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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

Whetsell Fellowship encourages visual arts participation

Sarah+Baldwin+has+worked+over+the+summer+to+create+her+own+art+exhibit+focused+on+sewing+and+fabric+design%2C+including+this+piece+of+a+human+form.
Sarah Baldwin has worked over the summer to create her own art exhibit focused on sewing and fabric design, including this piece of a human form.

TALENTED STUDENT ARTIST RECEIVED FUNDING TO CREATE AND RPESENT HER OWN UPCOMING EXHIBIT—

Every spring, one Wofford student is selected to receive the Whetsell Memorial Fellowship for the Visual Arts which culminates into presenting their own exhibit on campus in the fall. This year’s Whetsell fellow is Sarah Baldwin, a senior art history major and studio arts minor from Chapin, SC.

The Whetsell Fellowship was established by Dr. William Whetsell in memory of his brother Dan Whetsell in order to annually facilitate a student’s study and creation of art. Each fellowship winner receives funding to work on and create their own pieces throughout the summer under the guidance of a professional mentor from the community. These pieces are then intended to be displayed in a student exhibition on campus in the fall. To apply for the fellowship, a student does not have to a be an art major/minor or even currently enrolled in an art course. All students are encouraged to participate.

In spring 2013, Baldwin applied after previously watching her friends create their own exhibits through the fellowship. Baldwin received confirmation of her selection whilst abroad in Copenhagen. Prior to becoming a Whetsell Fellow, Baldwin has been very active in the college’s art community. Besides her art history major and studio art minor, Baldwin has worked with the Space to start her own retail business, That’s Sew Me, and has worked to raise money for the arts department through the Free the Artist program.

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Baldwin is very grateful for this specific experience, saying that she gained a lot of different insights through her work over the summer and in setting up the exhibit.

“It’s been a great experience curating a show and even just for networking purposes,” she says. “Artistically, I was able to explore my style a lot. I do a lot of sewing and needlework, and that’s what my exhibit is on, but I was still able to experiment and explore within that medium and then really establish my style. It’s also been a way for me to connect various disciplines. A lot of my pieces make references back to other works of fine art that I’ve learned about in my art history classes so it has been a lot of fun to relate these things.”

Besides utilizing some of the curriculum she’s learned throughout her classes, Baldwin took inspiration from her love for fashion. All of her pieces have been created through the process of upcycling, or reusing her own clothing or clothing she’s collected over time. Baldwin hopes that through her work she can share her belief of the artistic merit of fashion design.

Baldwin is also grateful for the support she’s received from her assigned mentor Nancy Corbin.

“Working with Nancy Corbin has been my favorite part of this process. Her artistic perspective and overwhelming support have helped to challenge me and give me confidence in my work,” she says. “Receiving this fellowship and creating my own exhibit has also given me confidence in my own work as an artist, and has helped to confirm that a career in the arts will bring the most happiness to my life.”

Her current Whetsell exhibit is being displayed in the Martha Cloud Chapman Gallery in the Campus Life Building. She will be holding an opening reception and artist’s talk on Tuesday, October 28th from six to eight p.m. At this opening talk, she will be discussing each of her works, her artistic process and her inspirations for the project. She also hopes to inspire others to pursue art.

“My liberal arts education has helped me to make valid connections across various disciplines. I want others to use art as a way to not only express their passions, but to also make connections between their varying classes and to deeply investigate ideas, questions and topics of interest,” says Baldwin. “I believe that our school will benefit greatly if students and staff begin to recognize how valuable art can be in helping students approach ideas from a different angle and make connections across their studies.”

— Kelsey Aylor

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