"I chose Caz, because Caz chose me."
When Angelica Clark learned she was accepted to Cazenovia College four years ago, she made the trek from her hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Cazenovia so she could visit the campus and meet with studio art professors. She fell in love, immediately feeling right at home, and Clark knew Caz was where she wanted to go to college. "I chose Caz, because Caz chose me," says Clark. "Everything fell right into place."
Always drawn to art and working with her hands, Clark enrolled in the studio art program because it offered the ability to work with different mediums. She enjoys working with glass, clay, fibers, metal, wood and wire - this last being her favorite. Wrapping wire is therapeutic for her, disappearing into her work as she convinces the wire to take the shape she envisions. The experience leaves her hands with cuts, blisters, and scrapes, but for Clark, the temporary pain is worth it for the beautiful creations that come of it.
In the spring of her sophomore year, Clark took Professor Kim Waale's Sculpture course where she continued working with wire, combining it with glass. The class led Clark to create a work she's very proud of titled "Family Tree."
Waale remembers that Clark "always undertook very difficult, labor intensive projects for herself and with great determination and excellent time management skills, completing them beautifully."
The class, and meeting Waale, would lead to even more for Clark, setting off a chain of events that would bring Clark to England. Knowing of her interest in traveling abroad, Waale talked to Clark about Cazenovia College's international study program in Canterbury, England. The more Clark learned, the more she knew - she had to go! In the fall of her junior year, she boarded the plane for London with Associate Professor Jen Pepper and 15 fellow students.
The experience opened up a whole new world for Clark and became a life-changing opportunity. Over the course of the semester, she went on field trips to a variety of places including the Globe Theatre, the Tower of London, Windsor Castle and Stonehenge. In her free time, Clark navigated her way through twelve different countries! Traveling with a friend, Clark's excursions took her to Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Vatican City, Wales and other locations in England. "I cannot thank Caz enough for the opportunity," says Clark.
The friendships she made were an important aspect of Clark's semester abroad - both the ones she made with fellow students, as well as those she made during her travels. Every week, Pepper invited the students to her cottage for dinner and the group soon developed a close bond. Clark brought these newly formed friendships back to campus with her and remains in touch with many of the people she met.
Not long after returning from her semester in Canterbury, Clark was given the opportunity to combine her love of art with her love of travel thanks again to Waale, who paved the way for Clark to be offered a summer internship in Wales. Shortly after the spring semester ended, Clark once again boarded a plane to embark on an international journey.
Clark's internship was with Veronica Calarco, owner of Stiwdio Maelor, an artist community in Corris, Wales, a small town known for its slate mines. As Calarco's assistant, Clark learned how to organize a grass roots business, maintained the organization's website and social media, and worked with artists from all over the world to install their creations.
In addition to expanding her horizons at Stiwdio Maelor, Clark also found creative inspiration in the stone that surrounded her in this new environment. Tools in hand, Clark set to work carving woodblock prints. Her dedication and creativity resulted in Clark's first international show.
Before returning to the United States, Clark's work was displayed in a solo show at The Slaters Arms in the village of Corris, Wales. She displayed six monotype woodcut prints of the slate fences found in Corris. Calarco organized the show and Waale opened it.
"I was pleased to be in Wales for the opening of her solo exhibition," says Waale. "As her professor I was invited to speak at the opening and I was very proud to do so. It is a remarkable accomplishment for a young artist to have her first solo exhibition be international!"
Since the show, she's sold three of the six prints displayed. "The show was the cherry on top of a great internship," says Clark.
When asked if she has any words of advice for students thinking about studying abroad, Clark doesn't hesitate to respond, entreating students to "Please go! You will regret it if you do not." She explains, "Going to Canterbury was the best decision I have ever made, and because of it I got an internship opportunity of a lifetime."