Posting Date: March 22, 2010
Meet Aswani Namale: Leaving her mark with art inspired by her African heritageBy Tabatha Wahlquist
Photo by Linda Tincher
|One of the designs Aswani Namale created for her successful Douceur de France presentation.|
Kennesaw State University senior Aswani Namale came to the United States from Nairobi, Kenya six years ago to attend college. KSU has since given her the opportunity to fulfill this dream.
Prior to her studies at KSU, Aswani studied fashion design in Kenya. “The fabrics in Africa are amazing,” she describes, “anyone who loves art can understand.”
Aswani’s love of African fabrics, known for their bright color schemes, drew her to the graphic communications where she could employ the vibrant trademark colors of her native culture. In addition to her home fabrics and crafts, Aswani derives inspiration from “studying different cultures and seeing what these cultures are creating,” she explains.
The opportunity to study graphic arts is one of several factors that have made Aswani’s experience at KSU beneficial. “Kennesaw is such a good environment,” praises Aswani. “There is a huge international base, and I like that it is close to the city.” Access to Atlanta has provided numerous opportunities for KSU art students to gain hands-on experience. Aswani explains, “We get to see the work of artists in Atlanta and see who’s doing good work.” Aswani credits Associate Professors of Art Carole Mauge-Lewis and Jeanne Sperry for providing the resources necessary for an enriching artistic experience.
Most important in Aswani’s experience at KSU has been the opportunity to collaborate on projects involving real clients. Recently, Aswani had the chance to work with Douceur de France, a French bakery located in Marietta Square. She designed the bakery’s stationary, business cards and new website. Aswani is proud to take this real-world experience with her as she applies for jobs after graduation. “My greatest achievement at Kennesaw has been learning to design in such a way that I can tackle any project that comes my way.”
In describing Aswani, Mauge-Lewis says, “As a student, Aswani likes to explore and craft new ideas. She works well with others and enjoys teamwork. Aswani also takes every opportunity to learn more about graphic design by attending seminars and workshops. She is a very good example for students to follow."
Aswani represents a growing international student population at KSU. Her journey toward academic success in the United States will culminate in a degree in graphic communications this spring. What she leaves behind at KSU are distinct traces of her African roots—her mark as a standout artist. She says she has been blessed to have the opportunity to study art at KSU.