Student Spotlight: Kirstin Waldmann C’20

Kirstin Waldmann C’20

What attracted you to Drew?

The small classroom sizes and the visible dedication of the art and art history departments made me feel like I was in good hands. The Semester on Contemporary Art in New York City was also a big selling point. I also felt like I was going to be challenged at Drew, which was what I was craving right after my associate’s degree.

Did you know what you wanted to major in your first year?

I got my associate’s in graphic design, so I knew that studio art was the path I wanted to take, but on the urging of my former professors and friends, as well as looking at what the art history department at Drew had to offer, I decided to take it on as a second major. I wanted to experience the most from it, to be well-versed and experienced in the field, and I am very happy with my decision, albeit very exhausted.

What is it about art history that draws you to it?

Art history is especially magnetic to me. In my opinion, it is the rawest form of history, because before we could write, we made art to describe and record the world around us. When the students I tutor make connections, or apply formal analysis correctly, it gives me a rush like no other. I love that art as a whole is such an open-space, and it requires you to be as equally open in your perspective.

Tell me about your studio art.  What medium do you like to work with the best?

I love using mixed media! I’m one of the 15 students that make up this year’s Senior Studio, and in the studio I work primarily with collage. I very much enjoy assemblage and creating art through little decontextualized pieces of media. I do printmaking and digital animation as well, but sadly I do not  do much painting.

“I wanted to be a Buckaroo”, 2020, mixed media by Kirstin Waldmann

“Rubbish Still-Life, 2019, Mixed Media by Kirstin Waldmann

Check out one of Kirstin’s animations HERE

Have you done any NYC, short or longTRECs?

I did the New York City Semester on Contemporary Art, and it was one of the best experiences I had since coming to Drew. We travelled through both the well-known and lesser known art districts of New York, meeting all types of people, from gallery directors, to artists, to publishers, to curators, and more. Everything felt so hands-on, more so than it could be just going to a gallery by myself. The individuals we spoke to were all down-to-earth, and gave solid advice for careers after graduating. It also brought me closer to my classmates, some of whom became great friends, who I’m now sad to say goodbye to.

What world issue(s) are you most passionate about?

I’m very passionate about sexual education locally and worldwide, because it intertwines with hundreds of separate issues, like LGBTQA+ and reproductive rights, etc. Not knowing enough about our bodies and the bodies of others, or the processes that occur between them, snowballs into something dangerous. We end up letting fear and misinformation take over our understanding rather than fact. Also, a lack of understanding of one’s own body can lead to self-hatred, shame, and projective behavior.

What are some of your favorite memories of Drew over the last 4 years?

Some of my favorite memories include wandering the library, both Holiday Balls with my closest friends and classmates, screaming in a small mosh pit of people to the opening chords of “Seven Nation Army” at the Holiday Ball, working at the Archives, finally visiting the Arboretum, having a late night cheese party with friends, 99 Nights, all the movie nights with my two wonderful roommates, my Phi Beta Kappa induction, and so much more. There are too many to count.

What are your career goals? Dream job? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

My long-term goal is to work for a well-known museum or gallery (preferably the Met), and to eventually go into teaching in art history. I’m also looking heavily into archival work and library sciences. My dream job would be to work as a historian or archivist, or animate for Disney. In 5 years, I’d like to be working in a gallery or going back for my Master’s degree. Maybe even getting published? Here’s to hoping.

Do you have any hobbies, activities or fun facts you would like to share?

My hobbies are pretty much writing, drawing, and researching strange artists on the internet. Fun Fact? I can do an alarmingly realistic trumpet impression.

What advice would you give first-year students?

Do not second-guess your decisions. You want that job in the library? Go and apply. You want to do an independent study with that professor you like? Go and ask. You want to be an officer for that club? Run for the position. It’s hard to make bold decisions when your environment is so new and uncertain. But if you seize the opportunities you want right now, you have the rest of your four years to enjoy them.

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