Lane Letourneau

Sun Valley, Idaho

I chose AAP because the B.F.A. program gave me the freedom to cultivate my artistic practice while still gaining the more broad-based education that pushes me intellectually and allows me to bring new ideas and perspectives to my practice.

Why did you choose Cornell and AAP?

I knew I wanted to be an artist when I was five years old and my lifelong passion led me to Cornell. I chose AAP because the B.F.A. program gave me the freedom to cultivate my artistic practice while still gaining the more broad-based education that pushes me intellectually and allows me to bring new ideas and perspectives to my practice. While I love my studio classes, I am grateful for rigorous classes in art history, English, and history that have informed my work and my thinking. Making art is about more than just creating a piece — it is about cultivating the knowledge and experience to inform your message and voice. Of all the programs I looked at, AAP at Cornell is the only one that allowed me to accomplish everything I wanted to as an artist and a student.

What inspired you to become an artist?

I have always wanted to be an artist. I remember walking around the Metropolitan Museum of Art when I was a young girl and gazing at the Impressionist paintings, portraits, and landscapes and feeling an overwhelming swell of happiness and excitement. I didn't know why I felt this way but the power of the art took my breath away. I began to take my own drawing and painting seriously when I was 10 and began to exhibit at local art festivals, hoping to bring some of the joy art brought to me to others. As I got older, I began to understand other powers of art, to challenge, to question, to protest, to inform. It became a way to convey complicated feelings and ideas and to join a worldwide conversation in a universal language.

What are your extracurricular interests and how have you incorporated them into your college life?

Since coming to Cornell, I tried to get involved in many ways in this amazing community. Perhaps the most time consuming is with my film minor. This year, I started taking classes to work toward this goal. I've found a lot in common with other people who have a resounding love for film and this has been a great way to meet people. The two majors overlap really nicely because creative people are great to be around. I love to dance and perform and joined a dance group on campus and I also work for the Cornell Council for the Arts as their intern. This opportunity has taught me a great deal about arts administration and has enhanced my skills including building a website and marketing via social media and more traditional methods like making posters and flyers.

What do you hope to accomplish during your time at AAP and after graduation?

During my time at AAP I hope to grow as an artist and a person; to push myself beyond my limits and my preconceptions. Already since my first semester, my notion of what art can and should be has been challenged tremendously. When I arrived, I thought all I wanted to do was paint. Then I took my introduction to digital media class and I now am making digital and new media art pieces that intersect with painting in a way that really inspires and pushes me. I couldn't be happier with what I have produced and what I have learned in a medium that was new to me. I plan to apply all the skills I learn at AAP — as well as in my film minor — to pursue a career in animation and filmmaking. No matter how I get there, I know that the AAP will have prepared me!