Upon entering Art & Design’s administrative offices, an eclectic mix of artwork and student assistants greet guests with a friendly “Hello, how may I help you?” posture. One such work-study student is senior Amina Daugherty, who graduates this week with a B.F.A. degree in sculpture.
Focused and passionately creative, Amina is a first-generation college student and the first in her family to earn a degree in the fine arts field. This, all at the age of twenty in an accelerated pace. Amina attended the DeKalb Early College Academy which allowed her to graduate with a high school diploma and an associate’s degree. For her 10th and 11th grades, she was a full-time student at Perimeter Clarkston Campus then seamlessly matriculated to the arts program at Georgia State.
As a child, Amina grew up in a household of creatives. Both parents are artists who draw and paint, along with a sister who sings. Her father first taught Amina how to draw during elementary school. According to Amina, “Art was always a hobby that I enjoyed while trying to figure out what direction I wanted my life to go in. I didn’t decide to take art seriously until 12th grade when I realized I was letting something that I loved fall to the side.”
Amina describes her artwork as anthropology-based. She credits artist Kara Walker for helping her shape her point of view as an artist and inspiring her to create compelling artwork that is bold and unapologetic. She also shares a similar background with Walker as both are African-American female artists who grew up in Stone Mountain, GA.
For her B.F.A. exit show, Amina presented a mixed media installation of sculpture and photography that examines the relationships between African and African-American cultures in the context of stereotypes by combining history and contemporary elements of each.
Amina acknowledges the Art & Design faculty for their encouragement and guidance in building a solid artistic foundation and for teaching her to think about art from multiple perspectives. According to the budding artist, one key takeaway is to be proactive and seek out faculty who are willing to engage in conversation about your art work. She also recommends embracing the local artistic community and becoming involved as she did with internships at ZuCot Gallery and The Museum of Contemporary Art in Georgia (MOCA GA).
The next steps in Amina’s artistic journey are to spread her wings and travel, meet new artists, and explore art communities.