• 2015 Petrovich-Cheney


LAURA PETROVICH-CHENEY ’11

Website: http://www.lauracheney.com/

Major: Studio Art MFA

Image Credit: Dina Kantor

On my walks I collect what is ignored, stepped on, or washed up on the beach—abandoned birds’ nests, tree trunks, orphaned boats. I am drawn to material that is in a state of transition and  has been exposed to time, weather, insects, and forces of nature. In this transitional state, the material’s interior life is vulnerable. I use such discarded material in my work to  explore ideas that are rooted in the repetition of life—birth, growth, death, and regeneration. 

In 2011, I graduated from Moore with my MFA in Studio Arts. I was a part of the inaugural graduating group. There were many professors who inspired me while I was there and to whom I am so grateful- Moe Brooker, James RosenthalJennie Shanker, Alice Oh, Virginia Maksymowicz, Alessandro Codagnone, and especially Paul Hubbard, who encouraged me to always be brave.

  • Build your credentials as an artist by getting into exhibitions, entering competitions, or applying for fellowships – but don’t take rejection personally. Keep submitting.
  • Start your email list while you are in school. Maintain it regularly.
  • Maintain your website and/or blog regularly. If you haven’t posted on your blog in two months, close it out. Update images and your copyright year should be current.
  • Maintain your resume regularly. Keep a record of all your exhibition cards, posters and reviews in a binder for your reference.
  • Set up a studio hours like a job. Never call out sick from your studio hours. Invite people for a studio visit.
  • Remember people’s names and be gracious! When someone likes your art or meet a curator/fellow artist, follow up with a “nice to meet you” email, phone call, or note card within a couple of days. The art world is small so be nice.
  • Treat your art with respect. Use good mats, frames, wrap it professional when it’s delivered to a show.
  • Hire someone to take professional images of your work. This is especially important when you have a solo or small (2-3) group show. Take pictures of people looking at your work.
  • Decide on your vision for yourself and commit to making it happen by writing it down. It may take months or years – but figure out where do you want to be in one year, five years, and ten years.
  • Don’t make excuses for not having time or being too busy. Just make the priority for your artwork. Everyone only has 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • See as much artwork as possible – museums, galleries, and local co-ops. Go to your artist colleagues’ openings often and regularly. Don’t be financially illiterate. Develop a budget and build up a cash reserve – develop your money management skills.