HERRON: Describe foundation studies at Herron. What can students gain from the courses within it?

POTTER: Foundation studies is a program for first-year students that allows them to find their niche and medium before declaring their majors. Two examples of classes I teach within the program are Drawing I and Drawing II. Drawing is often one of the classes that students feel the most nervous about. It is not uncommon for students to tell me that they have never drawn before. However, if they thought back to when they were very young, they would remember days of drawing with crayons in kindergarten.

I think the initial nervousness comes from the idea that their drawings should look like a photograph, but that is not always the case. Drawing from observation is more about learning to see things deeply and learning to translate the three-dimensional world into a two-dimensional format. Drawing is about teaching the hand and the eye to communicate with one another. I think this is a beautiful thing. That is why we have the class and that is why I am here.

Foundation studies is a collaborative space as well and fosters dialogue between the students. It's a place for them to explore. Herron has a particularly strong foundation studies program. It's difficult, but beneficial.

HERRON: Do you have any advice for students seeking a bachelor's degree in the arts?

POTTER: Your education is a gift you give yourself. It's important to honor that gift. My education gave me many opportunities, such as the studying abroad I mentioned before. Many people told me not to major in art but I decided it's what I'm doing in the moment that's important, not where I end up.

An art and design degree creates a marriage between intellect and creativity and if that appeals to you, you should pursue it.

HERRON: Lastly, we hear you're learning to play the banjo?

POTTER: With the banjo, I wanted to pick up something as a beginner. Spending as many years painting as I have, it's easy to forget that feeling. As a teacher, I think that's a good thing to do every once in a while, going through the process of learning something new. Reminding yourself of that experience is always beneficial.