Alumni Profile: Quinn Waltman (’20, Fine Art) explores the field of art therapy

When Quinn Waltman arrived at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design four years ago from her Lewisburg hometown, she already had an inkling that art therapy was a career path that interested her … but, she says, her PCA&D experience “solidified that art therapy is what I want to pursue.” In a few months, she heads off to one of the top graduate programs in the country for further study in this growing branch of the mental health field.

While at PCA&D, Waltman was the recipient of the Cynthia E. Price Memorial Scholarship. Established by Richard “Rick” Price, his sons Jacob and Jordan, and their families, the scholarship honors Price’s late wife Cynthia, an artist and craftswoman. The recipient must have advanced beyond the first year of studies, be pursuing a degree in visual arts, have a strong academic and work ethic, and be determined to improve the world around them through the expression of their artwork.

Learn more about how Waltman’s college experiences, and classes, prepared her to take the next step:

 

Work by Quinn Waltman ('20, Fine Art): “IV bag series: October, November, and December”

“IV bag series: October, November, and December,” by Quinn Waltman (’20, Fine Art)

What helped you decide to choose your major?

QW: Like many others, I was initially torn between Illustration and Fine Art. The decision came easily after learning that the Fine Art major covers a large variety of traditional mediums and is very open to digital ones as well.

Where are you headed for graduate school this fall? How did PCA&D help prepare you for this step?

QW: I will be attending Marywood University’s art therapy graduate program in the fall. For those who don’t know, art therapy is a newer treatment modality in the mental health field that utilizes the healing and diagnostic abilities of creative self-expression. I feel as if my studio classes provided me with more than enough confidence in my own artistic expression to be able to eventually aid others with theirs. 

The liberal arts and professional practice classes helped me greatly in expanding my knowledge and ability to articulate my thoughts and ideas in an effective manner. I also received a large amount of guidance in finding the extra psychology courses I took over the summer at another school to fulfill the prerequisite requirements for my graduate school program.

Your summer internship was influential as well. Can you talk briefly about that experience?

QW: My internship was at Friendship Heart Gallery, a gallery and studio that hosts artists with intellectual disabilities. This was an incredible opportunity for me considering it is so highly related to my career path. During the summer following my junior year, I spent the majority of the internship working one-on-one with the artists to help them achieve their artistic visions and express their individuality through their work. After just my first week, I realized I picked the right career path and I am working towards a wonderful career I will be happy and honored to do.

Any final thoughts about how your PCA&D experience helped prepare you for whatever comes next? 

QW: Due to the small size and community-based nature of the school, you can really get a lot more from PCA&D than just a degree. The faculty are very receptive to each student as an individual with different needs. They are an incredible resource for both knowledge and support. PCA&D also provides a ton of opportunities to get involved with both the school and the community. Some of my favorite experiences at PCA&D involve community outreach projects and club meetings. At the risk of sounding cheesy, you really do get out of it what you put into it at PCA&D.

You can follow Waltman on Instagram at @quinn.k.w_art