Outstanding Graduate in Art & Art History Jessamyn Irvine
Tell us about a memorable experience at Western
My internship with Ann Morris at Sculpture Woods on Lummi Island has been my most memorable and unexpected experience at Western. I began working for the Western Gallery as an intern over the summer and really enjoyed being involved with artists and their work, both installing it as well as learning about storage and proper care.
After that summer, I was asked to travel to Lummi Island and photograph Ann's prints and small bronzes as part of Sculpture Woods’ donation to Western. My first quarter working with her turned into the rest of the year and still continues presently. We've developed a wonderful working relationship and I consider her a dear friend. It's been an amazing experience--Ann is a wonderful person and talking to her about her art and helping her with it has been not only educational but also extremely memorable.
Who is someone from your time here you think of as a mentor?
I would like to express my sincere thanks to Professor Javier Berzal de Dios of the Art History Department. I transferred to Western for the Industrial Design program, but had no goals for my career. I started taking art history classes and loved them so much that I switched majors. I have never once regretted my decision. I owe Javier a debt of gratitude for his guidance and persistence in helping me identify my career interests.
He's a fantastic professor that clearly cares not only about teaching his students but he also cares about what happens to them after they leave his classes. From my interests in research and writing we discussed available career options, viable programs, and how to get into those programs. I’m extremely thankful for Javier’s dedication as well as the challenge and intrigue provided by his classes.
My intent after graduating is to apply to graduate programs in the winter and pursue a Ph.D in Art History, with the goal of eventually teaching. I'm really going to miss Western, but I'm excited for the future.