|Flourish Online Magazine||Spring 2010|
Student Spotlight: April Marten
Pursuing a paper path
By Jarmea L. Boone
Photo by Melissa Withers
Book arts, papermaking, paper arts. Junior art major April Marten is learning about all things paper. “I have always been fascinated with utilizing paper in different ways,” says Marten. “I enjoy paper sculpting and paper forms like origami.”
For the past two years, Marten has been creating the body of work that she plans to present during her senior art exhibition. She has also been working on a series of paper silhouettes. “What I enjoy, and what is most difficult about papermaking, is that it involves exact precision, almost like being a paper engineer,” she says.
Marten has been interested in art since she was a small child. Her elementary school teacher recommended her for a gifted art program, but she could not get involved at the time. She went through school and became a paralegal. It wasn’t until she was in her thirties that she decided to pursue her love of art.
With no formal art education prior to KSU, Marten took a bookmaking and papermaking class with Assistant Professor of Visual Arts Natasha Lovelace-Habers. “I wanted to pursue papermaking after that course.”
Marten is grateful that her professors have instilled in her the courage to pursue her passion. “Prof. Lovelace has been mentoring me as an art student and on building a professional career before I graduate, and Prof. Robert Sherer has helped me find venues for my work.”
Marten says she spends as much time as she can in the art community. She is president of the KSU student art guild, Visions, and she teaches art to elementary school students in a private studio. As an active member of the KSU Arts Advocacy Group, she traveled to Washington, D.C., last year to advocate for increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
After graduating from KSU, Marten is considering several possibilities for continuing her career. “I want to eventually go on to graduate school to have the option to teach. I am also heavily into arts advocacy. I enjoy advocating for arts students and their unique needs.”
In large part because of Marten’s advocacy and leadership, the KSU art students now operate their own gallery on campus.