Title: Alumni Profile: Lyndsey Rowland (Galasso)
Life story in a nutshell: where are you from, what is your background, what was your major?
I am from Croghan, NY, a small town in Upstate New York, and currently live in Central NY. I graduated from Beaver River Central School with only 68 students in my class. I was very active in the Arts and athletics, taking Art and band all through high school and participating on the swimming and volleyball teams. Unlike many high school students, I knew exactly what I wanted to do as a future career. I was going to live by the saying, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” I would be an Art teacher. First, I would continue exploring Art for my bachelor’s degree. Believe it or not, SUNY Brockport was my first and only college visit. After spending a day on campus, I knew that it was where I was meant to be. It was just big enough, but still had that small town feel. I enrolled in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program with a concentration in painting and eventually added minors in Graphic Design and Art History.
What made you want to pursue your major?
With a career goal of becoming an Art teacher, it was important to me that I spend time developing as a young artist and taking the opportunity to experience as many Art media and processes as possible. The Bachelor of Fine Arts program at Brockport provided me with the coursework to fulfill this goal. Not only did I have the opportunity to fine-tune my skills in painting (my concentration), I was also able to use Art media that I never had the chance to use in my High School program. The BFA program pushed me to explore, question, and discuss my Art making process through yearly walkthroughs and my first solo exhibition, “Sticks and Stones: Words Will Always Hurt Me.”
What kind of special experiences have you had at Brockport? (A great teacher, an internship, friendships, particular projects, etc.)
I am so thankful for the culture that was created by the professors in the Department of Art at Brockport. No matter what your concentration was, each professor was welcoming, supportive and made you feel like you belonged. These qualities trickled down to the students, where studio spaces felt like little communities and life long friendships were formed. Now that I am an Art teacher with my own classroom, I have made it a top priority to create this same environment for my students.
In 20 years, what is the one thing you will remember most about SUNY Brockport?
I will remember the happiness and comfort I felt each and every day at Brockport. It was my home away from home. The Department of Art confirmed my dream of becoming an Art teacher. I formed lifelong friendships, and I met my husband at the start of my freshman year. We even named our dog, Dobson, after THE Dobson Hall, where we met!
Where do you currently work? Please describe your job and reflect on what is the best part about your job.
I currently work at Hannibal High School as an Art teacher. I teach Studio Art, Drawing & Painting, Digital Photography, Digital Art & Design, Portfolio Prep, and an adapted Art class. These courses range from introductory levels to the most advanced that are offered at the high school. I am also the Yearbook advisor where I am able to apply the Graphic Design skills I acquired through my minor at SUNY Brockport. The best part about my job is that it doesn’t feel like a job. I get to go to work, share my passion with my students, and watch them explore and discover what they love about Art.
When I’m not teaching, I spend the majority of my free time making and selling my own Art. I currently specialize in painted pet portraits using acrylic. Sometimes my pet portraits are traditional while others take on human-like qualities like being dressed in costumes and accessories. All of the works I create are commissioned and done so through social media.
How did SUNY Brockport and the Department of Art prepare you for your career, life after college, etc.?
The skills I acquired in the studios, creating and discussing Art, provided me with the confidence to move forward in my pursuit of becoming an Art teacher. I knew I was ready to take the next step and apply all of the skills I had developed to teach any age group how to create Art. I graduated from SUNY Brockport in 2013 and immediately enrolled in the Art Education Initial Certification Graduate program at Nazareth College the following fall.