, and why?  

Professor Katie Creyts has really helped me to understand that becoming an art major was a real option for me. She saw that I really enjoyed her glass class and encouraged me to seriously consider a path in art and is now my advisor and mentor!

How would you describe Whitworth?

I would describe Whitworth as a university where you can make tight connections with like-minded people, be given the opportunity to voice your opinion, and learn from a curriculum designed to help you grow into a more rounded individual. I truly love and appreciate Whitworth and all of the connections, friendships and relationships that I have made there!

Learn more about Whitworth's Art & Design, B.A. program