Photo Essay: Artists at TU

The creative process is messy but also, captivating, and in the end, artists have a masterpiece to place their signatures. But what does the process of becoming an artist look like? TU art students flip the camera around for an intimate photo essay on their art inspiration, favorite assignments and their choice to attend TU School of Art, Design and Art History.

Caroline Karsten

“Art is something uniquely human that could never be replaced with automation because of the emotion that is put into every work of art. A person could never feel more deeply human than when they produce art because of how imperfect art is, just like how people are imperfect. To understand art is to understand human nature and how every flaw only makes a person or a work of art more perfect in how unique and alive they are.” – Caroline Karsten, art sophomore

Monte Dunham

“One assignment I really enjoyed getting to do was a series of large-scale charcoal drawings. The pieces had to have a reoccurring theme that was selected by the student. My charcoals all dealt with nature and the natural pathways that can be found. For the works, I spent multiple days alone in the rural countryside of Oklahoma. This experience allowed me to deal with a subject matter that is of great interest to me and further developed my artistic abilities.” – Monte Dunham, fine arts junior

Piper Prolago

“Studying art connects people and forces us to consider our shared humanity. Art allows us a glimpse into the lives of people across the world and throughout history. It bridges divisive issues that have spanned thousands of years and hundreds of thousands of miles.” Piper Prolago, art history junior

Chay Schmidt

“Professors at TU’s School of Art, Design and Art History are interested in your success and actively participate in helping you get real work experience. There are endless opportunities to get involved and practice your talents. Whether it’s working as a photography teaching assistant, helping as a gallery assistant in school’s the Alexandre Hogue Gallery, interning with local creative firms in Tulsa or working directly with clients at TU’s student-run design agency, Third Floor Design, TU’s art program will make sure you are marketable for the real world, whatever your passion.” – Chay Schmidt, fine arts senior

Emily Hammond

“As an art major, I have many things I want to try with my degree. I’d love to keep making work, of course, and perhaps apply to residencies and research graduate schools. But more specifically, I’d like to work as an art handler, curator and perhaps even teach later on in life.” – Emily Hammond, fine arts senior

Nick Hill

“My favorite assignment was my first cardboard sculpture – a wolf. When I toured TU’s art program, I was inspired by what the students were making, and I wanted to see if I could create something as extravagant.” – Nick Hill, fine arts senior

Carolyn Argo

“I’ve always been interested in art, but what inspired me to be an art major was the way people could create entire worlds and stories with their art. I wanted to do the same and share my stories with people in whatever way I could.” – Carolyn Argo, fine arts sophomore

Josue Saucedo

“Since I was I kid, I’ve had an interest in being able to make things. I enjoy the process and problem-solving that comes with creating and then having a physical manifestation of all that hard work. As I got older, I started getting into art as an extension of that interest. Creating art has its own set of problem-solving skills that are incredibly satisfying to get the hang of. Art gives me the power to create worlds and tell stories through images. It gave me the ultimate outlet to express my thoughts.” – Josue Saucedo, fine arts junior

Naomi Dunn

“I’ve always had an interest in art, ever since I was younger. In middle school, I wanted to do something more than just draw in my sketchbook and bought my first drawing tablet. In high school, I started putting more intention in my art and started to focus more on symbolism and narrative. During this time, I found some of my current favorite artists and discovered a love for narrative art and illustration. When it came to picking a major at TU, I wanted to continue working with art, because it’s something in which I have experience, knowledge and a love for.” – Naomi Dunn, art senior

Katherine Karsten

“This semester, one of the assignments in my printmaking class was to create a monotype print. This is essentially a print where you wipe away ink on a glass plate to reveal the picture by using multiple layers of color. I didn’t have any experience with printmaking and was concerned about printing something incorrectly and needing to start over, but I ended up being really proud of the piece I made. The layers of ink allowed for the image to have a great sense of depth, and I was able to get one-on-one advice from my professor to help in my exploration of the medium. I love how my art classes push me to do something outside of my comfort zone and challenge me to do things I’m unfamiliar with.” – Katherine Karsten, art sophomore