#ElonGrad 2022 spotlight: Shelly Freund, art

In this series, Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences is shining the spotlight on distinguished members of the Class of 2022 from a wide array of disciplines.

Shelly Freund ’22 is a studio art major with a focus in painting whose senior thesis works are currently on display in Gallery 406 in Arts West.

An international student from El Salvador, Freund originally planned to study psychology but found the art program her sophomore year and changed her major.

She is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Society and Elon’s Latinx-Hispanic Union.

Who are your mentors at Elon?

This year, I worked with professors Anne Simpkins and Michael Fels during my B.F.A. Thesis Project. Their guidance and support through the thesis process truly impacted my work as a student and professional artist. I want to thank them personally for supporting my craziest art ideas (yes, glitter included).

My third and most important mentor through this entire process is my mom. She continues to teach me in ways academia can’t. Because of her, I now know how to follow my “art gut.”

What are your plans after graduation?

I am pursuing an Master of Fine Art in Studio Art at the School of Museum and Fine Arts at Tufts University beginning Fall 2022.

Is there something you accomplished at Elon that you’re particularly proud of?

The epitome of an artist is having a portfolio that shows both quality and quantity. Starting my BFA degree two years into my college career, my portfolio was neither of those things.

Running against the clock, and with the right guidance, I began producing art work at a faster rate than I had ever done before. I have worked hard to develop and improve my portfolio, as well as my personal and professional art practice. Although I still have so much to learn, I am proud of where I am and the future direction of my career.

What advice would you give to future Elon students?

Take that one class that you thought you never would use in the outside world. Take it. It might just change your whole career.