BY SHRUTI RAM – STAFF WRITER
Even though Centre College is a liberal arts college, it is ironic how little we talk about majors in the fine arts. Financial Economics is currently the most popular major at Centre, and art majors, including music and studio art, are less prevalent. For example, there are only three music majors in the junior and senior classes combined.
So what motivates this rare breed to do what they do? What’s the experience in the daily life of a fine arts major? And most importantly, what do they plan to do after graduation?
Not all art majors planned on a fine arts study when they came to Centre. For example, senior Sue Choi only changed her major to studio art the spring of her junior year.
“I switched my major the last week of January,” she said. “I was [originally] a music and politics double major.”
Choi took her first art class the CentreTerm of her junior year when her study abroad trip was cancelled, and ended up falling in love with it.
“I had drawn, I had doodled and stuff all my life,” she said. “I took [the class] on a whim and realized I had way more fun at the art barn than reading for politics or doing music. I did not think I was going to major in art when I came to Centre. It was definitely a last minute decision.”
Though there may be stereotypes for art majors—like that they are spacey and have an affinity for black clothes—there are actually a wide variety of students who decide to major in studio art or music. Senior Annalara Fischer is not the typical art major, as she is double-majoring in music and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB).
“I’ve been doing music, particularly piano, since I was a 7 or 8 years old,” Fischer said. “I won several national competitions for piano, and I always felt such a knack [for it], while also always feeling inclined towards science.”
Fischer came to Centre knowing what she wanted to major in, but not everyone was receptive to her unconventional double major.
“Everyone thought I was crazy,” Fisher said, “because BMB and music are so different and so difficult in their own ways. It has been hard, I’ve taken between 18 and 20 credit hours every semester I have been at Centre, but I think it has been worth it.”
Despite being an music major, Fischer does not intend to pursue it as a career path.
“I want to work in healthcare, research or be a physician’s assistant,” she shared. “I also have all the classes I need for med school if I decide to do that. I don’t have any regrets about majoring in music as well. Music wasn’t a career goal of mine, but it has helped me in my career here as a student. [I feel] more confident presenting in front of a group of people and that’s something that [I will] take with me for the rest of my life.”
Fischer had some roadblocks on her way to being a music major, having to shift her focus from playing piano to composition after being diagnosed with a mid-carpal instability. However, she is excited to present her senior seminar composition, a piano concerto, at the upcoming RICE symposium.
Unlike Fischer, Choi intends to pursue art as a career.
“I’m really serious about it,” she said. “My plan right now is to be a full time painter. I want to market myself out there, take commissions, draw portraits, and maybe take a part time job.
Choi has already bought a domain and set up a website, www.suechoiart.com, to market her paintings, and will be doing an event painting portraits at Jane Barleycorn’s on May 7..
Choi and Fischer both enjoy the creative process, but also the theory and history behind art.
“There are so many aspects to art that I didn’t understand until I learned about it,” Choi said. “I didn’t realize how much I liked to paint loosely, with lines and gestures, and what style of painting I preferred.”
Despite the increase in interest in taking art classes and joining music ensembles, the number of music and studio art majors has decreased overall, with there being only eight upperclassmen majoring in studio art and three for music.
“I think music is a great way to release stress, so I encourage people to join an ensemble,” Fischer said. “There is an ensemble for almost every kind of music, from Bluegrass, to Jazz, and Percussion. It’s also pretty easy to minor in it now.”
Even if you are not interested in studying music, the senior art majors want to encourage Centre students to attend the art shows and support your peers that are.
“The upcoming Art Showcase is on May 15 from 1:30 to 4 p.m.” Choi said, “Everyone should come!”
Both the art and musician’s showcase is Friday, April 15. The musician’s showcase is at 7:30 p.m. and it is a convocation credit.