Having the opportunity to take a variety of art classes created the foundation Virginia needed to find what she is passionate about. It was not until years after college that Virginia realized that she loves teaching. It goes to show that everything you learn in school is important, and she goes into detail how important that is. Below Virginia describes how her education at Marywood was able to shape her career and life today.
Virginia Pinto Sosik
Graduation Year/Major: I graduated from Marywood University in 1990 with a BFA in Illustration and Design.
Marywood Clubs/Organizations: I was a member and past president of Zeta Omicron, Marywood University’s chapter of Kappa Pi International Art Honor Society.
Current Occupation: Currently, I am a full time teaching artist with acquisitions and commissions globally. I offer fine art, home school, and portfolio development programs in my studio in Dunmore, PA to children and adults. I have worked in the art field for over thirty years at graphic firms in northeast Pennsylvania, Penn Foster (formerly ICS International Correspondence School, Scranton PA) in Product Development, and taught at Marywood University’s School of Continuing Education, Scranton, PA, as well as guest artist offering fine art instruction in Northeast Pennsylvania.
1) What was your favorite part of Marywood?
My favorite part about Marywood was that for a small catholic college in northeastern Pennsylvania we had accomplished teaching artists and educators like Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, Peter Hoffer, and Bob Griffith as instructors, and notable guest lecturers and presenters who embraced and mentored the creative talents of Marywood’s art students. I was at Marywood during a very exciting time. The college was going through the process of obtaining university status. The art department was applying for accreditation with NASAD and the “Get Your Masters with the Master’s” program was being initiated. At the time, the campus had one permanent art building that housed two galleries, several studio’s, classrooms, and facility offices. It was a pleasure to watch the vision, process, and dedication of the instructors and administrators who strived to make Marywood’s art department recognized as a quality art program.
2) Any advice for current art students at Marywood?
As an art student, your classes and assignments are preparing you to present the portfolio that will hopefully get you that first job. Attend class. You are paying to be there and you do miss out by not being present. Start building the foundation needed to establish professional work habits. Be on time for classes and meet assignment deadlines. Exhibit artistic excellence in your execution and presentations and don’t hesitate to go above and beyond. These habits will serve you well when you are gainfully employed. Establish a good rapport with your instructors, one they will admire. You may need them to write a reference for you one day. A good reference may be the deciding factor when applying for a position. Pick your instructors brains. They have a wealth of knowledge, experiences, and networking connections that go beyond a classroom. Consider every art related opportunity that comes your way. You never know where it will lead. Trust me on that one! Your art experiences outside of the classroom will not only help build a professional resume and portfolio, they will also give insight when working with clients and may serve as a great networking opportunity. Lastly, listen. You may learn something.
3) How did your art education at Marywood help you in your career?
I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to work as a part-time off premise instructor at ICS Correspondence School, now Penn Foster, while studying at Marywood. The knowledge that I received in my drawing and painting classes not only reinforced the principles of art and design, it had a direct effect on how I evaluated the artwork submitted by students globally. These learned skills were also implemented in the graphic and art positions I held over the years and continue to be utilized daily in my work and as a teaching artist.
4) What is your favorite part about your job?
If I was told many years ago that I was going to be a teaching artist, I would have dismissed your statement. It was only through Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, who offered me the opportunity to teach drawing and painting, that I gave teaching a try. Little did I know that it would take off. Having said that, the favorite thing about my job is the opportunity to share my knowledge of fine art to aspiring artists and to see the accomplishment and pride on their faces when they successfully express their creativity in an original work of art. It’s very rewarding to me.
5) What is your favorite medium to work with?
Pastel. Currently, pastel is my favorite media because it is very versatile and can be used from contour drawing to a completed painting. I enjoy how you can manipulate pastels by using various techniques and methods, not to mention the richness of the pigments when layering. This media also gives me the opportunity to freely express myself though traditional use of pastel sticks, as well as the use of my fingers, hand and paint brush when executing.
All images courtesy of Virginia Pinto Sosik
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN STUDYING ILLUSTRATION?
Our professors are working professionals with first-hand knowledge of the opportunities available in the field of illustration. Courses are tailored to your particular interests and strengths, while fostering a broad understanding of the wide range of uses for illustration. Class projects focus on concept development, design, craft, and color. They require students to work in a variety of 2D and 3D media.
Interested in Marywood’s computer science programs too?