For the introduction of the Artist of the Week, the column will be featuring Frankie Parker, a visual artist in the class of 2020.

Frankie Parker is an English major from Haddon Township, New Jersey. She also has minors in Art and Spanish. During her time at Muhlenberg so far, Frankie has taken the art courses Printmaking I, Drawing from Nature and Drawing Studio.

Art has been a part of Frankie’s life for as long as she can remember. Her mother is an artist, so she was exposed to art at a very young age. Frankie was not initially planning on pursuing art in college, but that changed in high school when she began taking more art classes and became close with her art teachers. This encouraged her to decide to pursue art in college.

In addition to drawing, the medium of art Frankie specializes in is mixed media. Mixed media is essentially collaging, but the images are layered with paint or marker on top. Frankie typically makes her mixed media pieces more abstract in nature.

So far, Frankie has enjoyed her experience with art at Muhlenberg. She likes being able to learn how to draw better than before. Also, she notes that it is interesting working in a small department; sometimes there are people not actually in the art department taking art classes, which changes the experience in that class.

Frankie is involved in several activities at Muhlenberg in addition to her coursework. She runs on the track and cross-country teams, and she is one of the art editors for Muses, Muhlenberg’s literary magazine. Frankie’s other hobbies include running, playing bass guitar, cooking and writing. Her interest in creative writing has grown a lot since coming to Muhlenberg and taking an Introduction to Creative Nonfiction class. Some of Frankie’s favorite classes that she has taken at Muhlenberg include her Printmaking course, an Art History course, an Anthropology course and her English courses.

Frankie’s final project from her Drawing Studio course is currently hanging in Muhlenberg’s Center for the Arts, but this isn’t the first time her art has been recognized. In high school, Frankie’s art was hung up at the State House in Trenton, New Jersey as part of the Youth Art Month Exhibit. Frankie’s art was also previously hung up in a local art show.

For her final project in her Drawing Studio class, Frankie drew a portrait of a model. The portrait was drawn using the mediums of charcoal and conte crayon. Conte crayon is a medium similar to charcoal, but it also has oil that helps with spreading it in the drawing. Interestingly, Frankie was one of only a few students to incorporate the model’s tattoos in her portrait. Frankie explained that this was partially because of the angle at which she was sitting to draw the portrait, but she also added that her portrait wasn’t turning out as “interesting” as she would have liked, so she decided to include them to add a more interesting touch to her portrait.

In regards to her life after Muhlenberg, Frankie is not quite sure what she wants to do for a career. She is currently looking at internships at several art museums, although she isn’t sure if that is where she wants to make her career. Frankie is also considering going into art therapy. As she explained, she “wants to help people, but art is something I can do on my own.” Even if she doesn’t end up doing art as her career, Frankie would still like to keep art within her reach, since it has played a major role in her world for so long.


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