Jia Jia received her Master of Fine Arts degree in 3D4M: ceramics + glass + sculpture in June 2021. She was the graduate student speaker for the School's virtual Graduation Celebration 2021. Below is the text of her speech.
Hi Everyone, I am Jia Jia, a second-year graduate student from the 3D4M program, and I come from China. I feel really honored to be here and to represent all the graduate students in the School of Art + Art History + Design.
I visited Seattle six years ago and fell in love with this city, with its beautiful colors and some rainy emotional days. I like climbing the small hills around the city and checking out the cafés, bookstores or any gift stores on the side. I also love the nature and water here. I have spent quite some time with my friends around the lake, ocean and forest. It is great that you can jump into nature right away when you want to escape from the stress of school work.
The 3D4M program at UW is prestigious. Before I got here, I always wanted to explore and incorporate different medias and ideas in my work. The 3D4M program provides various learning methods and encourages graduate student to get out of their comfort zone and try new things and dive into the research, which is important for being an artist in the real world. All of us have been really productive here with the help from faculty, technicians, and the great facilities. Our faculty has dedicated valuable time to us and shared their expertise with us, which prepares us for the real world. And I feel lucky that I have a group of amazing classmates, we help each other, we have spent a lot of fun time working in the studio late at night, we have witnessed each other’s growth in these two years.
This last year has been difficult and challenging for everyone, but it reminds me of the importance of the support from community. People gather, share feelings, and help each other to get through the difficulties, and I feel lucky that I have the community here to support me. These two years go fast, many of us have to teach online or have online classes, which is challenging for art students who have been used to working in the studio. However, many of us break the limitations and try new things, still making great progress with the limitations and restrictions. We can’t control the unexpected things happening in our lives, but we do have the ability to adapt the environment and shape the future with our wisdom. I believe that artists are always working with limitations and always try hard to find ways get through the dilemma.
For my future, I am planning to apply to some artist residencies in America. I think it is important for me to experience the diversity here and start to develop my career as a young artist. I believe that I have grown much stronger than before in these two years, and I am confident and eager to take the challenge and step into the new life.
I really appreciated the time I have spent here, people I have met here, the space I have occupied here. All the beautiful memories and positive energies that I will take away with me wherever I go. Thank you all!