Tag Archives: student

Student Spotlight: Kaitlin Spellman


kait1Kaitlin Spellman grew up on Long Island, New York and was born on January 13, 1987.  As a child she played with Barbie’s and G.I. Joes because she had two brothers. She graduated high school in 2005, ranking 50th in a class of 500. She experienced a very interesting journey before arriving at Winthrop.  Initially Spellman thought of studying fashion design and took classes at Fashion Institute of Technology then later transferred to Hofstra University.  Spellman then decided she wanted to go on a three-year solo adventure  to get a broader perspective .  Her travels included Africa and Israel, where she worked for a nonprofit agency.kait6

kait5Graduating in May with a BFA in Painting and Photography, her work focuses on the human condition and social aspects of the cultures with whom she spent time with. Spellman’s goal is to heighten personal awareness of self in the viewer. Part of her mission is to work towards combining painting and photography. A painting series in which she worked including women Eucalyptus carriers hiking up mountains and another referenced homeless people in Italy that she captured on film and then translated to watercolor. She uses fabrics with prints and patterns in her work. Layering deepens the works visually and mentally, which is a large concern of the artist.


  • Who is your favorite fashion designer? 
  •  Firstly, Marc Jacobs and secondly, Manila Grace who’s Italian and feminine fashion collections with calming and soothing color palettes.
  • Who are your artistic influences?
  • Matisse for his use on textile patterns.Shazcia Sikandar for collage and painting, and Julie Mehretu.
  • What are your plans after graduation?
  • I will be doing an internship with Free People in Philadelphia. Urban Outfitters originated in the 1970’s. It is a clothing line with a whimsical style.
  • What is your dream job?
  • I am still formulating possibilities. I want to use art as a tool to communicate. I would also like to be involved with other cultures. I definitely want to be still learning whatever endeavor I am pursuing.
  • What is your favorite food?
  • Cacao.
  • What are your favorite books?
  • My fave books are a C.S. Lewis trilogy; Out of Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength.
  • Favorite music?
  • I like a very ambient studio environment so when I am working, I listen to Progressive Trance unless I want high energy then I turn to Indie, Pop, Rap or Rock.
  • What are your favorite films?
  • Alice in Wonderland (Tim Burton version), Jane Eyre, and the Intouchables.
  • What is something we don’t know and would never guess about you?
  • I ran my first Marathon last year and I can play the bagpipes.
  • What will you miss most about Winthrop?
  • The community environment and watching others’ work and process evolve.
  • What do you love?
  • The ocean for the way it smells.
  • What is your favorite place in world?
  • New York’s Central Park.
  • What role do you feel artists play in society?
  • The most important thing, and which is almost unrecognizable in self, is a vivid imagination, which is a valid perspective that needs to be shared. It gives an awe-inspiring balance to the technological globalization of the world. Without there would be no feelings expressed or intuition.kait2

Tonight at 7:00pm: Join us to say good-bye…All Things Go


Join us to say good-bye…All Things Go

elise 2 All Things Go is a farewell exhibition for Anastasia Netrebine and Elise Chapman, featuring Mixed Media, Drawing, and Sculpture.elise

Elise is a third-year Fine Arts General Studio major, with a painting and drawing emphasis. Anastasia is a fourth-year Fine Arts exchange student from Finland focusing in sculpture.

anastasiaBoth will be leaving at the end of the semester.

Please join us as we say goodbye to these two very talented artists….


McLaurin Student Galleries

3rd Floor, McLaurin

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anastasia 2

This Friday: Reception for Raw Baggage by Julie Thompson

Julie Thompson

Julie Thompson, installing her Raw Baggage show

Julie Thompson presents Raw Baggage, her latest collection of art on display in the 3rd floor McLaurin Student Galleries at Winthrop University.  Raw Baggage runs from November 25th through December 1st, 2012.

Please join us for the Reception:

Friday, November 30th, 2012


3rd Floor McLaurin Student Galleries, #314 and #316

Winthrop University

For more information on Julie, you may visit her website:  CLICK HERE or visit our previous blog interview where she shared her artistic visions and her future plans:  Julie Thompson Interview.

Current Art Installation, Absence, by Reeta Leinonen


Visit our Student Gallery, #314, to view an art installation by Fine Arts student, Reeta Leinonen.  She includes the following statements in her work:


Absence, Art Installation by Reeta Leinonen

“Nothing but everything.


We are condemned to be free.


Our lives are based on repetition and that way

on equal basis on

the moments in between –

the silences before the beat.

