Peter Machen '10 - Visual Arts


Peter Machen '10 made his mark on Curry College...literally.

In one of his final acts as a Curry student in late 2009, the Baltimore, Maryland native and Visual Arts major created two separate murals which now adorn the halls and classrooms in the Kennedy Academic Building on campus.

The first mural, called 'Slalom', zips down one of the staircases near the Fine and Applied Arts Department offices.  The second, which is yet to be named, flanks a wall clock in one of the nearby classrooms.

"I get inspiration by filling in spaces on an occupied wall as opposed to using a traditional blank slate - for example, around the clock on the classroom wall and the railing on the hall stairway."

"It's nice to go to a school where the administration supports displaying student art work in a real world context," he added.

Machen, who concentrated in Studio Arts and graduated in December 2009, began his time at Curry not knowing what he wanted for a major area of study.  He originally chose Curry because of its reputation for outstanding academic resources.

And even though he was undecided during his first year at the school, he eventually found his path.  He received good grades his freshman year and decided to spread his wings a bit.

"After my first year, I fell in love with the campus made some tight relationships with the people here.  Plus, I finally discovered what I wanted to concentrate on in my sophomore year."

That is the point where Machen decided to focus full-time on his passion for art.

"In high school, I worked off and on for a metal sculptor in Baltimore, named David Hess.  I also stayed on to intern with him during summer and winter breaks from Curry.  I learned so much from him and felt so passionate about art while I was doing it that I decided that I wanted to do it for the rest of my life."

He also credits the Fine Arts Faculty with both challenging and supporting him throughout his college experience.

"At Curry, you know your professors intimately, and they know you just as well or better," says Machen.  "Professor (Elizabeth) Strasser always kept me focused on the task at hand.  Professor (Laurie) Alpert, who supervised the Independent Study mural project, was extremely supportive throughout."

Machen is very proud of the work he accomplished both in an out of the classroom at Curry, especially the mural project.  He says it's a lesson to those students who may not have figured out what they want to major in just yet.

"After I finished the murals, I was on Cloud 9," he recalled.  "I knew that I would be happy making art as my life's work.  But it took patience to figure it out."

"As a first-year student, it's important to take some time to figure out what you want to do at Curry.  You want to learn how to play an instrument?  Pick up a guitar.  Interested in art but have never tried it?  Take a drawing class.  Concentrate on what makes you happy, and once you figure it out, pursue it relentlessly."

After graduation Machen headed to Boulder, Colorado, and has since expanded his skill set by diving head first into the realm of digital media, which he believes has assisted him in enhancing his mural work.


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