Posting Date: August 25, 2011
Meet Jessie Blowers: KSU’s first art history major
By Jessica Linnell Price
Photo by Tracie L. Hinnant
When Jessie Blowers started at Kennesaw State University, she wasn’t sure what to major in. She soon decided that since she enjoyed her art history classes the most, she should major in such. There was just one problem—KSU did not offer an art history major.
Jessie knew two things for sure: She wanted to major in art history, and she wanted to stay at KSU. Instead of transferring to a school that did offer art history, she set out on a mission. “Somebody suggested that I start a petition, and so I did,” Jessie recalls. She created a Facebook group titled “Kennesaw State University needs an art history major” and soon had 88 members. Then, she waited.
When Joe Thomas became the chair of the Department of Visual Arts, he shared her excitement about creating an art history major. “This new program has been driven by popular demand from the students,” Thomas says. “There is a high level of interest, and we have people who are waiting for the degree to be approved.” Jessie's grassroots movement is partially credited for the creation of this major, which started this semester.
Jessie was thrilled to be the first KSU student to declare the art history major. Now a junior, she is proud to know she contributed to her school in a meaningful and lasting way. “I get to change my school forever,” she ways, “and I think it’s really cool to be a part of that.”
She says the art history professors at KSU give her the confidence to pursue her passion. “I haven’t had a teacher that isn’t excited about what they are doing,” she says, “and that makes me excited.”
“Jessie is passionate about art and believes that art can make a difference in our world,” says Diana McClintock, associate professor of art history. “I also appreciate her leadership skills and her tenacity. If she thinks that something needs to happen, she will do everything she can to make it happen.” Last March, Jessie helped organize the Peace Conference on campus. The theme “Peace in the Arts” was her suggestion. “I’d like to do it again,” she says. “It’s so much fun organizing events.”
After graduation, Jessie hopes to get a master’s degree and start teaching. “I just know I need to be a teacher, whether it’s teaching little kids or being an educator at a museum,” she says. “That’s want I want to do for sure.”
Jessie isn’t done leaving an imprint on KSU. This time, she is trying to break a Guinness World Record for the largest human peace sign. Her goal is to have more than 6,000 people assemble on campus to create this human “art.” Jessie has taken the first step of getting the provost’s approval, as long as it is entirely student led. “We’re allowed to do it,” Jessie says. “It’s just a matter of people showing up.” If history truly does repeat itself, Jessie will meet her goal.