Student Spotlight: Maddesen Wright

Hey again! This week we are learning about Maddesen. I have taken art classes with Maddesen since we were both freshmen and her style has always been so interesting and fun to learn about. Despite her hectic schedule as an RA and working, Maddesen still finds time to have fun with her friends and live life to the fullest!

Meet Maddesen:

Name: Maddesen Paige Wright, Class of 2018Maddesen Wright

Major: Illustration

Minor: Art History

I am majoring in art because… it’s my passion.  Always has been. It sounds cheesy, and even cliché, but I’ve been doodling for as long as I could wrap my little sausage fingers around a pen.  Then in the second grade, I became a guinea pig with only two other girls in my grade for an art enrichment program that was later implemented into my district by my elementary school art teacher, so I’ve been making art consistently in and out of regular classroom settings since I was seven.  From second grade to sixth grade, I gave up lunch or recess at least once a week to go make art outside of our assigned class projects. When I hit middle school, I took art all year versus the regular half a year, to gain high school credits so I could move through more classes when I hit the ninth grade.  I completed both seventh and eighth grade art in seventh grade, and I completed studio art 1 and 2 in eight grade. I was placed in drawing and painting 1 in my first semester of high school. I’m really fortunate to have come from the district I did, and to have the support system I do though. Without those factors, I can’t say I would’ve gone to school for art.  Horseheads (my district) is very keen on the arts, so I always had the opportunity to compete in Scholastics competitions, and branch out in classes to explore other artistic means. Between the myriad of teachers and mentors I’ve been blessed with over the years, and of course my family, I really think that’s why I’m here. My mom says she always knew I’d be an artist, from the moment I drew her a birthday cake with a million candles when I was three, and my dad always told me, “you’ll never work a day in your life if you do what you love.”  So here I am, still at it.

The kinds of things that inspire me are… faces, music, and spirituality.  I find a LOT of inspiration in portraits.  Right now I work a lot with self-portraits and celebrities’ faces; especially Prince.  I’ve made a lot of art using Prince’s face as a muse. His music, image, style, spirit, and faith truly move me to new heights in my work.  Plus, I like to pay tribute to his memory. He was an amazing icon, one we’ll never see another like. But music in general inspires me too.  I always have to be listening to something when I’m making art, and usually the piece and the music are connected somehow. Faces, music, and God. I draw a lot of my inspiration from my Catholic faith and my use of spirituality to make sense of the world I’m living in. I find these these things also help me make sense of my art in a lot of ways.

My favorite class so far was… probably my Painting for the Illustrator class with Dennis Corrigan.  I love the way he sets up his classroom environment. Plus, I was able to move through his projects quickly because I paint pretty fast, so he allowed me to work on my own projects in class as well.  I made a lot of my best art in that course.  

When I’m not in class… I’m either attending to my RA duties in Loughran Hall, working downtown with Jeff D’Angelo at his studio, or I’m taking time to be with myself or friends.  Working at the Jeff D’Angelo Design Group is great because it’s artistic experience that is fun, and has taught me SO much about painting and being an artist, but also about practical business and work ethic.  It’s like an escape off campus for a few hours every week, which I value greatly. Plus, my boss is great. That being said, while I love my jobs as an RA and painter apprentice, I also like to try and balance my work with a healthy dose of “me time,” which is best spent with my favorite person in the world, my boyfriend Peter, or my friends on my RA staff.  Usually, I pass the time with Peter by going out for tacos at Garibaldi’s, then watching our newest obsession on Netflix or HBO. When I’m with my friends on staff, we usually watch a movie and talk through the whole thing until the wee hours of the morning, laughing about how hectic our lives are, and how much we’re procrastinating something else that needs to be done by spending time with each other.  I really love movies and TV series, though. They totally fuel my inspiration tank, which is why I watch so many. I also am a total Pinterest fiend. I’m always on Pinterest looking for new ideas about anything and everything. I suppose it’s debatable whether or not that could be considered a waste of time, but it makes me pretty happy, so I guess it doesn’t matter. When I need time to decompress by myself, it sounds weird, but I like to organize.  I’ll pick a spot in my room and just fiddle with everything that occupies that space until it’s all in perfect order; then I move on to the next thing. It makes me feels zen, and accomplished in some way, to have my space be cleansed and in working order for the next day. I do this with my personal studio space in Insalaco a lot.

The coolest thing I’ve done so far was… going to see a Prince Tribute band called Dean Ford and The Beautiful Ones with my boyfriend.  He bought me tickets as a surprise, and oh my God! This group was amazing! The costumes, the makeup, the lights, the instruments, the sound…  Ugh… Everything was perfect. I was arguably the youngest person at the venue, but I was right up against the speakers in front of the stage and knew every word to every song just about, so I had an absolute blast.  Definitely one of my favorite memories ever. I left feeling completely reborn artistically.

When I graduate… this May, I’ll be working towards saving up money to high-tail it out of here, and go start a life in Fresno, CA.  There is a really great underground art scene there that seems to be thriving, and that’s really the kind of thing I’m into right now. As for what my plans are beyond that, I don’t know exactly. I have a novel I need to finish and illustrate, a comic strip to kick-start, murals to paint, spirituality to gain… My only real plan is to free myself from the confines of being a student for the last seventeen years, and just go make art, and go where the art takes me.

I’d recommend the art program at Marywood because… of the professors.  There are so many wonderful people here who are willing to work with you as an artist, and further you as an individual, and those are the people who, no matter what you learn or don’t learn in the classroom, are invaluable to your career as an artist.

What I am trying to say with/ through my art is… that the only reason we learn rules is to break them. Plain and simple. Art can be anything depending on the perspective, and my perspective is personal liberation through struggle, and the journey of growth.  I hope that message comes through.

Check Out Maddesen’s Work


Thank you Maddesen for being a part of student spotlight! I hope you find everything you are looking for when you make it to Cali! Until next time, do your laundry, always add some glitter and as always stay inspired.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.