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Alumni Spotlight: Alexander Martin

Alexander Martin headshotMajor and Minor: BFA in printmaking, double minor in Art History and Japanese 

Hometown: Hurricane, WV

Why did you choose to attend WVU? 
I was born in raised in West Virginia, and with the promise scholarship being available, I knew I was going to go somewhere in state. Upon visiting the campus and seeing the art facilities and meeting other prospective students, I fell in love! It was also far enough away form my hometown that I felt I could fully immerse myself in life on campus.

What did you like about your major and your WVU experience? 
I loved being with other creatives in the studios. The studio environment was not something I had ever experienced before and sharing space and making beside other folks was fantastic. The professors really encouraged pursuits outside of class as well showing us ways to engage in the art world at large. As for my experience at WVU the variety and diversity of the folks who were in school and the variety of opportunities that led too was invaluable to my experience. I met students from all over the world, go to study abroad myself, and learn things about the world that I had not experienced before.

What advice would you give to prospective students considering attending WVU's College of Creative Arts? 
I would say your college career is what you make of it. Enrolling in school and getting a degree does not make you an artist, it is what you do with your time and how you live your life that does. Your classes are their to help you develop and try new things and your professors are there to help your find your voice, but your growth as an artist and person comes from what you do with that knowledge and skill set. Make opportunities for yourself and your community while you are there, meet other people, make new work, collaborate, and really embrace and enjoy the time you have there. That is what will give you the foundation to build upon as a creative.

Did you receive any awards or scholarships? 
In 2020 I was in Peoria Magazines 40 under 40. I was recently selected to participate in a residency through UIS Springfield. In the past 5 years I have shown work across the U.S. and have spoken at several universities about my work and practice.

Did you participate in any clubs or organizations? 
I am a founding member of the Peoria Guild of Black Artists and I am on the Board of Art Partners in Peoria, IL.