Posting Date: December 9, 2009

Meet Deanna Roland: Painting the future

By Scott Singleton


Photos by Melissa Withers

When KSU senior Deanna Roland unexpectedly won an art competition in high school, the direction of her life changed. Growing up, Deanna was involved in the choir and fully intended to become a performer. Her focus shifted towards drawing and painting after receiving “best upcoming artist” during her freshman year of high school. “That is when I began taking my art seriously,” she says.


Deanna became involved with the arts for the rest of her time at Etowah High School in Cherokee County, Ga. She studied art history, painted backdrops for the theater and joined the art club. After graduating from Etowah, Deanna enrolled at Kennesaw State University and continued her high level of involvement in the arts.  


In an effort to maintain an artistic community on campus, Deanna serves as the vice president of the Visions art guild, a student organization that seeks to create a social network for artists. Additionally, she is an active member of the Arts Advocacy Group at KSU and will be traveling to Washington, D.C. next year for the fourth time to lobby for increased funds for the National Endowment for the Arts. Natasha Lovelace Habers, assistant professor of visual arts, says, “Deanna understands the critical, urgent need for leadership in the arts today. She goes to great lengths for things she believes in and, through her service, it is obvious that she cares deeply about her peers, her school and her community.”  


Despite her increased responsibilities in promoting the arts, Deanna still finds time to draw and paint. With a love for the process, she also values the communicative abilities of her art. “I love what other people get out of my art. I have specific intentions in mind for a painting, and I love that the painting goes on to have a life of its own.” Her work has been featured in national juried art competitions.  


For her final semester in Spring 2010, Deanna will serve on an undergraduate research team to write and illustrate a children’s book. Lovelace Habers selected Deanna for the project because of her “skill, devotion, passion, vision and professionalism.” After graduation, Deanna plans to take a year to prepare for graduate school and hopes to eventually teach art. Deanna envisions owning a business one day that she describes as a “one-stop artist shop.”


Even with exciting plans for the future, Deanna acknowledges her attachment to KSU. She says, “Being a student here has provided me with opportunities that only these professors and student programs could offer. I have really loved being a part of this community and will really miss it when I move on.”


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