School of Art and Design graduate Helen Villarreal recently received an individual artist grant from Arts Alive, a program of the Community Foundation serving Greeley and Weld County. The grant, totaling over $3400, will allow Villarreal to fund all equipment needs for a fully functioning ceramics studio. Villarreal graduated in Spring of 2016 with a B.A. in Art and Design with a ceramic studio concentration.

Villarreal applied for the grant after learning about artist resources in Lynn Cornelius’s ART 301 and 401 courses, respectively titled “The Working Artist: Preparation” and “The Working Artist: Practicum.” Cornelius explained, 

“In 301 the students spend a lot of time considering what they want in their artistic careers, and prepare materials they will need as professional artists, such as artist statements, a resume, professional biography, and portfolio of images. They also learn how to leverage their experience in art school for a broad range of entrepreneurship and employment opportunities as they reflect on their education. In 401 they dive into the nuts and bolts of being a professional artist in terms of finances (they research grant opportunities and write a sample grant), contracts (with galleries or for commissioned work), legal and ethical concerns (such as Fair Use and Copyright issues), and becoming visible to a larger audience through creating a website and marketing their work.”

The lessons Villarreal learned in class helped her launch her professional career. “Ever since I met Lynn she has been very supportive and a great resource in helping me advance as a working artist,” Villarreal said.

“After taking the 301 and 401 courses I was introduced to many more resources and opportunities that are out there for a working artist. It was really motivational and inspiring for me to actually see real working artists, other than our professors, and learn from and ask them questions. Overall I am grateful to Lynn and her courses, because if I wouldn’t have been able to learn everything I did, I would not have been prepared for life after graduating.”

Cornelius aided Villarreal with her grant proposal through early summer of 2016. The proposal was an extension of a sample grant-writing project from the ART 401 class. Villarreal, a longtime Greeley and Weld County resident, was pleased to find an organization like Arts Alive that supports local artists. She plans to build her studio in Greeley as she launches her professional career as a ceramic artist.

Learn more about Ceramics at UNC