Student Spotlight: Missouri Valley College Art Major Britny Fernandes
ACCEPTD: Do you remember what exactly sparked your passion for Art? Was there a particular moment or person who inspired you?
BRITNY: I actually do remember the person and the moment exactly! I was in the first grade, and the whole school was participating in the same art project. My teacher was so impressed with my work as a first grader that she told me it stood out from all of the other students -- even among the fifth graders! I’ll never forget that moment. She told me to stick with it and see how far Art could take me in life. In the back of my mind, I always remember that teacher telling me to hold onto my talent. Even when I wasn’t sure what I’d do with Art, her belief in me hit me hard and really stuck with me.
ACCEPTD: How have you grown as an artist since enrolling at Missouri Valley College?
BRITNY: Coming to MVC, I was on a soccer scholarship. But I knew that I wanted to pursue the Art Scholarship because it was what I was truly focused on and what I knew I wanted to do. The Art Director helped me fully dedicate myself to Art - connecting me with the art club, working in the art gallery, and helping me get the Art Scholarship. Now, I fully dedicate my time to the Art Department. I’ve learned so much as an artist, from meeting professional artists in the art gallery and having the opportunity to set up their artwork and talk to them personally. I’ve also learned so much from the professors. I guess I wasn’t expecting everything that I’ve learned and done to take flight in the way that it has. I’ve had my work showcased in museums, I’ve spoken in front of crowds about my work, and I owe all of that to MVC pushing me to this point. Every tiny detail of what I’ve learned here has helped me grow as an artist and pursue bigger things. I love the Art Department so much - I thank them every day for everything that they do.
ACCEPTD: What made you choose MVC?
BRITNY: Originally it was soccer, but I was also looking at the arts opportunities - I made sure to research the details of the classes within the Art Department. I wanted to know how big my classes would be, and I was very interested in the fact that there are so many options and different types of classes here, from ceramics, printmaking, 2D design, stagecraft, sculpture, and puppet design, the diversity of the class offerings was great and I knew I’d love it. I could tell from the moment I stepped on campus that Art was something they took seriously here and that the university encouraged creativity everywhere on campus. Art students are invited to paint murals around campus. I loved everything about it, down to the fact that the stairs squeak in the art building and that there’s student work displayed everywhere.
ACCEPTD: Give us a glimpse into a day in your life at MVC.
BRITNY: For me, Art starts as soon as I wake up. Everything I do is artistic, starting with getting ready for classes -- I have a certain style with my hair and my clothes - I express my artistic talents through the way I dress, even the food that I eat and how I arrange it on my plate. In between classes, I take pictures of interesting details throughout my day, something as simple as tree bark can catch my eye, and I capture it in a photo. I spend as much time as I can working on my art projects. My friends know that if I’m not answering my phone, it’s because I’m in the studio. One thing I’ll never forget about my time in the studio here at MVC was the relationship I built with an employee who came to see me every day for about a month while I was working on a project. She didn’t even work on the same floor as the studio, but she took an interest in my Art and wanted to see the progress and final product. When I go back to my residence hall for the evening, even my room looks like an art gallery - I’ve devoted a whole wall to art projects, and people come in every day to look at it.
ACCEPTD: What’s the best part about being an art major at MVC?
BRITNY: In a word: expansion -- the way I’ve expanded as an artist. In a phrase: personal growth -- I’ve grown so much at this school in ways that I don’t think I would have anywhere else. The professors here are so close, and they get to know you and care about you as a person.
ACCEPTD: What would you tell a high school senior who’s considering attending MVC to major in Fine Arts?
BRITNY: I would tell them that coming here will open your mind -- by your first year here, you’ll know exactly what you want to do in the future. MVC is determined to help students in any field. You may come here wondering “What am I going to do with Art?” - but I can guarantee you’ll figure it out with the help of your professors and the experiences you’ll gain in your classes. It’s not just about Art here - it’s love, it’s family. It’s more than academic growth - it’s leadership, growing as a person, learning how to manage time and public speak. If I could talk to them in person, they’d see my passion for this school right away.
ACCEPTD: Where do you hope to be in 5 or 10 years, and how do you envision art being part of that?
BRITNY: Art is not going to be part of my life - it is going to BE my life. I’m going to be an Art Director - I hope to do movies, but I could also do shows, magazines, or business. I even took a class where the professor helped us figure out which cities are the best based on the field we’re pursuing. So even though I’d like to go to California, I know I’ll probably end up in Atlanta because Art Directing for film is really booming there.
So, my main focus is on Art Directing, but there are other things I want to do from there. I want to have my own creative team and my own Art Scholarship here at MVC. I know how the Art Scholarship has impacted my life, and the fact that someone made it possible for me to have this scholarship inspires me to make that happen for someone else. That’s my spark.