Hello my name is Emily Grochowski, and I am the Executive Assistant for UPB. Anyone who knows me personally can confirm, I may be one of the most inartistic people around. I am extremely inept at anything that requires drawing, painting, sculpting, or cutting in a straight line. Even my handwriting looks like an awkward, 4th grade boy’s. With this kind of introduction to myself, it may be hard to believe that back in the day I was a regular Michelangelo. These are the chronicles of a middle-school art prodigy.
First period art class at Rachel Carson Middle School had never seen such expression as when you handed me a pack of pastels. Landscapes, portraits, pottery, collages, I could do it all. Throughout the course we were instructed to illustrate highly complex subjects, including a shoe, a vase of flowers, and my personal favorite, an artistic display of leaves. When the annual art show rolled around, several pieces of my highly diverse collection were showcased.
The night of the show, tensions were high as the judges circled the cafeteria analyzing each individual work. After much deliberation, the awards were distributed. I won two blue ribbons for my tribal vase and Monet-inspired watercolor painting, and was recipient of the greatest honor, “7th grade artist of the year.” I’m not sure I have ever been so proud.
I wish that I could tell you that I went on to accomplish great things in the artistic world, inspiring new movements and reaching new heights…but I didn’t. Unfortunately, that was the end of my short-lived art career. Pretty much a week after the art show, I lost any skills that I ever possessed. Is it possible that I never actually had talent? Most likely the case. However one thing I do know, every since that fateful day I struggle to draw a stick figure.
Today, the University Program Board will be a hosting You Made It! Night at a local paint-your-own pottery venue downtown. I encourage all of you to come showcase your own artistic whims and enjoy the extended hours and student discounts that You Made It! has to offer JMU. Although my creation may hold a strong similarity to the teapot I painted for my mom in first grade, you bet I’ll be downtown tonight. There’s even a bus shuttle available that will be running between the Godwin bus stop and You Made It! Hope to see you there.