The space you see,

is a piece of reality,

a state of mind


a void,

a pause,

an absence yet to be filled.”

Artist Spotlight – Bridget Kirkland, MFA Candidate


Time to present a Winthrop MFA Candidate…..Bridget Kirkland.  Continue on for an insightful interview with this artist…

Bridget Kirkland, untitled

Bridget Kirkland, untitled

Where are you from?

King of Prussia, PA and Erie, PA.  I ended up in the South because of my ex-husband’s career options and we decided on the South.

Why did you choose to pursue an MFA?

After being a graphic designer for 10 years (and I loved it), I got tired of people thinking they knew more than me.  I felt like an MFA would give me the backbone I needed to create the right of “arguing” to my opinion.  I feel like I trust myself more.

Bridget Kirkland, Artwork

Bridget Kirkland, Artwork

Explain what you do in your Fine Art studies in 100 words:

I question memory and interpret time with design.

What do you want to do with your degree?

Teach Graphic Design in College/University setting, Freelance Graphic Design.

What is your favorite spot on campus?

Basement level of McLaurin…breezeway is all windows.  I would love to do a show in there with transparencies on all of the windows.

Where would you take students for a Campus Tour?

I would take students to the area with the windows or to the Sculpture departmentShaun Cassidy’s area.

Who is your favorite Professor and why?

So many different ones for so many different reasons.  I have to say Tom (Stanley) – reason:  because he showed me how I could fit into this program.  He gave me faith in my artwork and helped me understand my work.  He helped me feel that what I do is a form of art.

Where is your favorite place to eat in Rock Hill?

Bridget Kirkland, Untitled Artwork

Bridget Kirkland, Untitled Artwork

Earth Fare because they have Hubert’s Lemonade.

What books should we read?




Tell us something about yourself that we wouldn’t know or guess about you…

I am not very secretive and I do not hide information, so this question is hard to answer, but I will try…

…I have three cars.  I love the beach – I could stay on the beach from 9am until 6pm.  I love the wide space of the beach.  I like wide spaces…not as crazy about SC’s landscapes because you cannot see very far.  I like being out west because you can see forever…it is no end.  I love motorcycles – I had a Ducati motorcycle then had to sell it before I went to school.  I love motorcycle racing.  My dream job is to be a meteorologist/anchor woman on The Weather Channel.

Who are your role models?

Stefan Sagemeister – designer.  His philosophy is happy design.  He does not take clients for money, but rather clients who allow him to create the perfect design for them…clients who honor artistic freedom.

Favorite album, lyrics, band?

My favorite song is Soul Cages by Sting.  Favorite band is Nine Inch Nails.

Favorite website?


Tell us about a great experience:

On a Friday morning, there was the inaugural Red Bull MotoGP race at Indianapolis.  I wanted to go so badly.  I sat at my desk at work…pissy that I couldn’t go.  On impulse, I called the rental car company to rent a car, asked my boss if I could leave at noon, and took off for solo trip to Indy.  Luckily, a Scottish Blogger/Columnist writer for Motorcycles magazine asked me to document and write a piece for the blog.   The event turned into a solo road trip by myself, as a female traveling solo.  I was able to get Ducati Credential Passes…great time!  It was the weekend that some hurricane was coming and the rainy weather was so bad.  On the way back, a storm was clipping ahead of me.  Because of the storm, there was no power, no gas.  No one knew where I was.  I met a guy who helped me get gas…got home at 7am, showered, and went right to work with an experience I will not ever do again…

Bridget at the Indy Moto Race

Bridget at the Indy Moto Race

This adventure was great because I met so many people…I was so free.  It was such an exciting weekend to take off and do something I really wanted to do!

What has surprised you about Winthrop?

That it is a family.  I feel like the whole time I have been here….there are big arms wrapped around me to give me the courage to create whatever I want.  At the same time, there is the push and the nudge to create good art.  Such a tricky thing to do…I don’t think you see this combination often in places.  Winthrop keeps their arms around you…you don’t ever feel bad, even with critiques all the time, you still feel like you are being hugged in a positive way.

Greatest challenge at Winthrop University?

Not understanding “painter talk.”

What will you miss about Winthrop after you graduate?

My artist friends, the professors, the camaraderie of everyone who knows you and your art…you don’t have to explain anything.

