Kelsey Brod

"Our Will," 30.5"x22.25", acrylic, bleach, charcoal, ink, pastel, and pencil on watercolor paper.

From the moment she first set foot on the Danforth Campus as a participant in the Portfolio Plus program the summer before her senior year of high school, Kelsey Brod sensed she had found the perfect fit for her future academic aspirations.

"I experienced the warmth, acceptance, and encouragement that distinguishes Washington University," recalls Brod, now a student in the College of Art. "I felt wanted, and ultimately, that is the reason why I am here."

The five-week summer art program proved to be the first step in a much larger journey of self-discovery for Brod. Through courses in Art's Core program, she began cultivating talents and interests she never knew she had. Under the tutelage of senior lecturer Mary Borgman, Brod's self-professed "fear of pastels" transformed into a genuine love of drawing. Her year-end project, a series of ink drawings, provided the inspiration for a series of works that will be featured in a solo exhibition at an emerging artist gallery in Chicago's Willis Tower in the fall of 2011.

Brod's intellectual curiosity extends into topics such as population dynamics in relation to resources and the environment. In addition to pursuing a double major in Environmental Studies, Brod has incorporated issues of sustainability into her art work. For her 2D Design studio, she created her own children’s book about conservation and resources. Titled Mia's Footprint, the book was published by PublishAmerica and is currently available for purchase online. In summer 2011, Brod is teaching a children's class at Harper College in which students will learn how to make more sustainable choices and then create a book based on that information.

As a participant in the Sam Fox School course "Design, Artisanship, and Sustainability as a Cultural Catalyst," taught by professor Ken Botnick in Spring 2011, Brod was able to further explore her myriad interests on a global scale. As part of the course, students spent a couple of weeks in Northern India exploring how craft in a country with limited resources can be a catalyst for innovation.

"Personally, the most critical developments that have made me who I am today, both as an artist and as a person, would not have happened without my scholarship support—for which I am very thankful," says Brod, recipient of the Selma Sigler and Sanford Buchsbaum Scholarship.