There are some people who just cannot get enough of the EVAs competition, and Andreas Baumgartner is one of those people. Since participating in the competition, Baumgartner has been a judge this past year and has agreed to be on the panel once again this year.
Baumgartner now works for his alma mater, Bluffton University, as a professor of art, staying a part of the AICUO community even after graduation. Having the education he did at a smaller independent school had its benefits though.
"I was able to be more involved within the art department, working as a Graphic Design assistant. First hand exposure to general art department tasks such as mixing photo chemistry, maintaining sculpture tools, balancing budgets, and designing departmental materials all were supplemental (and potentially creative) experiences that I may not have been able to experience elsewhere." Said Baumgartner. "I was able to build relationships with my professors due to the massive amount of time I spent with them. Mentorship and exercising ideas was a shared experience with my professors in undergraduate school."
Being a part of the competition seemed like enough for Baumgartner, being selected as a finalist really gave him the confidence in his art that carried over into his career.
"Being nominated as a finalist reaffirmed the feeling that I was doing something right with my work. At the time, I was also having success with juried shows and other competitions. Without a doubt, my involvement with the AICUO was attractive to graduate schools in which I was applying to. My continued involvement with the AICUO has been rewarding as well."
As a graduate of an AICUO institution as well as participating on multiple levels within our competition Baumgartner had some advice for you artists starting your careers
"I tell all of my incoming art students to work extremely hard, be themselves, and to take risks with their artwork. This ultimately leads to finding your voice as an artist. When the artist finds the voice, it is much more difficult to discontinue or take a break from the process of making work. Strife for progression and ever-changing ideas become part of a continuous cycle within the development of the artist's current and future work. If you can do this efficiently as an artist, success in imminent."
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