Bridget Kirkland, Untitled

Bridget Kirkland, Untitled

Advice for anyone entering the MFA program…

Go into it with no expectations, leave who you think you are as an artist at the door, do different things…art, books, places you travel, different people you talk to…just be completely different.  Always listen to Shaun Cassidy.  Be aware that you could be a completely different person / artist leaving as you were coming in.

If you could give advice to your younger self, what would you say?

Learn from your mistakes.  I like the good and the bad, even when making mistakes…it makes me stronger and I think you have to have the bad to appreciate the good.  Be living in the now rather than the past or the future.

Who are your artistic influences?

  • Vic Muniz, love.
  • David Hockney – paintings and photographs.
  • Inspired by so many artists who have a piece of work I like… from digital artists to sculptors to painters.  I try to look at art as much as I can.

If you could invite 5 people to a Dinner Party, who would you choose?

  1. Sting
  2. Leonard Bernstein
  3. Alf Ward
  4. My deceased Grandfather
  5. Jim Cantore
Bridget Kirkland, artwork

Bridget Kirkland, Untitled Artwork

Predict your future…

I predict I will be living in a smaller, rural area.  I would love to live by the beach…any beach.  I want an exciting future.  Maybe something like….Trent Ressner of Nine Inch Nails calls me up to collaborate with him on the art for his many mounds of projects – videos, cd covers, films, short movies, composing.

Thank you, Bridget!  Best wishes in all of your artistic endeavors.  We hope that Trent texts you soon for his next design project.  We will put in a good word (and a good search engine entry!!!).  With your talent and skill, we know you will go far!

Shameless self-promotion ahead… Thursday Night’s Art Opening – Bindings


Drop by for the opening of Bindings, a collection of artwork, yes…by me.  Forgive the self-promotion, but I hope my offer of food helps with your decision.  Oh… the art, too, of course.

Here is the serious part …{ahem}:

Art Installation by Lee Ann Harrison

You are invited….no strings attached.

Bindings is a social commentary art installation exploring family restraints, diversity, discrimination, and inclusion.

You are cordially invited to attend.  I promise the hanging lady will let you leave.  Afterwards, let’s trek to Art Frenzy for STOP #2 of a 3-stop Thursday night art adventure!

Details below:

Bindings Art Opening

Thursday night

November 15, 2012

6:00 to 7:30pm

Winthrop University

McLaurin Student Gallery

3rd Floor, #316

Tonight, Tonight, Tonight… “Let’s Just Call it…Brains” Art Opening


Join us in Winthrop’s McLaurin Student Gallery, 3rd Floor, #314, at 7:00pm to view an exhibition of the latest and greatest artwork by Tori Bailey, a Winthrop Fine Arts Student.  Food, Art, and Good Conversation…some of the best things in life.Art Exhibition by Tori Bailey

Oh and…Bring your brains. 

Fine Arts Portfolio Day and Scholarship Competition


Winthrop University Fine Arts Students work on sculpture, installations

Interested in studying at Winthrop University in the Department of Fine Arts?  

Please join us on November 3, 2012, for our annual Portfolio Day and Scholarship Competition.

Portfolio Day is open to all who wish to attend, regardless of intention, to apply for admission or compete for scholarships. Fine Arts Faculty reviews portfolios to award scholarships and also to comment on your work.

On-site registration begins November 3, 2012, at 12:30 p.m., in McLaurin Hall’s Lewandowski Student Gallery.  Portfolio Day General Information Session begins at 1 p.m. in Rutledge 119.  Students and parents are encouraged to attend the full day of Preview Day.

Instructions and guidance, including group tours of the Fine Art facilities, are provided by Fine Arts faculty and administrative staff members.  Current Fine Arts students will also be available and provide their own perspective. Parents will learn more about our programs and what we have to offer for a student’s future after graduation.

For additional information or to make a reservation for the Fine Arts Portfolio Day Competition, please call 803/323-2126 or email finearts@winthrop.edu .  

CLICK HERE  for further information.

Portfolio Info:  Students must complete a portfolio review/interview with 3 different faculty members, lasting about 15-20 minutes each.  See below for more details…

Portfolio Requirements

Portfolios should contain 10-20 original student works. The works need not be framed, or formally displayed, and may be reproduced (especially 3D artworks) in photographic digital images or prints. The type and kind selected to be included in the portfolio is up to the student, and do not have to be works for the intended major. What the faculty members want to see in the portfolio are the artworks the student feels the best about, what s/he is proud of and want others to see. The artworks do not have to be from school art class projects or formal study of any kind.

