Elon University / Today at Elon / #ElonGrad 2022 Spotlight: Shelly Freund, art


In this series, Elon College, the college of arts and sciences, spotlights distinguished members of the Class of 2022 from a variety of disciplines.

Shelly Freund ’22 is a studio art student majoring in painting whose graduate work is currently on display at Gallery 406 in Arts West.

Freund, an international student from El Salvador, originally planned to study psychology, but found the arts program in her sophomore year and changed her major.

She is a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Society and the Latinx-Hispanic Union of Elon.

Who are your mentors at Elon?

This year I worked with Professors Anne Simpkins and Michael Fels during my BFA thesis project. Your guidance and support throughout the dissertation process has really impacted my work as a student and professional artist. I’d like to personally thank them for supporting my craziest art ideas (yes, glitter included).

My third and most important mentor in this whole process is my mother. She continues to teach me in ways that science cannot. Thanks to her, I now know how to follow my “art gut feeling”.

What are your plans after graduation?

I’m pursuing a Master of Fine Art in Studio Art at Tufts University’s School of Museum and Fine Arts in Fall 2022.

Is there anything you’ve accomplished at Elon that you’re particularly proud of?

The quintessential artist is a portfolio that showcases both quality and quantity. When I started my BFA two years out of college, my portfolio wasn’t one of those things.

I was racing against the clock, and with the right guidance, I began producing artworks faster than ever before. I have worked hard to develop and improve my portfolio and my personal and professional art practice. While I still have so much to learn, I am proud of where I am and where my career is headed in the future.

What advice would you give to future Elon students?

Take that one course you thought you’d never use in the outside world. Take it. It could change your entire career.


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