At the Front of the CLASS
My name is D’Antre Harris, and I am a sophomore at Georgia Southern University majoring in 2D studio art.
When I came to Georgia Southern, I intended to stay two years, at the most, and then leave to continue my education completely online, as I would be working with Cartoon Network to produce my first cartoon. (I have a tendency to be overly ambitious.) Needless to say, I am still enrolled at Georgia Southern as a full-time student, and despite my delayed plans with Cartoon Network, I am very happy to be continuing my education as an Eagle.
Though I was accepted by several large colleges, Georgia Southern’s “Large Scale, Small Feel” slogan stuck with me. Georgia Southern backs up that slogan time and time again, as I am able to network with many different and interesting people, make new friends, and experience the benefits of working closely with professors. The campus is beautiful, the atmosphere is comfortable and welcoming, and, to top it all off, the professors and faculty care about the students. Georgia Southern has transformed the teacher-student conversation from, “Here are the notes. I’m going to talk. Pass the test,” to, “Here’s what we will be learning today. Please feel free to ask questions. I am here to help.”
Before I knew what art really was, I was drawing cartoon characters from my favorite childhood shows, building mini-worlds with Play Dough in shoeboxes, writing and illustrating short stories, and even acting out scenes I invented to take place within the Star Wars saga (trilogy at the time) using Lego blocks to construct spaceships. However, as I got older, I became increasingly interested in 2D art. I love that I can draw out an idea from my imagination and share it with others. Being a 2D studio major in the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art has proven to be more than drawing with graphite or painting with traditional paint. What I love most is that all areas of art are unified and work together rather than stand-alone. My professors have expanded my knowledge of what art is and what art can be, and they continue to do so every day. I have a great interest in 2D- and 3D-animation, and, though there is not yet a degree in animation, I have been able to take an animation course with Derek Larson, who has greatly assisted my learning in not only becoming an animator but using animation in conjunction with other art media such as, painting, drawing, sculpting, etc. Every faculty and staff member I have encountered has been very generous with their time and knowledge, and I honestly can’t imagine getting the same experience anywhere else.
Since attending Georgia Southern, I have had the privilege of getting involved in many activities: I entered and won Juror’s Choice in the Foundations Exhibition in Spring 2012 held at the Center of Art & Theatre. I was promoted from Treasurer to President of Georgia Southern’s Student Art League. I am a member of Euphoria Dance Crew with which I have performed, won competitions, and become a part of their family. I volunteered at ArtsFest 2012 and hosted a booth and sold my work at ArtsFest 2013.
I am creator of Art of Tre and Thrive, which is currently a simple art page on Facebook but will eventually expand into a business to further my career and the careers of other artists, once I can to offer assistance to others like the BFSDoA faculty offered me. I am co-producer of Griot Stu, a young production company created by my friend Tsiambwom Akuchu, a theatre major at Georgia Southern. As of summer 2013, I have been working with Marc Mitchell as a gallery assistant, which is furthering my personal and professional growth.
I was recently awarded the Betty Foy Sanders Scholarship 2013-2014. The award has given me peace of mind this academic year by providing the funds I need for art supplies and books and allowing me to concentrate on my education, gaining outside experience, and on- and off-campus networking. This scholarship has equipped me with the tools necessary to further myself as an artist. I now aspire to not only become an animator but also a professional fine artist and maybe even a professor or mentor one day. My achievements and experiences are just the tip of the iceberg; I have only just begun my journey as an artist and I am confident that I will one day reach the top. I attribute this confidence to the faculty and staff of CLASS, the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art, and Georgia Southern University.