Hey y’all! My name is Manar! I am a rising junior from Dearborn, Michigan, concentrating in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and I am so excited to be one of your Lewis Center Student Advisors! In my first two years at Princeton I had the pleasure of taking a few introductory visual arts classes and getting to know other visual artists, as well as spending time in the infamous 185 Nassau.
I have been making art since I was very young, but I had never had the formal resources or opportunity to really develop my skills and style; I only took one intro to art class during high school, but the VIS department at Princeton has been so supportive and invaluable to my development as an artist. I initially took the Introduction to Drawing class in my freshman fall without any serious intent, but after taking a class with so many talented artists and seeing my art grow and my style develop, I fell back in love with art and started doing it much more frequently. My relationships with VIS professors have also been invaluable to my experience at Princeton. They have been so open and welcoming, providing thoughtful critiques and advice, and they are always open to talking to students, even outside of the school semester.
The VIS department welcomed me with open arms, I was very hesitant at first, as I felt that people like me don’t really fit in with people in the art world. I had very little experience and no fancy art supplies, but that’s not what art is about for me, it’s about passion and fun. The resources and support I got from the Visual Arts department allowed me to come into myself as an artist and take my work seriously. Being around so many talented students in Princeton can always feel daunting and inspire some of the imposter syndrome many of us are familiar with, and the Visual Arts department is no different, but getting to know my peers and seeing their art grow and develop, I learned to stop comparing myself to them. We are all on our own journey with art, and many of us started in different places.
In my future with the Visual Arts department, I am excited to get into more hands-on mediums as well as art history. This next fall I am excited to be taking the Textiles as Art class as well as Japanese prints. Looking forward, I am also excited to try printmaking, photography, sculpture, and possibly creative writing. If you have any questions about the VIS department or the certificate application, please don’t hesitate to reach out! It can be a quick email or an invitation to coffee! I would love to meet you all!