Students may compete for scholarships in absentia by shipping or mailing a portfolio, sending one electronically via email or notifying the Department of their website address where a portfolio is pictured. The Department must receive notification or shipment no later than the Friday before the Saturday event.

Winthrop Fine Arts Student working on InstallationScholarships

The scholarships awarded from the Portfolio Day and Scholarship Competition are Dean’s Meritorious Scholarships. They are for new students and are applicable to the first year of study only.* Typical amounts range from $250 to $1,000. Please note that all applications for admission to the University are reviewed by the Office of Admissions.

Notification of Awards

Approximately two weeks after the event, a letter will be sent to all participants in the scholarship competition, informing them of the results. This may include a scholarship offer amount, or the placement on a waiting list for any funds which may come available in the future, or a notification, regretfully, of not scoring high enough in the reviews to qualify for a scholarship. The letters with a scholarship offer amount will include an acceptance form which the student must sign and return. All students should pay particular attention to the timelines required for making application to enter Winthrop University, and understand any scholarship funds awarded take effect only when admitted and attending Winthrop as a declared Fine Arts major.

*There are other scholarships available, which require portfolio-merit competition. These are the Endowed Scholarships, and are open to all majors in attendance. Competition is held annually in February or early March, and the scholarships are applicable for the next academic year.

Thank you for your interest in Winthrop University’s Fine Arts degree.  We look forward to meeting you soon.

Good luck!!!

Student Spotlight….Julie Thompson

Julie Thompson working on her artwork

Julie Thompson, artist

To begin our Student Spotlight, we present a Winthrop University BFA student from our Department of Fine Arts…Julie Thompson.

1. Where is your hometown?

Myrtle Beach

 2. Why did you choose to be an art major?

Growing up, I loved to draw and paint horses and then as a sophomore in high school, I took my first art class and everything just clicked…and here I am today.

3. What do you want to do with your degree?

I want to work in a gallery or museum with an exhibit design department.

4. What are a few books that you’d recommend reading?

I need to read more.

5. Tell us something about yourself that we wouldn’t know or guess about you.

I’m classically trained in Russian and Italian Ballet.

6. What is your favorite spot on campus?

My studio space, it’s my own little bubble.

7. Who’s your favorite professor and why?

Shaun Cassidy – because he has a great approach towards makings art and always finds positivity in a situation.

 8. Who are your role models?

My Dad, he is a great example of strength and hard work.

 9. What is your favorite album/ lyrics/ band?

Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin

10. Predict your future.

If I were to predict my future 30 years from now ( age 53 ), I will be living in Europe, married, no children, making art and working for a big contemporary gallery.

11. If you were giving a campus tour, where would you take them?

Inside student studios to show them what we are really up to.

Julie Thompson's Installation

Julie Thompson, Winthrop University student

12. What are your favorite websites?

I’m not internet savvy, sorry.

13. Tell us about a great experience.

When studying abroad in Florence, Italy, my Fresco and Restoration professor showed our class never before seen drawing by Michelangelo that he and his colleagues discovered in the basement of the San Lorenzo Church.

 14. What surprised you about Winthrop?

I didn’t expect the art department to turn me into the artist I am now.

15. What has been your greatest challenge?

Learning how to accept failure as a positive learning experience.

16. What will you miss about Winthrop after graduation?

I will miss the creative environment from my professors and peers.

17. What advice do you have for incoming freshman?

Never leave Rutledge! It’s your home!

18. If you could write a letter to your younger self what would it say?

Take art more seriously, faster in life.

19. Tell us about your experience in an internship, volunteer, a research project or co-op.

Working with the Curator of Contemporary Art, Brad Thomas, from The Mint Museum, I had the opportunity to meet and work with artist, Thornton Dial, for the opening of his exhibition ‘Hard Truths.’

20. Best place in Rock Hill to grab a bite to eat.


21. Who are your artistic influences?

Jessica Stockholder,

Georg Baselitz,

John Chamberlain,

Arnulf Rainer.

22. If you were at a dinner party and could invite five people from all time, dead or alive, who would you invite?

Tom Stanley,


Mikhail Baryshnikov,

Jerry Garcia,

and Javier Bardem.

Julie working on her artwork

Julie Thompson – Creating art

Thank you for granting us this interview, Julie!  Best wishes in your endeavors and your art career!

Let’s end on a note about Julie from one of her professors and a Fine Artist, Stacey Davidson:

“It’s her drive, and the way she does her thinking through the materials she works with.  She is incredibly driven; she HAS to work.  It’s inspiring.”