Hello! My name is Marian Draper. I will be a senior this fall at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York where I am currently working towards a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with a concentration in ceramics. I am from a small town in Upstate New York called Rome. Home for me is my parents, two brothers, and our four dogs and a cat. My family as well as myself are huge animal lovers. I have a wide range of interests. A big one is running. I have been a student athlete and devoted runner for 9 years now. At RIT I run Varsity Cross Country and Track and Field. When I am not in the studio or running, I am usually in the kitchen—I love cooking and baking. Outside of the kitchen, I enjoy hiking, biking, swimming, going to farmers markets, and hanging out with friends. I find quilting a wonderful way to pass the time as well. I am a fairly driven individual. My motivations in life are fueled by the will to succeed, my family and friends, and the desire to follow my passions so that I really never have to “work” a day in my life. I am so fortunate to have the ability to pursue my passions and goals.
Art has always been prevalent in my life. When I was younger, I would do everything from doodling, to jewelry making, to felting, to sewing, and sometimes knitting too. I started working with clay six years ago in high school through classes offered at school and a local community college. I have found I enjoy it so much because it is always changing and there are always new challenges and learning opportunities. In college, I have been lucky to have been exposed to a wide variety of ceramic opportunities, everything from historical context to soda firings, surface applications, and plaster works and slip castings. My professors at RIT have been nothing but generous with the knowledge that they have kindly shared with me.
My goals after I graduate from RIT are to go to graduate school so that I can teach ceramics to others. I find a great deal of joy in teaching others. It is so rewarding to see someone gain confidence and grow from the information that I have shared with them. In addition to teaching, I would like to have my own studio and practice. I feel that in order to be successful in the teaching field, one must also be learning.
The biggest appeal to me for the summer Clay Camps is that I get to be a part of an operation that will ultimately help those enrolled to learn and grow. Additionally, this opportunity at NCC will give me the chance to meet new artists and people. I am excited to join Northern Clay Center’s Ceramic community for the exchange ideas and knowledge with others. This program is inspiring to me because it offers art exposure for young individuals in a fun and exciting way. Having that creative art exposure is something that I think is so valuable for young individuals. In this experience, I hope to not only gain studio experience, but also confidence in myself as an individual, artist, and an educator. I find this program to be so humbling in that it allows me to grow and learn right alongside the students at Northern Clay Center.