Alumna Advises ‘Take All the Art Classes You Can’

College student weaving hot pink tape into a human-sized maze.
Photo from “Art aims for lab-rat’s-eye view,” Tuscaloosa News, Feb. 15, 2008, photo by Michael E. Palmer.

Our Alumni Spotlight Series focuses on UA art alumni who are in the midst of an art career now, whether they are continuing with schooling or have taken their art skills out into the work world.

Alumna Chelsea Lloyd (BFA 2008) made the Tuscaloosa News her senior year when she spun a web of hot pink tape across the lawn of the Bureau of Mines Building #5 (“Art aims for lab-rat’s-eye view,” Feb. 15, 2008). Lloyd’s artistic purpose back then was to bring attention to the plight of lab animals by giving people a taste of the animals’ experience. By chance, her interactive “people maze” got some local attention, when a reporter in search of a different story happened on her pink maze and decided that was more newsworthy.

Lloyd graduated from UA magna cum laude with BFA concentrations in sculpture and printmaking. After several twists and turns along the way, Lloyd is now the Volunteer Coordinator for the Knoxville Museum of Art in Knoxville, Tennessee. She joined the KMA staff as a Visitor Services Representative in April of 2017 and was promoted to Volunteer Coordinator in July of 2018. She also paints and makes jewelry which she displays on her website.

Wire and feather sculpture by alumna Chelsea Lloyd
Chelsea Lloyd, “Netflix & Chill.” (detail).

“Amazing Metal Shop”

Lloyd credits Professor Craig Wedderspoon’s Sculpture 101 class for leading her to become an art major. After taking it, she says, “I was hooked…I focused heavily on metalwork and welding and was greatly inspired by my professor Craig Wedderspoon. He was extremely supportive and encouraged me to try different techniques and helped [me] figure out how to achieve whatever particular vision that I had at the time.”

After graduating, Lloyd says, she really missed the access she had to the “amazing metal shop that UA offered…I had to try different ways to express the artistic beast inside. Wire was the closest material to welding I could afford, still metal, but very pliable.” She made jewelry and tried other media, especially painting. She paints now, but at first, she had to teach herself. “It was just trial and error,” Lloyd remembers. She advises current art students, “take all the classes you can. Try all the different mediums like painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, drawing, etc., because once you’re out of school, then you’re on your own.”

If you’re a UA art alumni, check out our alumni page and drop us a line!