Student Spotlight: Danielle Owensby
We interviewed Danielle Owensby, English and Studio Art major, who had her piece “Home Sweet Home” in ArtPrize 2014. An incredible feat to be chosen while still in school, Owensby was humble and grateful, and had a lot to say about her experiences at MSU.
- When did you realize you wanted to become an artist?
Coming into college, I didn’t know. It was a hobby. After my first semester, I expressed to mom that I missed making art. She suggested take a couple art classes, and my love for it grew. I decided I wanted to do that for the rest of my life.
2. How did MSU (CAL) help you blossom into the professional you are today?
The professors make the biggest difference. We arne’t known for our studio art department but the professors really found in each individual what each were good at. That extra push to keep producing better work is what made the difference.
3.Why do you think there is a Brain Drain in Michigan today?
We’re trying to be an artists place, but we are still so young in that scene. Education is a big part because Michigan doesn’t have a large variety of art programs.
4. How do you think Grand Rapids, and Michigan as a whole, benefit from ArtPrize?
Grand Rapids financially–revenue just from that event alone. Having something about art that attracts more than just the fine art crowd. Middle class, working class, and the blue- collar workers don’t take time to go to museums because it is not important. ArtPrize being such a public event, it becomes inviting to other people. It opens up world of art to more people.
5. Why do you think it is important to have a creative economy?
Without creativity we really wouldn’t have much of anyting: television, books, film, etc. STEM people need to understand that creative paths teach how to communicate, creative problem solving; with creative fields, it makes you think outside the box. Skills are important for everyone, not just artists or anything.
6. What piece do you currently have in ArtPrize?
Home sweet home is a 8 picture photographic series of the house she grew up in. took myself as an adult and inserted myself in memories I had in the house and reflected on them with each photograph. a month to make, 2-8 hours each piece. Favorite photo within series. Sitting on the bed with the sawhorses favorite
7. What has your experience been at ArtPrize thus far?
Very overwhelming, I had randomly decided to apply–why not? I didn’t really comprehend how big of a deal it was until I was signing contracts, setting up interviews and finally came to drop off work. I saw GRAM and the gallery and it hit me then. It was huge. It was the center of ArtPrize and opening event– I was nervous. Noticed that a lot of the people, were professors, professional artists, etc. Looking at GRAM website made me nervous, like asking mysefl what am I doing there? The fact I was there really said something. It was humbling to be surrounded by wonderful artists and definitely boosted my self-esteem. It made me want to be art professor.
8. What are your personal professional goals?
Graduate school, continue education MFA in photography. I am passionate about photography and want to tell people about it and teach them. I plan on teaching in a college level, thought I might commerially or professionally give it a shot.
9. What is your mantra?
Danielle’s work can be found here