The Seattle University Fine Arts Department is not that bad.
Now, I can’t speak for all of the creative majors. But in the past four years that I have been here at Seattle University, the opportunities for student visual artists have grown immensely. With the development of the Artist- in-Residence program, the installation of Amanda Manitach as curator of the Hedreen Gallery, (not to belittle the wonders that Jessica Powers and Whitney Ford-Terry did in that space) and the increase of student shows on campus, we are getting there. It is not a perfect program, but it is getting better year by year.
While it would be great to have student work on campus like Admin or Casey to replace the replicas of ancient artifacts. Sometimes we take some art on campus for granted—not everyone gets to eat lunch next to a Chuck Close painting or read and study next to a wall full of Matisse prints.
It’s hard out there for an artist. You not only have to try to sell your work now—you have to sell yourself. The fine arts department does a good job of opening doors and having opportunities to meet working and established Seattle artists. Just like Albers has their Career Nights, fine arts has the same thing at any event at the Hedreen or opening on campus.
Nothing in life is going to be handed to you on a silver platter, and I don’t think it is the role of Seattle U to hold your hand through the door they just opened. We are literally feet away from all things arts in Seattle. Cross the street any direction on a second Thursday and you are halfway there. I don’t know if there is a way to teach gumption in a classroom or ambition for the arts, but you must have moxie if you want to make it as an artist.