Eva Hu ’18 (SFA), an international studio art major from Guangzhou, China, never forgets her home and her roots, and this passion shines through in every piece of art she worked on during her stay. at the University of Connecticut.
She especially wants the flavor of her hometown to shine through as she works to develop her calligraphy-inspired clay sculpture, a project supported by UConn’s IDEA Grant program.
The UConn IDEA grant program awards up to $ 4,000 to undergraduate students to fund “self-designed work on a subject, project, problem, product or artistic performance, or other entrepreneurial idea or creative of their choice ”.
Caroline McGuire, director of UConn’s undergraduate research office, which facilitates and oversees the IDEA grants program at the school, said Hu’s talent and hard-working ability came to the fore when she applied for the grant:
“It suited the IDEA Grant program well, as it requires students to come up with a project that they themselves developed, in whatever form. Eva proposed an innovative project to translate calligraphy – a traditional art form that she describes as being closely linked to her Chinese identity – into three-dimensional sculpture using clay, a material she describes as elementary and grounded ” , explains McGuire. “It was clear in her application that she developed and designed this project herself, that she has the skills and motivation to achieve her ambitions for the project, and that engaging in this work would advance her practice. artistic.”
McGuire notes that Hu’s teachers, including her sculpture and ceramic arts teacher, Monica Bock, also saw important promises in her and encouraged her to apply for the grant.
For Hu, the achievements she has made so far have not come without an effort. She remembers that as a freshman being nearly 8,000 miles from home was not easy.
“I still remember when a UConn policeman had to help me get to my dorm,” she says. “As I started to understand the lessons and make new friends, at first I was sometimes stressed about school, so I would go for a walk or just spend time talking to my friends. After a while I started to get used to it and find my own rhythm. It’s not easy to manage everything at the same time, trying to manage your time is important.
Hu would also see his friends leave for the weekend and start to miss his parents and family. But, after developing a strong group of friends and focusing on her goals, she knew she was in the right place, in the UConn community:
“Sometimes,” she said, “when I saw parents picking up their children from school, there was a time when I hoped my parents could come and pick me up too. But you have to stay strong because I know they miss me every day so you have to do whatever you have to do to make them proud.
Now, as she enters her final year at UConn, Hu is on the rise. She sees the IDEA grant as the culmination of the hard work and comfort level she has achieved. She finally enjoys being in a place of peace and stability in her life, knowing that she is currently acquiring the skills that will shape her career, hopefully as a studio artist.
And she appreciates that she learned these skills in her home away from home: “I love UConn because that’s where I started to learn more about myself and got the teachers who guided and carried me, ”she says. “Because of these people, UConn is not just a school for me, but a home for me.”