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News . Feature Stories . Student Profile: Julia Chepke '11, Fiber + Material Studies

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June 23, 2011

Student Profile: Julia Chepke '11, Fiber + Material Studies

"I don't remember ever wanting to have any other job 'when I grow up.' I never thought anything other than I want to be an artist."

Student Profile: Julia Chepke '11, Fiber + Material Studies

ON CIA CLASSES I’ve had a lot of great classes. My freshman year I really liked Barbara Stanczak’s class, my 2D and 3D foundation design classes. She’s definitely one of the rock star teachers. And this year, major day is really great. You can expand on the projects and do your own thing—I’ve done a lot of good work in that class.

ON CIA STUDENTS The sense of community at CIA is important. I really enjoy having the small group in the studio that you can go to and have your work critiqued. In the halls everybody says hello to you. It’s a really good thing about CIA and about Cleveland in general—it’s a big city, but not so big that you don’t know anybody.

ON JOB PROSPECTS In summer 2009 I did an internship designing textiles for wallpaper and upholstery at Arc-Com Fabrics in New York. There’s a lot of drawing and color work involved—that’s really interesting to me. After graduation I don’t know if it’s better to work for a company or for yourself, but it would be really cool to do freelance textile design and also have a studio practice.

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE Pretty much everything Student Life has organized has been fun. Laser tag was a blast! I also think there’s a lot to do around Cleveland. We go out to eat all the time. I love the amount of restaurants that are around here and the variety of food. Little Italy is where I live; there’s lots of eating cannoli!

ON TEAMWORK In Fiber + Material Studies our studios are close together so we get a lot of feedback from each other; it’s really helpful. And over the past few weeks we did an extremely collaborative product design project with Industrial Design—it was really cool to be able to collaborate on that.

ON THE PROJECT CIA partnered with MetroHealth Medical Center to bring the AIDS Memorial Quilt to Cleveland in December. Guided by Fiber + Material Studies instructor Sara Rabinowitz, juniors Julia Chepke and Ivy Garrigan led a group of more than ten student and alumni volunteers who helped at two quilt panel-making workshops for local families who have lost loved ones to AIDS. The volunteers experienced firsthand how artists can shape the perception of important social issues in their community.

Along with helping at the quilt workshops, we brought several events to the CIA community to promote AIDS awareness. We screened the film Common Threads: Stories from the AIDS Quilt, and hosted a dinner discussion with a couple local people who have AIDS. It was like an intimate conversation where we got to hear from people who were going through this struggle. And it made us even more aware of how this is an ongoing issue, not just a distant epidemic.

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