Recognizing International Artist Day


Ashanti Thomas

Diana Maggi, a freshman biological sciences major, creates a domestic life art project in Doudna Fine Arts Center.

Ethan Schobernd, Campus Reporter

In recognition of International Artist Day, students and professors from Eastern’s art department shared their perspectives on the importance of art and why they enjoy it so much. 

International Artist Day was founded in 2014 by Canadian artist, Chris MacClure, according to  

This day was not only for artists to be celebrated, but also to pay homage to the artist, Pablo Picasso, who was born on the same day as International Artist Day.  

Alan Pocaro, Associate Professor of Art and Assistant Professor of Printmaking and Foundation at Eastern, shared three main points as to why learning art is so important. 

First, Pocaro addressed how our society works and how art helps people understand how art is made as consumers of media. 

“We’re an intensely visual culture, especially nowadays,” Pocaro said. “So, we’ve sort of moved away from a print-text sort of literary based society to a visual based society. And understating and a making gives you access to the way images are composed and mediated for our consumption.” 

Second, Pocaro said humans are naturally appreciative of art and its construction. 

“The appreciation and the construction of beauty is intrinsic to human nature,” Pocaro said. “We are all desirous of beautiful things to surround ourselves with beautiful things and artmaking is our most basic, natural access to that kind of beauty and learning about art and learning how to make art puts you in a situation where you become the producer of your own beauty rather than simply the consumer of it.” 

Finally, Pocaro talked about art being great to learn in general. 

“It’s just great skills to learn, right. There’s so many great skills that are, you know from ceramics, to metal, to printmaking, right. They all have sort of practical implications. But they’re just, you know, human beings have to use their hands, and these are great ways so sort of satisfy that.”  

Erin Rice, instructor of metalsmithing at Eastern, talked about art being an outlet for people and gives them a change in perspective. 

“I think art is a great creative outlet in general,” Rice said. “I think it makes people broaden their horizons and gives them a fresh perspective. And of course, a way to express themselves.” 

Rice also talked about what led her to pursue a career in metalsmithing. 

“Well, I started out as a painter and then I took some printmaking, and I really enjoyed that,” Rice said. “And then, after taking a metalsmithing class it was kind of the end. That was where I wanted to pursue my degree.” 

Two students in Rice’s class talked about their art experience and why they love art. 

Gracie Woods, an art education major, talked about why art is important to celebrate. 

“I think it’s definitely a way to express yourself and the way you feel,” said Woods. 

Woods also talked about what she part of art she loves to learn about. 

“Well, I’m an art education major, so I do love to learn how art is incorporated into the teaching curriculum,” Woods said. “It’s really fun to get to see how you can push students to be creative, just like our professors are pushing us.” 

Kessler Ulberg, a 3D studio art major, shared how art allows him to be free with his ideas and creativity. 

“You have this freedom to create anything that you want,” Ulberg said. “And bringing your imagination to life.” 

He also shared why art is so important to be celebrated. 

“I think because art is worthy of celebrating,” Ulberg said. “I think everything is art. That’s the main thing that we’re taught here. Things that we see, the things that we sense, smell, touch, it could be whatever, 3D or 2D. It speaks so much to you.” 

  Ethan Schobernd can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].