Melissa Conlon is a senior from Brentwood, New York. She majors in Communication with a concentration in Advertising, and a second major in Studio Art with a concentration in Graphic Design. Through her capping project, Melissa recently donated artwork to the Grace Smith House. Her prints helped the foundation raise money to continue their work with victims of domestic violence
What was it about Marist's program that appealed to you when deciding on a college?
A large proponent of why I chose Marist had to do with the mission of a liberal arts education. At Marist, when I listened to the variety of majors, I knew I would not be limited as to what I could study. Always having a love for writing and visuals, the School of Communication & the Arts sold me that I could easily find a way to make a career out of those two things. In my four years, my opinion on the program has not changed.
What has been the most significant learning experience for you in the past four years?
The most significant learning experience for me in the past four years was definitely the semester I spent abroad at the Marist Italy campus in Florence. Foremost, I felt more cultured, worldly and independent. Living in a foreign country, without immediate family around me, made me realize the strength I have as a young woman, as well as my abilities to go after things I want.
What was it like studying abroad in such an art-rich city? How has that influenced you?
I loved every minute of being in the birthplace and heart of the Renaissance. Every day I could turn down a different street and find some piece of art that made me think, as well as inspired me. It definitely has made me open my eyes to looking at things around me. It also in a way has inspired me to go out and constantly look for something new to learn through different exhibits. However, on a more direct level to my art, I fell in love with windows - in Europe, they are so different than ours! So I’ve been exploring all the shapes and compositions of them in my printmaking works.
How do you plan to continue your art after graduation?
After graduation, I am hoping to find a job in the advertising industry, specifically, in the Creative Department. All the skills I have learned in my Graphic Design classes will make me a much more marketable copywriter because my eye for design will be a great asset to the creative team. In regards to my fine art, I am hoping to continue taking different classes at my local art league and continue to explore different mediums on my own at home.
How has working for the Grace Smith House impacted you/your artwork?
This is is definitely not the last auction I will be donating my artwork towards, and I am now definitely looking for opportunities to display my work in different exhibitions. Also, this has impacted me in the thought that what I create is no longer about getting a grade or pleasing a professor, it is about creating meaningful and beautiful things that someone somewhere may be interested in buying or critiquing.
What do you hope to achieve with this capping project?
The Grace Smith House was only one facet of my capping project, which allowed me to achieve the belief that I am not just an art student but an artist. My true capping project is a series of 8-10 books that I have handmade. The books revolve around different brands, and little stories, poems, or free writing I have done about each of them. This project was my way of blending my love of fine art, with my practical copywriting skills, in a medium (bookmaking) that I love!
Written by Sarah Gabrielli '18
Profile Tags:Profile Type: Alumni
Academic School: Communication and the Arts
Campus: New York