Like so many students who come to art school Emily Sheppard had a firm idea of what she would study here. After a few years of studying psychology at Cape Breton University she was ready to commit herself to illustration and painting. But what she didn’t expect was to become so invested in such different disciplines while she was here. “I have fallen in love with printmaking this semester, I came here thinking I was going to do painting and I’m just obsessed with printmaking. Relief is my favourite but I’m doing screenprinting right now as well. “She’s also found the instructors in her programs to be a huge selling point. “I have Ericka Walker for relief [printing], she’s one of my favourite profs I’ve ever had” says Sheppard.
The same goes for the art history program, which can sometimes be challenging for fine art students, but with such engaging and passionate professors Sheppard finds it easy to be invested. David Howard, who Sheppard currently has for 19th Century Art History, is known for keeping his lectures anything but boring. He is famous for making dramatic proclamations while standing on tables or inviting his classes to do group stretches in the middle of an exam. “There was one point where he threw himself up onto the table to re-enact some Greek myth of someone dying and I was like… I love it so much!” says Sheppard. “I had Jayne Wark last year. None of it is dry, faculty are so intense and it makes it so interesting.”
This kind of engagement has been crucial for Sheppard who, while at NSCAD, discovered she was living with ADHD. She credits the mental health services at NSCAD with supporting her through her time here: “they’ve been there to do a step by step process to how to figure out how study at university with ADHD which is really cool.”
Another major learning curve for students in University is the cost of living, especially for students like Sheppard who are moving away from home for the first time. Originally from Glace Bay, Cape Breton, Sheppard found the scholarships she was awarded to be vital in helping her get settled in a new place away from her family, friends, and partner. “Especially with moving away from home, having a scholarship was really helpful… it’s made it so much easier to figure out living on my own… and going to school, and paying for art supplies, because that’s such a huge cost on top of everything.”
Now in her third year Sheppard feels right at home, “from day one I’ve made some really great friends. Compared to CBU especially, even the people you had classes with every day you didn’t talk to, here everyone… it’s such more of a community environment.”
In this season of giving, we hope you will consider renewing your support for NSCAD by making a gift of any amount. All contributions to the NSCAD Annual Fund directly benefit our young artists, primarily in the form of scholarships and bursaries.
Many thanks and happy holidays from all of us at NSCAD!