Thoughts from more art students

Posted by Kathy Smyser on Jun 3, 2016 9:17:57 AM



Join PCA&D tonight for First Friday Lancaster for the opening reception of Selected Artworks from the BFA Program at PCA&D, from 5 – 8 p.m. in the Main Gallery.  The exhibit features a selection of outstanding artwork created by two dozen of our rising junior and senior BFA students. A wide variety of media are represented including digital and hand-painted illustration, sculpture, painting, printmaking, photography and graphic design.

In this blog post, we hear from four more art students, Casey Capese, Julya Nichols, Maurice Butler, and Ian Williams, as they  talk about  what they value from their PCA&D experience and their earliest recollections of making art. This is the fourth in a 9-part blog series, where we hear directly from the students about what it is like to attend art school, their art, inspirations and influences. 

What do you value most about your PCA&D experience this past year? 

Julya Nichols

Julya Nichols, Photography, Class of 2018

The thing I value the most of my previous year at PCAD was how I have been able to have my teachers be involved with the students so much along with them being available whenever needed. Now only does this help with communication it also helps the students, such as myself, thrive more with their learning and finding more opportunities which will help for our futures.

Ian Williams, Digital Media, Class of 2018

I honestly mostly value the work I am produce with the students around me. Having the ability to work with others to produce great results has been an awesome experience.

Maurice Butler, Fine Art, Class of 2017

My friends. I struggled with loneliness with quite some time. Growing farther away from my family and becoming a spectator around my friends. I always pointed to myself as the problem because I wanted something more from the experience, I became selfish in my needs. I drove off into a dark state of mind that I might never have true friends. Until people become to approach me about how my work affected them. It felt as though that I wasn't a ghost anymore and I'm still alive. That sometimes what you make can impact others and they approach you about it.

My classmates are very close to each other and our honesty never comes off as a means to keeping you down. That sometimes they inspire you to create things you would have never thought of. Having friends with the same passion as me really kicks a drive create more not for myself but for others too. I grew up trying to find myself without realizing that my friends around are trying the same thing. My world isn't so small. Without my classmates, I fear of never growing up. I truly appreciate their friendship.

Casey Capese, Graphic Design, Class of 2018

What I value most are my peers. As much as the teachers are teaching us new skills, my peers teach each other things as well. It creates a more balanced classroom and they help solve problems, critiques and gives helpful advice.


When or how did you begin making art, and what does the process of making art mean to you?


Julya Nichols, Photography, Class of 2018

 I have always been involved with art in some kind of way whether it be playing with the paints with a child hood friend or following my parents around with the video camera that was used to record certain times in our lives. The process of creating art isn't just a way to create something that looks pleasing to the eye to myself or others but a way to let go of reality and be able to show people my ideas, dreams, my imagination and thoughts. The process of making art also is a way for me to deal with things that I don't know how to express in words; it makes me disappear into a realm of creating a universe through a set to capture it in a 2 dimensional way but make it feel as if it is a window to a the realm I experience while making my ideas into a reality.

Ian Williams, Digital Media, Class of 2018

Whenever any one asks me how I got into art or began making it I don't have a clear defining moment. I just grew up into art. It was encouraged in my house and both of my siblings grew up into it as well. And the art process for me is a combination of ingenious moments and frustrating hours followed by lots of iteration. For me an idea or artwork is not complete until I've exhausted just about every option in my design.

Maurice Butler

Maurice Butler, Fine Art, Class of 2017

I think the first time I started making art was from my comic book days as a 8-11 year old kid. I made about 5 books of my own that had about 15 pages too them. They were really silly looking back at them, but it was my first experience making an art form. After watching countless anime and cartoons that I wanted to make my own story. But I really started to get into my own groove was actually in my junior year of college. The first 2 years were hard on me. I was still learning how to express my thoughts and make quality art. But my junior year, the roller coaster strapped me in and I went for the ride. My process change from trying to tell a story to trying to tell my story.

The authenticity of my art was shown through my natural tendencies and I grew to improved that type of process. The process of making art simply comes down to that I'm marking a specific moment of my life that I want to show, how I want it to shown is through the time and effort I put into it. I want the process to be genuine as possible. I don't want to make art that doesn't feel genuine in my heart and I always try to stay truthful through each step constantly questioning why I do certain things and begin to search through the unknown to try to find the answer I'm looking for. The answer of what it truly means to be me. The answer being very far away from my reach that I have to keep chasing it. The process for me is trying to find myself as I make the art through the darkness.

Casey Capese, Graphic Design, Class of 2018

I began making art in elementary school in art class. My art teacher was amazing and art class quickly became my favorite time of the week. One time a fortune cookie said to me that, "success is a journey, not a destination" and I believe that art is more than the final piece, its all about the journey or process. As I got older, I've realized that the process is equally if not more important than the final piece and I've come to cherish the time making art.

“Selected Artworks from the BFA program at PCA&D” will be on exhibit in the Main Gallery at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, 204 N Prince Street, Lancaster, from June 3 to August 12, 2016.  Hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

The Opening First Friday Reception, will be held First Friday June 3 from 5 – 8 p.m. in the Main Gallery.

More information is available at  

 This is the fourth of nine posts about the thoughts, plans and ideas of PCA&D's students. Sign up to folllow the blog.  Read the earlier posts:

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Topics: PCAD, Art Student, Gallery

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