Student Spotlight: Amanda Morgado

Amanda Morgado is a first year graduate student at the School of Visual Art and Design, working on her Master of Fine Arts degree in Drawing. She received her BFA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, with a focus in both drawing and new media. She has always put a lot of emphasis on hybridity between different processes and materials in her work, and tries to push herself beyond the traditional notions of what a drawing can be. Her process deals with giving form to what is both fragile and otherwise unseen (such as memories, emotions, and relationships) in an attempt to reach something that evokes a sense of wonder or the sublime. At the moment, she is most interested in making installations.


What are you enjoying most about your graduate instructional assistantship?

Being a teaching assistant is kind of like peeking behind the curtain of academia. Currently my role is mainly that of a helpful observer, learning how to take the next step into a field that, until now, I have only seen through the perspective of a student. It is an in-between space where I am no longer a student in the class, but also not an instructor. I think that is my favorite part of it. I also like seeing the students improve over the course of the semester. Some of them come into class without any knowledge of materials or experiences with art, but they know they like to draw. That’s a great place to start. By the end of the semester, they know what they are doing and how to approach assignments. I am looking forward to teaching my first class next semester. 


What class has been the most eye-opening and interesting to you as a graduate student?

So far, the class that I found the most interesting has been the drawing seminar class. I took it last fall, my first semester in a graduate program. I did not know what to expect. This class was a great introduction into both the graduate program and the school itself. It was a combination of in-class activities, writing assignments, and critiques with the other graduate students. We had bi-weekly meetings with the other grads in order to interview and write about each other’s work. This was a great way to get to know the other students and to become more comfortable talking about my own work. There was one writing assignment in particular that has really stuck with me. We had to find texts (poems, quotes, books, lyrics, etc.) that reflected similar ideas as our own work. I found this to be very difficult at the time, but now I can’t seem to stop searching for them and taking great comfort in finding them. These texts are very reassuring that my work is not isolated, it is a part of a constellation of ideas that connects me with other, larger concepts.


What are your plans for next semester as a graduate student and practicing artist? what are you looking forward to?

I am applying to shows right now and to residencies for over the summer. As for next semester, I think it will be greatly informed by what I make this semester and that will be determined through my current research, experimentations, and discoveries (which I am very excited about). Artistically my ultimate goal is to create an immersive experience for the viewer, but there are multiple possible ways to do this and I want to try as many of them as I can during my time here.