Interview: Visual arts finds its place on campus

By Jamie Washington, Reporter

Visual arts are a form of self-expression defined by Webster dictionary as “the decorative arts.” While the these arts are academically present at Shenandoah in certain courses offered by the Conservatory, such as scenic design and drafting courses, these courses have more of a technical focus than a fine arts focus.

However, this lack of a formal fine arts degree offered by Shenandoah University does not stop students from still visually expressing themselves. One of the numerous students pursuing visual arts in her own creative ways alongside her education is costume design major Sabrina Chang:

What’s your preferred form of visual art?

I really like makeup, photography, and ceramics.

What about it attracts you to it, or makes you like it? What inspires you about it?

It’s very hands on—it’s taking something and making it new, even just documenting something beautiful. With makeup, especially with special effects like I like to do, you’re basically building upon a person to make them tell a story and they can tell a story with just what’s on their face or on their body. It’s incredible! With ceramics, you’re literally using your hands to make something from scratch and turning it into something new. And photography—it’s capturing a piece of the beauty of the world.

What, or who, are a few of your inspirations?

In makeup, I started out with being inspired by people from YouTube, like KlairedeLysArt, goldiestarling, anyone like that, then any kind of special effects makeup or anything that was being used in movies. It just made me want to do it even more. My major photography inspiration is Dion Mills, who goes to school here.

In terms of school, how do you incorporate your medium (as in the principles of it, your passion for it, etc.) into your schoolwork, if at all?

I don’t really use any of it in my major. We do have a stage makeup and an advanced stage makeup class, but it’s literally just the two courses, and even so, you have to wait just to take advanced stage makeup. I have to wait until next year to take advanced stage makeup, and that course has everything that I want to do, and again, it’s only one semester.

Why did you choose to go to school for costume design instead of makeup, photography, or ceramics?

I figured having a degree in costuming would help me get into my makeup school, and also it gives me an opportunity to go onto a movie set and be like, “Hey, I can do costuming, and I can do makeup.” Also so that I can work designing or doing whatever for theatre while I’m in school for makeup.

Take a look at Sabrina’s work:

What do you think?

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