Artist of the Week: Ciena Colburn
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Fourth-year art major Ciena Colburn has always had a talent for art; she just didn’t know it right away.
She always drew on her notes in class and doodled absentmindedly. It wasn’t until late in her high school career that Colburn discovered her love and talent for art. She took a painting class her senior year Dos Pueblos High School and realized that the things she was creating weren’t half-bad. It was then that Colburn decided to turn all of her habitual doodling into a real pursuit of art and build upon her talent.
Once at Westmont, Colburn was encouraged to find her artistic voice. She took classes and thrived, falling in love with art more and more. She continued to focus primarily on painting and cultivate her knowledge and skill of the medium.
Due to the well-rounded nature of the requirements within the art major at Westmont, students are exposed to forms of art outside of their concentration, often leading to new-found enjoyment in media outside of their original focus.
“I’ve always felt drawn to paint over any other medium,” said Colburn, “But I dabble in graphic design as well.”
Colburn said that her inspiration often comes from “the figurative works and varied styles of Thomas Saliot, Mary Jane Ansell, Katie O’Hagan and Alan Coulson.” While these artists influence Colburn’s work and provide inspiration for her own original ideas, she has developed a unique and personal voice of her own, one that has significantly added to the richness and value of Westmont’s art department.
Colburn’s paintings depict her subjects in a strikingly accurate and realistic way. “Art, specifically painting, gives me a chance to exercise skills in close observation and reproduction,” she said.
Because of Colburn’s incredible dedication and passion for learning and growing in her abilities, she has become a distinguished and noteworthy artist of the program. “It gives me a sense of achievement,” said Colburn. “I have really appreciated the way the Westmont program pushes us to expand our skills into areas outside our comfort zone.”
After graduating this May, Colburn may go on to pursue further education in the fine arts. Regardless of her educational plans, she hopes to continue to contribute to the art world with her incredible paintings. Considering the immense contributions and vitality she’s added to the community and art program here at Westmont, there isn’t much doubt that she will continue to do the same in other environments.