Column: One student’s struggle in a nonexistent major

by Katie Davert
edited by Emily Catuccio

Phillip Moran is a senior graduating with a fine arts major from a university that no longer offers this major.

The major was cut his freshman year so the program lacked students of his own grade, but plenty of students older than him existed in the program. “It was hard to hear and I definitely considered transferring multiple times,” said Moran. There were also reasons to stay, like the friends he had already made and the scholarship he was awarded. Another reason he decided to stay was to try glassblowing, something he wouldn’t be able to do at an average university.

Moran came to FPU expecting to graduate with a dozen students in the fine arts major. Instead, he’s one of the only ones graduating with that major, yet staying at FPU created a dozen opportunities he wouldn’t have had anywhere else.

(Photo: Katie Davert)

As freshman year turned to sophomore year, Moran continued with the fine arts major even though it was no longer recognized by the university. Since he already declared his major before they made the cuts, he was allowed to continue. Aside from taking GLE courses and other required course he started gaining major credits by taking only drawing classes, unsure of what he wanted to do with his fine arts major in the future.

During his sophomore year, he took printmaking and the class changed his outlook on the arts. “I discovered a whole new way of thinking about my work simply because of all the new things I learned in the process of printmaking,” said Moran. Printmaking wasn’t the only class that allowed him to see things differently; he began to blow glass the second semester of his sophomore year.

He continued to blow glass, taking all four of the available courses since his sophomore year. He even became the teaching assistant the first semester junior year. Unfortunately, being one of the only students who has taken all four courses limited his ability; as there are no other art majors who blow glass to help him work on his pieces.

(Photo: Katie Davert)

Moran, being so advanced in blowing glass, was able to get a job at a studio after he graduates. “I’ve continued drawing and blowing glass through junior year until now and have realized that glassblowing is not only something I am passionate about but is an opportunity I wouldn’t have otherwise had if I weren’t going here,” said Moran. Printmaking, drawing, and blowing glass allowed him to put on his own senior show along with a number of other students.

The show, titled “The End, Our Beginning,” consists of 2D art centered around a common theme of the effects of government on their lives. The show also features a medieval glass dining set as an example of Moran’s time blowing glass at FPU. The show took roughly five months to plan and it was anticipated that it would take even longer when he first began planning it.

“This show legitimizes me, it’s a testament to all the effort I’ve put into my work and will show potential employers I’m well versed in my craft,” said Moran. The opening in the Thoreau Gallery was April 12th and  will run until the 21st.  The show is important because, “it shows the skills we as majors have learned here regardless of the fact that our major is cut,” said Moran.


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