BFA ’15, MAT ’17
Being an artist is a mindset. It’s not really about what you make. It’s a way of seeing the world differently and a way of thinking.
Thinking like an artist is something Allyson has been doing for as long as she can remember. As a high school student, she took classes after school and on weekends at Temple University, Moore College of Art and Design, and at UArts. “I knew right away when I was in the Pre-College program at UArts: This is my school!” Through the five-year BFA/MAT program, Allyson has been able to develop her own artistic practice, concentrating in sculpture, and pursue a graduate degree in K-12 education.
It's been an incredibly full and busy five years for Allyson. She has served as an orientation leader and a resident assistant, and participated in professional activities—she and Rande Fleishman Blank, assistant professor and Art Education program director, made a joint presentation at this year’s annual conference of the National Association of Arts Educators where Allyson is president of the University’s student chapter. She has also served as head art teacher at Mount Laurel School’s Summer Camp, and attended the prestigious Haystack Mountain School of Crafts Collaborative. Two of Allyson’s pieces were recently selected for inclusion in the annual Philadelphia Flower Show; two others were chosen for a gallery show at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in conjunction with a Philadelphia Orchestra concert; and some of her sculptures and a drawing were twice selected for inclusion in UArts’ annual Art Unleashed exhibition and sale. “It was an amazing feeling when I saw those red ‘sold’ dots by my name,” Allyson says.
“One of the best parts of the UArts experience is the opportunity to get out there in the world as an artist. Whatever your major is, your professors help you make connections and find opportunities. They expect you to take yourself seriously as an artist,” she says. Allyson has expectations for her own students, too. She wants them to have the confidence to make something original and authentic, to believe in themselves, and to feel positively about thinking like artists. “That is what’s most important,” she says. “Thinking differently is how we create change.”