Ashleigh Green graduated with a BFA in Visual Arts. She was drawn to UBCO’s FCCS due to the encouragement of one of her high school teachers in Kelowna. Her experience on the Kelowna campus was both creatively diverse and productive within the local community:
“In the final year of my undergrad I was very fortunate to work as a visual artist/research assistant for Nancy Holmes’ Dig Your Neighbourhood Rutland community project . I got to collaborate with a class of writers to create and publish a range of printed books and other creative materials. It was unlike any visual arts course offered in the Fine Arts department; it provided such an insight into the publishing world, and had this wonderful collaboration between different types of creative work. I also worked on campus for Aboriginal Programs & Services, creating a variety of promotional materials for the Aboriginal centre, in media ranging from print to video. These two positions enriched my education with professional skills I would not have learned from only taking classes.”
Ashleigh was also a participant in UBC Okanagan’s Go Global program, which enables students to study abroad. “I took advantage of UBC’s Go Global program to study Illustration at the Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland. I fondly reflect on my time there as the most memorable, influential, and formative year of my degree. Being exposed to new outlooks on art, different approaches to creative work, and an entirely new environment changed the way I viewed my own work and challenged me to find my voice. I highly encourage everyone to make the most of their degree by spending a year (or at least a semester or summer) abroad. It’s a wonderfully unique opportunity to travel and obtain a broader education while paying the same UBC tuition.”
Ashleigh synthesized these various experiences and applied them to work after she graduated, taking part in residencies
around the world. “After a presentation Professor Renay Egami gave one morning, I knew that taking part in residencies would be the best way to continue making art after university, to meet other artists, work in engaging environments, and travel – all at the same time. Equipped with the knowledge of various types of residencies and how to apply for them from Renay’s talk, I have since been accepted to and attended residencies at SVA in NYC and HEIMA in Iceland.”
In closing, Ashleigh added: “I would highlight the small studio and classroom sizes as a great way to engage with professors and to get to know the majority of your classmates in a personal way. I would recommend any prospective BFA students at UBCO to take advantage of the 24/7 access to facilities to experiment, explore personal projects, and collaborate with whomever is willing. There is so much available to you here.”
This story was written by Brandon Taylor, English major in FCCS. Brandon is a Research Assistant in FCCS, contacting alumni to find out about their experiences here at UBCO.