Southern Utah University art and design alumna Mary Anderson will present “What They Don’t Teach You in School” at the Southern Utah Museum of Art April 6 at 7 p.m. as part of the department’s Art Insights program. She will present on her transition from being a student to working in the professional world: her failures, successes, and what they don’t teach you in school. Art Insights is free and open to the public.
Anderson has always been an art and design enthusiast and was encouraged by her mother, who would buy her art supplies and take her to museums to help foster her creativity.
“I was focused on design before I really understood what it was,” Anderson said. “All I knew was that I liked to make things function better and to look pretty. I was that kid who spent three hours on my science fair project and several weeks designing my display. I would also retype my vocabulary sheets before studying because I didn’t like the typography.”
Her passion for design became a flame when she realized she could make a living doing what she loved and get paid for it. She attended SUU where she graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design.
“I appreciate that my hand wasn’t always held,” Anderson said. “I had to learn how to make decisions and problem solve. I’ve found that to be empowering. I’d also add the friendships that were made. Life is so much better when you’re surrounded by creative and inspiring individuals.”
She currently works at Instructure, Inc. as the senior product designer. Anderson defines her work as intentional design with a simple, modern style. She backs each of her designs with research and has a reason for every color and the placement of each pixel.
“I love that I am able to use design to solve real world problems,” she said. “The work that I do helps improve education and simplifies people’s lives.”
Art Insights is hosted during the fall and spring semesters by SUU’s art and design faculty. Students and community members meet to experience presentations and discussions by visiting artists and art educators from around the nation who share their work and insights.