Washburn Arts Students Association has begun working with Kaw River Rustics Gallery to give art students a chance to become Artist of the Month and have their work featured at the gallery.
The first student to receive the Artist of the Month is Tyler Quintin, a senior general studio arts major at Washburn University. His work will be on display in November at Kaw River Rustics on Kansas Ave in North Topeka.
“I will have a senior show, and the gallery at Kaw River Rustics will have a lot of the work I intend to display in that show,” Quintin said. “I’m working on multiple projects, but really in the same body of work.”
Quintin said that the work he is creating now is taking personal content and concepts that either reflect back to his childhood or to his experiences as an artist he’s had up until now and transmitting them through animal forms. He just started incorporating human forms in his work.
Quintin received the Barbara L. Busick Art Scholarship through the art department, providing him free tuition for a bachelor degree. He said that this solidified his goal of becoming an artist, and felt very validating.
“When I decided to be an artist, I was maybe five. We had to dress up as what we wanted to be, and I chose to be an artist with the beret and stuff,” Quintin said. “I got really focused on art and music throughout high school and I realized I wanted to be an art major.”
Quintin mentioned that the idea of making and selling art is a difficult one. The size of his pieces and the amount of hours for each work limits the pay. The pressure of selling may also limit creativity for the artist to get someone to buy the piece. He is looking for venues to work as an artist and be able to make a living doing so.
Quintin said that he is looking at various graduate school and artist residency programs. An artist residency program allows the artist to live in a home with a paid stipend in exchange for 20 hours of work per week on their art. It can provide an artist stable living and help them to continue to focus on their work. These programs can be found around the U.S.–he is focusing on one in Montana–but can also be found internationally.
WASA will nominate a different student each month to be featured at the Kaw River Rustics Gallery. The featured artist must be an upperclassmen that is a member of the organization, and must be nominated based upon both work ethic and participation in the organization.
“Through my work, I’m able to take these things that I don’t verbally express, and instead visually express it in my work,” said Quintin. “Through my scholarship and experience, I knew my work was going to be worth it.”