Katherine Statsenko had a busy summer.
When the Fine Arts major wasn’t interning at Mara Hoffman in NYC, she was traveling to Utah’s Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks to research nature for her senior thesis.
Statsenko was the lucky recipient of both the 2014 Penny Fox Internship Fellowship and the Harriet Sartain Travel Fellowship, both competitive fellowships that were completed at the same time.
“I thought it would be hard to do both but I planned ahead,” Statsenko said. “I was able to fit everything in. It was intense because I didn’t have a day off all summer, but it was worth it.”
Statsenko was a design/production intern at Mara Hoffman, a fashion/textiles brand that focuses on print design, bright colors and patterns. A Textile Design and Business minor, Statsenko felt it was a great fit for her skill set. She worked closely with the design, PR and production team, worked on patterns digitally in Photoshop and Illustrator, picked up and dropped off samples to factories, assisted the stylist on photo shoots and more.
“I minored in Textile Design to learn as much as I can and apply it to the real world,” she said. “I want to combine art with fashion – it’s perfect for me. Majoring in Fine Arts was good. I learned how to apply color, texture and pattern design in a unique way towards fashion. I’m more interested in surface print design than construction. I just apply it on fashion.”
In July, she traveled to Utah for several days as part of her travel fellowship. She researched the colors, textures and physical weight of Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks.
“I was looking for the feeling of ‘gestalt’ – the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” she said. “That happened for me. I didn’t understand sculpture before I experienced Richard Serra’s work and I had the experience of losing oneself, but at the same time being aware of one’s presence. This feeling of monumental mountains reminded me of Serra’s work. I wanted to experience a difference environment.”
She got that this summer. Thanks to the Locks Career Center and the Business Scholar in the Arts program, Statsenko said she felt confident enough to take risks and apply for both fellowships. The additional funding allowed her to live in New York City and travel to Utah.
“[In BSA] we focus on what we want to do when we graduate and how to apply business skills,” she said. “Eventually I’d like to be an entrepreneur and have my own textiles business. My fine arts and textiles background prepared me for the creative vision. The business minor and BSA prepared me for the business side of it.”
“I learned how to market myself and my work, just go out and not be afraid to ask for what you want,” she said. “This internship gave me a real glimpse of what I want to do when I graduate and confirmed I’m in the right field.”
Originally from the Ukraine, Statsenko, 25, learned about Moore in high school. She took five years off after high school graduation to work and save money. She took classes at a community college and at an arts center to build her portfolio.
“It was a blessing because it gave me time to research and find out what I really wanted to do,” she said. She focused on sculpture during her first two years at Moore and then on painting during her senior year. “Fine Arts allowed me to explore different mediums, be more creative.”
Statsenko said she values the community at Moore and the freedom to research what she’s interested in, but with the practical guidance of teachers such as Heather Ujjie (fine arts faculty), from whom she learned about the Mara Hoffman internship.
“I didn’t want to feel like a number at college,” she said. “I wanted personal connections with the teachers and the people I went to school with, and that’s what I got.”