Graduate Student Spotlight on Chassidy Siratt

Chassidy Surrat

Chassidy Siratt, of Malvern, has graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in studio art. In the fall, she will continue her education at UA Little Rock in the graduate visual arts program.

Q. Tell us about yourself?

I currently live in the Malvern area. I am married with a grown son, a daughter in high school, a soon to be daughter-in-law, a granddaughter, and a grandson on the way. I love to spend time with my family. I am a gamer, and I also love animals, art, reading, and crochet. I generally keep myself busy with a combination of all of the above at any given time.

Q. What programs did you explore before deciding to become an art major?

I started off planning to major in computer science with an emphasis on game design and migrated into web design instead. I finished up my first year by working for a group at the FDA in Pine Bluff to update and maintain their internal website.

As part of both the game design emphasis and the web design program, I took a few art classes and enjoyed the creative, hands-on approach of art over computer coding. After thinking about which class experiences I enjoyed the most, I made a leap of faith and threw myself into the art program. The idea of using my art in the game medium to add further dimension to my work is something I am still interested in playing with.

Q. Why did you decide to go back to school after having a professional career?

I had hit a glass ceiling. I couldn’t really go any higher in what I was doing, and it was no longer fulfilling. I had completed my associates degree online while I was working full time. My son was old enough to drive himself and his sister to and from school and events, so things on my end became a little more flexible. It was time to try something new. I put in my notice at work, cashed in my retirement, and decided to go back to school full time for my bachelor’s degree.

Q. Who were some of your mentors at UA Little Rock?

Joli Livaudais is my current mentor as well as my advisor. She has opened me up to the world of alternative methods photography, and it finally feels like I have found my passion. Win Bruhl has also been a great mentor. He goes out of his way to be helpful and give good advice.

Q. What advice would you give to incoming students?

Take advantage of the opportunity being given to you and don’t take your education for granted. There are a lot of people with a lot of talent, but how they approach their situation is going to say a lot about where they end up in life. Taking the initiative to try hard and work hard is always going to take a person further than having it come naturally and taking it for granted.

Q. What do you plan to do after graduation?

I have been accepted into UA Little Rock’s Master of Arts in Visual Arts program for the coming fall and will continue to explore alternative methods photography. I have just received notice of a GA position and will also be paying it forward by teaching this semester, and I’m really looking forward to that.

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