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Junior hopes to turn his passion into a life 

Like many during the pandemic, 梅森Terra, ’24, experienced a myriad of emotions. 

To help manage these feelings he turned to painting.   

“I began to realize how quickly life can be taken away. I lost family members at that time and my cat…there was a lot of stuff going on, but it also wasn’t all bad, 有些是好的,他说. “I discovered and started thinking about the ying and yang between good and bad and explored this through painting.”  

With a paintbrush in hand, Terra started out on smaller canvases purchased from a craft store. He quickly found he enjoyed using oil paints and because of this, began to rethink his life and ultimately his major at Bridgewater State University.   

“I was initially an anthropology major, my entire life I wanted to be a paleontologist,特拉说. “But during the pandemic, 我一直在画, I realized I wanted to do something I love for the rest of my life and switched from anthropology to fine arts.”  

Since making that decision, Terra has found his calling and this summer was accepted into BSU’s signature Adrian Tinsley Program (ATP) for 本科研究 and Creative Work Summer Grants.  

获奖人获赠$4,500 plus funding for supplies and other expenses to conduct in-depth research or creative work for ten weeks in the summer.   

Terra learned of the ATP program when he was seeking out scholarship opportunities and his professor Rob Lorenson 建议ATP.   

“We looked it up and realized that the application was due the next day,特拉说.   

确定, Terra stayed up all night to write out his project idea and managed to fill out the application and submit it on time and to his surprise was accepted.   

“I knew what I wanted to do for the project as I had already started painting things in the theme of grief and loss. I was able to form a project around my style and take my message and theme,他说.   

Professor and Chairperson of Art and Art History 科林斯慕斯 is mentoring Terra on the project, which involves not only painting large-scale, four feet by three feet pieces, but Terra also stretches his own canvases.   

He creates all his artwork in the art center at BSU.   

“This project also helps me expand my portfolio, so I can get into a good graduate school,特拉说. “It allows me to really practice my skills and hone in on them, 继续研究我的色彩理论, 图的形状...it’s not a project I have to abide by in a class, I get to create my own prompts, it’s personal.”  

It is also helping him to prepare for his scheduled semester abroad this fall at Florence, Italy’s Santa Reparta International School of Art. 

“I’ll be studying printmaking and drawing as well as other classes. It’s a great place to study art, there are a ton of museums. It’s going to be a great place to immerse myself in artwork and learn as much as I can,特拉说.   

His ultimate goal is to be able to continue to paint for a living and hopefully land an artists’ residency where a company provides the artist with the opportunity to create and display their works as well as a place to live and a studio.   

“I’d love to sell my paintings to companies, collectors, have my work shown in galleries,他说.   

And in this technology-driven world, it’s important to remember art has a place in society, Terra补充道.   

“Art can offer different perspectives; it can initiate conversations. Art can bring about new inventions or just a different opinion,他说. “Sharing ideas is important for growth and expression and now more than ever, we need to be able to better communicate as a society, 作为一个国家.”   

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