Art therapy graduate student Kelly Self has spent most of her life in Milledgeville. Growing up in the area, she always had a love for the hometown university, Georgia College, and for creativity.
“I came as a freshman to major in art, but I also wanted to keep my options open, so I decided to minor in psychology,” said Self. “Now I’m putting those two together to help people through art therapy.”
With passions of creating art and caring for others, Self has been a model student through her studies, but last summer, an opportunity to create a piece for an alumni art exhibit at Georgia College opened up doors she never could have imagined.
“I only had a couple of weeks notice for the art show and was starting my graduate program, so I knew I had to create something quickly,” said Self. “I wanted to do something abstract and was inspired by the Georgia College Bobcat.”
From that, "Artsy Bobcat" was born. Her artwork on display for the alumni exhibit caused quite a buzz on campus, and because of that, the art will be featured as limited-edition merchandise at Barnes & Noble at Georgia College.
The "Artsy Bobcat" will be available in T-shirts, prints and coffee mugs at the university’s bookstore by the week of Homecoming. Self will also have a print-signing event during the Homecoming celebration Saturday, Feb. 21 2 - 3 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble at Georgia College merchandise tent located near the tennis courts.
“I am so excited about this opportunity,” she said. “This is going to be a big part of my resume moving forward. I never could have imagined my artwork being used in this way, but I’m feeling great about it.”
Even though it’s her artwork that stole the show, she gives credit to the Department of Art faculty members for helping her learn how to be professional and work in the field.
“My teachers at Georgia College helped me so much along the way. I really look up to them. They give us hands-on learning opportunities and great resources to view and show art,” said Self.
Bill Fisher, chair of the Department of Art, was instrumental in her education, according to Self. Her mentor says she’s a great example for other students on how hard work goes a long way.
“Kelly, in many ways, typifies our student body even while she celebrates in her own individual independence. She's a bright young scholar committed to her education, brave, smart and informed in her life choices,” said Fisher. “She has successfully achieved her undergraduate degree, is now sporting a 4.0 GPA in the Master of Arts in art therapy program and is on her way to doing those things she wants to do professionally, and doing them very well.”
For more information on the special edition merchandise with Self’s artwork, call Barnes & Noble at Georgia College at 478-445-8398.