Michelle Guitterez

My senior project at Bard was a massive mural on a wall 28 feet wide and 17 feet tall. The largest canvas I had ever worked on didn't even come close to that size, and that was because neither me nor my family had any money to contribute to my education and much less, art supplies. I had always grown up making art with what I could find, and if it weren't for the Fund for Visual Learning at Bard, i'm not sure my final project would have turned out as striking as it did. Through the program I was granted with enough supplies to cover that wall in a variety of mediums from charcoal to gold leaf; and the peace of mind it gave me let me focus on the artwork itself. This goes for my entire undergraduate career majoring in Studio Art at Bard too; I was able to take drawing, painting, sculpture and extended media classes because of the Fund for Visual Learning. It allowed me to explore any class I wanted in the department and refine my skills as an artist, without the dread of having to worry about finding the funds to pay for it, on top of all my other college expenses. When creating art, one should be able to pour themselves into their work without being bound by economic limitations they were born into dealing with. This fund provides a gracious opportunity to exist and thrive as artists on campus for those of use who simply couldn't afford it otherwise.