Art is powerful. It evokes emotion that can transform, inspire, move, and even heal us through a deep connection to our shared human condition. When students are free to explore and produce the visual arts, they develop important skills for career-readiness, including critical thinking, flexibility, nimbleness, and resourcefulness. Perhaps even more difficult to cultivate, students who graduate with a degree from the Department of Art and Art History at Colorado State University emerge more empathetic, curious, and creative. They are driven to create work that makes a tangible, positive impact on others.
These lessons are now being used to make a real impact on the next generation of art students thanks to the vision and passion of alumnus, Shaesby Scott (’97, Art), and his wife, Catherine (’98, History), who generously established two new funds at CSU that promote access to the arts.
The Scotts created the Richard Devore Pottery Scholarship Endowment in honor of beloved CSU art professor, Richard Devore. Their scholarship support will help an exceptional junior or senior in one of the studio arts concentrations (fibers, metalsmithing, sculpture, pottery, and photography) complete their body of work for their capstone course. The capstone includes on- and off-campus exhibitions, an artist’s statement, resume, and professional statement, which prepares them for success during their job search post-graduation and enables them to produce work unhindered by the burden of finding funding for that last year.
“This semester, in particular, there has been a lot of stress around figuring out how I will pay my tuition bill to be able to attend my final semester,” shares 2016 Richard Devore Pottery Scholarship recipient, Catherine Costisick. “In the midst of scrambling and trying to make a plan, I received an email saying I had been awarded a scholarship in the name of Richard Devore, someone I hold a deep connection with. This really meant more to me than can be conveyed in words. A small amount of my burden had been lifted and more importantly it was reassurance that I would find a way.”
In addition, the Scotts established the Scott Artist Series, which aims to encourage the exchange of ideas among artists from multiple disciplines, varied places and backgrounds. Inspirational speakers and artists are invited to the CSU campus to share creative and innovative ideas aimed at broadening the horizons of art students. The national and international exposure of these diverse art influencers is critical to learning more about the craft and the long-term impact that a piece of art has on a society.
The inaugural Scott Artist Lecture Series launched spring 2017 with artist and New Mexico State University professor, Motoko Furuhashi. The event included an artist-directed workshop, a brown bag lunch discussion for graduate and post-baccalaureate students, and a public artist talk and electronic art gallery opening.
“Shaesby sees the value of being taught in different ways,” says Suzanne Faris, chair of the department. “The visiting artist will help our students connect with a broader way of thinking. To see that there’s not just one path for an artist.”
Shaesby Scott, himself, did not have one path. He began in sculpture, working with metal in the form of furniture, but soon found his interests turning to metalsmithing and creating smaller, more intimate forms. After an opportunity in Rio de Janeiro, Scott discovered his true passion: jewelry. Since 2001, Shaesby Designs has been handcrafting jewelry for clients around the world.
The Scotts are a phenomenal example of College of Liberal Arts alumni who have taken their passion for art to better the lives of others to make the award-winning Department of Art and Art History more accessible to generations of students to come.
Inspired by the Scotts’ vision and generosity? Make your impact on art at Colorado State University with a gift of any size here: https://advancing.colostate.edu/1288
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