Amy Huser’s plans for her master’s thesis gallery opening have been delayed by COVID-19, but she’s not letting that stop her from achieving her graduate degree in a more virtual manner.
Amy is one of more than 2,400 students eligible for spring 2020 graduation. Learn more about her time at Wichita State and what is next for the grad.
What is your degree in?
Master of Fine Arts in painting
What led you to WSU?
I chose WSU for a few reasons. One, being I wanted to stay in Wichita for grad school if possible. Another reason is that this program offered not only a full tuition waiver, but also a stipend for GTA and direct instruct positions.
How are you feeling leading up to graduation?
I am feeling excited and well prepared to enter my field.
What are your career plans?
After graduation, I have been accepted to join 24 other regional artists for Artist Inc., an eight-week professional development and training seminar. This seminar is hosted by the Mid-America Arts Alliance at Harvester Arts here in Wichita. While going through this program, I will continue to search for both teaching and gallery jobs. I will also continue in my artistic practice and prepare for future exhibitions. My dream is to one day direct or even own a gallery and help give other artists opportunities.
How has the COVID-19 crisis altered those plans, if at all?
COVID-19 has taken away the milestone of having an opening or closing reception for my thesis exhibition. That was supposed to happen on a First Friday downtown. I am still installing my thesis show so that I can have my defense. The show will be on view at www.amyhuser.com. This pandemic has also affected finding a job right out of graduation. I am trying to stay hopeful, though.
What advice do you have for other students on how to cope with the uncertainty of these times?
I don’t know if I am coping well enough to give advice, but I find comfort in knowing we are all in this together. We can only do what we can, and staying connected via social media and FaceTime definitely helps!
What has been your most helpful learning experience while a student at WSU?
My time in class has been beneficial, but it was really some extra-curricular activities that helped me apply my skills and knowledge to real-world situations that I will face after graduation. The two most helpful experiences were my involvement with the WSU ShiftSpace Gallery team and serving as a senator on the budget and finance committee in the Student Government Association. Both gave me insight into how to problem-solve and work with a team. Study abroad was a huge learning experience for me as well. I highly recommend everyone study abroad if it works with your degree.
What has been your biggest challenge as a student, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge, as most grad students will say, was time management. Between a full course load, homework, GTA and direct instruct, grading, researching, working on thesis artwork, gallery work, art talks, and senate meetings, it was a challenge to meet the demands and maintain mental health. To help with that, I scheduled all of my time (including rest) with a detailed planner and also took up running as a way to clear my mind and relieve some stress. I am definitely an advocate of staying active if you can. These past three years I learned the importance of community and seeking help when you need it!