Grad discovers unexpected muse in opportunities

Special to Western News

Jill Smith, BFA’17
Age:
22
Faculty: Fine Arts
Specialization: Bachelor of Fine Arts, Honors Specialization in Studio Arts

Jill Smith came to Western believing she was a painter and photographer. But as she graduates this spring with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, she leaves grateful for her program’s focus on contemporary and interdisciplinary art, as it has shaped the artist she is today.

“Because of the structure of the studio arts program at Western, I had the opportunity to try new things and I learned I don’t have to be defined by a medium,” Smith explained. “I have the freedom to play and experiment with different media. I may have begun the program as a painter and photographer, but overtime I’ve gravitated towards other media like printmaking and sculpture.”

Smith, who is the recipient of this year’s Tony and Betsy Little Gold Medal in Visual Arts, has exhibited her work across Ontario, including in the Artlab Gallery, Forest City Gallery, The Arts Project, Open Studio, and Earl Selkirk Gallery at ARTiculations. She will be exhibiting work in Montreal this July.

“The Visual Arts program may be small, but it fosters an amazing sense of community between fellow students, professors and mentors,” she said. “I can’t imagine studying art anywhere else.”

Western hosts its 309th Convocation June 9-21. Click here to watch every ceremony live.