Mercer’s sophomore Faith Reagin said her love for art began when she was three.
“I loved coloring books. I loved everything that had to do with it, ”Reagin said. “I have always been a creative person and have always enjoyed jotting things down.”
Now, as a student, Reagin is a passionate participant in Mercer’s art program. Mercer offers two pathways to its art students: the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Fine Arts. Reagin is on the BFA trail.
Choosing Mercer was easy for Reagin. She said she enjoys the intimate and small atmosphere of the school, especially in the arts department.
“When it comes to such a small group of people, your opinion and your views and the way you do things matter so much more,” she said. “You’re more of a person that way. I feel like it’s really important when you’re trying to be an artist.
Reagin has a particular love for film photography after taking a high school film class and learning the darkroom process. She also enjoys painting, but her primary artistic interest lies in drawing.
Reagin’s love for drawing shines through the pages of his sketchbook. One of his favorite early works is an oil pastel depicting a skeleton consumed by kudzu.
“Kudzu is an invasive species, and it sucks the life out of anything, so I thought it could suck the life out of a human.” Now that’s funny! It’s probably the best thing I did in high school, ”Reagin said.
Reagin is also proud of a surreal drawing she made in high school, inspired by Hokusai’s iconic print, “The Wave.” This piece is heavy with symbolism.
“Fishing is truth, lightning awakens from ignorance, blood is humanity and time is mortality,” she said.
For Reagin, art is an exploration tool for discovering other cultures and history. Each of his pieces is loaded with research and meaning.
A more recent drawing of his is entirely hatched. In the center is a carefully shaded Eddie Vedder, the lead singer of Pearl Jam, singing emotionally into a microphone. Around him is a background of tiles filled with the titles of different songs Reagin thought he could sing, including “Black”, “Elderly Woman” and “Nothingman”.
Reagin’s content changes with its medium. While she tends to focus on people in her drawings, she enjoys exploring the effects of lighting on her camera.
“One of my favorite things is seeing the sunlight coming through the leaves and seeing all the veins and shadows overlapping,” she said. “I love it. It’s such a beautiful effect.
In the future, she dreams of owning her own gallery and selling her art for a living.
For Reagin – photographer, painter and designer – art is “expression. It’s how someone relates to the world around them. It is a way of visually filtering you.
“Who am I?” Reagin said. “I am my own art.”