By Mellany Armstrong
When Courtney Machamer ’18, Interior Design, was a little girl, she would watch as her grandfather, Norbert Machamer, painted scenes near his home in Cinnaminson, NJ, in watercolor, acrylic and oil.
“I would go to my grandparents’ house and see all these crazy paintings of the woods,” she said. “He was really into nature and he had all these books on how to paint. That’s what initially got me interested in art.”
As she moved on to high school, Courtney became known as the ‘art kid’ by her peers.
“There were a couple of years in high school where I didn’t leave the art room,” Machamer said. “I would eat in the art room and stay there all day. Her interest in art led to her taking weekend art classes through Moore’s Young Artists Workshop. There, she found she wasn’t the only “art kid.”
“I took a portfolio preparation class and a drawing and painting class (at Moore) during my junior year in high school,” she said. “I just really liked the school. It was the only school I applied to.”
Receiving a Visionary Woman Award scholarship solidified her decision to come to Moore.
“It was reassurance that this is where I should be,” Machamer said.
Art has always been a major part of Machamer’s life, but she wasn’t sure what role it would play until she attended the College’s Major/Minor Fair to get an idea of her options.
“I sat down at the Interior Design table and I was stunned by one of the models in front of me, a very detailed, laser-cut project that looked like an actual house,” she said. “I said to Kathy (Dethier, chair of Graphic Design, Interior Design and Illustration), ‘What is this and how do I get to do that?’ I decided to go to the first class to see if I liked it, and I did.”
This past spring, Machamer received the Sis Grenald Endowed Scholarship in Interior Design at the 2016 Honors Convocation. The financial award meant that Machamer, who commutes from home, could spend less time at her part-time job as a cashier and more time doing school work and participating in college activities, such as student government.
“It was a nice surprise, I wasn’t expecting the scholarship at all. I was really honored to receive it.”
Recently, Machamer got a taste of what it would be like to be an interior designer when she shadowed a family friend who designs home interiors and shore houses.
“It was a really good experience seeing how she runs her business,” Machamer said. “I really like getting to know someone and making a design specifically for them. It’s really personal and you can incorporate a bit of your style and your client’s style.”
Machamer said she is enjoying her junior year. Being surrounded by artists in a small college atmosphere is comforting to her.
“I can’t tell you how many teachers I had in high school who would catch me doodling or drawing on a page and would say, ‘Don’t do that,’” she said. “Here, if they see me doodle, they say, ‘Oh, here’s how you could change it.’ It’s a really supportive atmosphere.”