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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Carved in Stone

“Torso” Sculpture




Tucked away in the Science Building, down a somewhat sketchy-looking hallway, lies the print lab, a room that seems as if it’s still under construction. There is construction going on here, but not so much on the room itself.

Students in this room are busy creating works of art late into the evening. It is in the print lab where I met Kat Monaghan, a UMB student majoring in art.

Monaghan is one of our many non-traditional students, a term that has various meanings. In this case it’s referring to the fact that Monaghan did not enroll at UMB directly after high school.

“I originally went to [college] when I was fresh out of high school. I wasn’t able to finish because I had to go to school full-time to keep my financial aid; I had to work full-time to pay my rent. It maxed me out time-wise,” said Monaghan.

In her words, “many years later” she decided to earn her bachelor’s degree at UMB. “I have a better understanding now about time management and how to get done what I need to get done.”

Monaghan asserted that her artwork is definitely influenced by the fact that she is a non-traditional student.

“Everybody’s life-experience influences their art. Somebody that’s younger than me might have more powerful experiences than me depending on what they’ve gone through.”

Although Monaghan has dabbled in printmaking, painting and drawing, her favorite media involve 3-D elements.

She explained, “I particularly like working in sculpture. I really enjoy the classes I’ve taken here but I have also started to learn to carve stone outside of class because we don’t have stone carving available.”

She added that she hopes 3-D art at UMB will expand when the General Academic Building opens, scheduled for 2014 according to Chancellor Motley in a statement on the UMB website.

As one might imagine, it takes great skill and concentration to do stone carving well, and that’s what Monaghan likes about the medium. She said, regarding sculpture, “It takes patience, presence and focus. You really have to pay attention to what the stone is doing. When you hit it, you’ll see if it’s going to crack.”

The process of sculpting is final. With this in mind you can see how thoughtful each strike of the hammer to chisel and chisel to stone must be. Monaghan reiterated this sentiment: “You can’t un-chisel something. Sometimes it might be nice if you could, but it makes you commit to what you’re doing.”

This thought process seems to be incorporating itself into other aspects of Monaghan’s life as she starts to think of the future.

“Right now I’m considering graduate school,” she said, “but I’m not certain if I’ll go straight away. I might take a year off to get rid of some of my debt and to build up my portfolio.”

Monaghan is also looking at other options like internships. Whatever decision she makes, you can be sure it’ll be as thoughtful as striking stone.

She put it best by saying, “If I can carve out more time, pun intended, to really work on my portfolio and get my skills where I want them to be, then that’s what I’m going to do. If it happens to be in grad school, that would be great. If it happens to be when I’m still working a day job and doing it in my spare time, that’d be great, too.”