For Madison Acquarulo, art is a lifetime calling.
Art is something that has always come easily to Acquarulo, a junior studio art major. She has taken art from her hobby to her college major. She did not start off as an art major, but the change made a lot of sense to her.
“I started with art when I was 5 years old, and I went to painting classes. I realized I was good when I started to notice the reactions of other people when I would show them something I made. It always felt like genuine excitement and admiration for what I’ve created,” Acquarulo says.
“In college, I decided to pursue art because it’s the one thing that comes so innately and makes the most sense to me. Alongside that after I graduate I want to go to cosmetology school, so a lot of art skills I’m learning here will take me even further after,” Acquarulo says.
Some of the skills that Acquarulo believes will help her are color theory and different brush techniques.
“Backgrounds in art can complement a wide range of other fields,” Art and Design Chairperson Terrence Lavin says.
“Artists are designers and creative problem solvers, builders and fixers, community activists and unique thinkers who can bring a different perspective to a wide range of fields and disciplines.”
“Currently we have around 185 majors in the department with almost 120 of those majoring in studio art,” Lavin says. “Interestingly, our enrollments are up about 12% over the last five years while the university enrollments overall are down around 24% over the same five years.”
According to the university website, the Art Department is the largest and most comprehensive art program in the Connecticut State University system.
While at the university, Acquarulo has learned different art styles.
“An art technique hard to learn is abstract style. I’m so used to being hyper-fixated on details that letting my mind loose is tough. I’m still in the process of learning to let loose,” Acquarulo says.
Students often are seen working on art projects after class hours in Earl Hall.
Acquarulo says the classes themselves are easy to manage with her other classes and responsibilities. She even has free time to sketch in her notebook and go out with friends.
“It takes a lot of effort, but most of my classes are hands-on so it’s easier to find time to complete projects,” Acquarulo says.
“My favorite painting I’ve created so far is called ‘Satin Daisies.’ It was created from a still-life display of a small treasure chest and a vase with three daisies, on top of a baby blue satin sheet.”
The “Satin Daisies” painting took about 14 hours to finish and ended up being sold.
“I have sold a couple of pieces,” Acquarulo says. “It was a very unique experience.”
After graduation, Acquarulo plans to make and sell art on the side while she learns cosmetology. She sometimes shares her art on Instagram: @madd.designed.
By Sarah Shelton