When she first started college, Jane Stevenson wanted to be a film maker. Her fascination with “visual poetry,” as she refers to film, guided her to a master’s degree in arts and humanities with a concentration in media studies from the University at Buffalo. Over time, her creative energy shifted towards creating the art that inhabits a space, rather than filming the space itself. Her appreciation for materials and meticulous attention to detail are evident in each of her works. Now, with a portfolio full of beautifully crafted functional artwork, Stevenson wants to teach.
In 2009, Stevenson began the art education postbaccalaureate teacher certification program at Buffalo State. “Buffalo State is one of the few places that offer education training that’s based on the value of art, so naturally I was attracted to the program,” Stevenson said. “I want to promote intellectual, aesthetic, and cultural values, which are often underserved in the commercial design world.”
By becoming an art educator, Stevenson hopes to fill a void that she’s come to notice in her professional experiences. “Young people are lacking exposure to art in their own community,” Stevenson said. “I’d like to help high school students acquire more exposure to art…to incorporate art into whatever other interests they have, and start building their own portfolios.”
Since she first enrolled, Stevenson is making the most of the opportunities here. In the summer of 2011, she received the The Burchfield Penney Art Center Bacon Art Internship Scholarship, which included an art education internship at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.
Established in 2008 by longtime supporter and friend of Buffalo State and the Burchfield Penney Art Center Dr. Margaret E. Bacon, ’41, this internship allows art education students to work with youth programs at the Burchfield Penney.
Stevenson recognizes the creative venues that surround Buffalo State—the Burchfield Penney Art Center, the Albright Knox, and the dozens of smaller galleries in the area. “I'd like to see educators and students use more of the unique resources available to them outside of their classrooms, especially what the local museums offer,” Stevenson said. “Ultimately, I want to expand the applications of the arts.”
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