Over the next few weeks we’ll be introducing you to this year’s Alumni Award winners. The UMBC Alumni Association proudly honors distinguished alumni and faculty for their accomplishments and dedication to UMBC. Today we’re talking with Hadieh Shafie ‘04, imaging and digital arts, about her career as an independent artist.
Name: Hadieh Shafie ’04 M.F.A., imaging and digital arts
Job Title: Independent Artist
Award Category: Visual and Performing Arts
Q: Why did you choose to attend UMBC?
I came to UMBC because I became interested in performance and digital arts. I learned about UMBC’s program when doing research on graduate schools. I found a few key people at UMBC that really piqued my interest. Also, it was one of the programs that supported graduate students with financial backing and professional experience.
Q: Is there a particular class or professor at UMBC who really inspired you?
Every one in the department was incredibly supportive, still there are a few faculty members that made a deep impression on me and they are Professor Kathy O’Dell, Professor Preminda Jacob, Affiliate Associate Professor Symmes Gardner. Their mentorship had a tremendous impact on my time at UMBC and my development as an artist and as an individual.
Q: Please tell us a little about the trajectory of your career and what you are working on now.
I am currently in the studio producing work for my solo show with Leila Heller Gallery in New York which will debut in February 2015. Leading up to this, I have seen my work presented in not only the U.S. but also in the Middle East, Asia and Europe. Seeing my work presented in so many countries and venues has provided an exciting evolution for how I think about my practice as an artist.
Q: What has been the greatest success in your career? The greatest challenge?
The greatest success has been to realize my ambition and dream of waking every day to lots of work and experimentation in the studio. To know that I am engaged in the kind of work that leaves no desire to ever consider “retirement.” The greatest challenge has been that there is never enough time.
Q: What are your proudest personal achievements?
Staying grounded has been very important to me and I strive for this quality every day.