BYU student artists discuss versatility of art on International Artists Day

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BYU art major Kelsey Shirley’s installation entitled ‘Decorum’ toys with the idea of functional art. (Savannah Hopkinson)

BYU art major Kelsey Shirley never imagined she would soon be graduating from BYU with a bachelor’s degree in art. To Shirley, art was a hobby. It was something she enjoyed, but she was convinced it wasn’t a career path.

Shirley looked into news media and advertising, loving the creativity of both fields. Shirley said she sat in an art class thinking art could only be her minor when a classmate turned to her and asked “why not?” Shirley said after that she switched her major to art and feels passionately about her work.

Shirley is minoring in design and her latest work “Decorum”, which puts design and art together, can be found in the open HFAC gallery.

International Artists Day is celebrating it’s thirteenth year today, Oct. 25, making it a perfect time to visit BYU’s HFAC gallery or MOA to celebrate student and professional contributions. BYU art majors constantly work to bring meaning to their lives, diligently persevering past doubts from others and themselves.

Kelsey Shirley lounges on her installation ‘Decorum’. (Savannah Hopkinson)

BYU art major Sadie Dodson said she feels art lets her approach topics and conversations from a visual perspective, allowing her to interpret and empathize with the world around her.

“It’s so much a part of who I am, and I feel like it’s driven me to understand the world in different ways,” Dodson said. “Art has helped me to broaden my mind and helped me to become a better person.”

BYU illustration major Laura Porter said she feels similarly.

“I love the challenge. There seems to be no end to what you can learn and the sense of accomplishment you feel as you watch yourself grow,” Porter said.

Dodson said she loves art partially because she sees the world in a unique way, and explained artists as a group of people who view the world with infinite possibility.

“The art world that the normal person sees and the art world that an artist lives in are two completely separate things and there needs to be more of a bridge between the two,” Dodson said.

Often art viewers want to see landscape or portrait drawings, but Dodson said there are so many other types of art that can be just as beautiful.

Art majors often get criticized for their lack of job practicality, but Dodson said art majors have numerous job possibilities.

“You can make it happen if you want to make it happen,” Dodson said. “You just have to be brave, and if you want it, then go out and do it.”

Celebrate International Artists Day with BYU art today by visiting the galleries in the HFAC and MOA.