Photographs courtesy of MERIONART.COM

There are few struggles as great as trying to expand and publicize one’s art. Being an artist in general is difficult enough with making sure one has all the materials: sketchbooks, pencils, paint brushes, and so on. But the struggle seems to compound itself when considering the difficulties in being a college student while also trying to maintain that artist status. Trying to pair general studies, possible clubs, and a social life with the complicated hobby that is art can be especially tedious when considering that it’s hard to come across very many opportunities to present said art.

Personally, I’ve been an artist for more or less 8 years. Within that chunk of time, I’ve had few opportunities or times to actually submit any art. There’s something about highschool that makes it somewhat more difficult to maintain one’s passions. That being said, I had hoped that, in my transition to my freshman year of college, the change of pace would bring an influx of opportunities for me to be an artist again. I’d seen some colleges that provided some amount of artist leeway-Illinois College and Illinois State University for example-but I’d considered those colleges without anything art-related in mind. I wasn’t considering them because of some final chance to express my art, it was more because they offered a decent psychology program and I would’ve pushed my art hobbies away to make room for only that.

Thankfully, however, I came across the University of Illinois at Springfield and was in disbelief at just how much opportunity was laid out for me to finally present the art I’d tucked away for so long. UIS makes a point of providing an opportunity for artists of all kinds, on campus and off-campus, freshman through graduate students. Through submitting work to The Alchemist Review, it’s possible to take any type of art that’s been catching dust, such as portraits, landscapes, oil paintings, or water colors, and finally give them a chance to be viewed. So,just in case there was any extra needed reason to appreciate UIS, here’s one for the underappreciated artists of the world.