Sydney Maria Sieviec – Outstanding Senior Award Winner
When I was very little, to keep expenses at the lowest possible cost, my parents decided to travel briefly with my siblings and myself, following my father’s demanding job up and down the east coast. We lived in a tiny camper designed for two, and our daily school lessons were abbreviated to allow time for the exploration of some of America’s greatest museums and historical landmarks, such as the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.
It was during this time that I was exposed to monumental works of art from every culture, and I was inspired. I had already forged my father’s complex signature before I could recognize individual letters, and prior to leaving public school in kindergarten, I was sent to the principal’s office to show him the train I drew. I felt like art making was my strong suite, and it fascinated me to see the art of other great people from ancient and modern societies.
However, as adolescence brought the trial of maturation, I often dismissed art in lieu of “academic” subjects, which is a decision I regret still. It was when I was presented with the challenge of choosing my career path at the start of college that I moved past my earlier notion of art as “cheap therapy” to a more serious consideration of how I could contribute to the world and still do what I loved. Art education answered my desire; the only thing that brings me more joy than creating something I can take pride in is seeing others do the same.
Due to the endless encouragement from my family, who instilled in me a love of learning and assured me that the best way to be true to myself was through art, my close friends, who admired what I was capable of and gave me confidence, and the astounding level of individualized attention from the Radford University Art Department faculty, who imparted in me a basic understanding of their area of expertise, I’ve had the opportunity to thrive. I am assured that I am prepared to teach the artists of the future how vital it is to express oneself and think divergently, while I continue to challenge my own capacities as an artist.