Oct 7, 2022

Alumni Spotlight - Autumn T. Wilson

Autumn T. Wilson      

New York, New York  

2013, Visual Arts Major         

New York University, Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, Art History and Visual Culture,

The City College of New York, Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art      

Master of Fine Arts Student at The City College of New York, Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art    

Who influenced you most during your time at Dreyfoos?

During my time at Dreyfoos, I was most influenced by my Photography Instructor, Mr. Stodolak, Biology Instructor, Ms. Perez and Guidance Counselor, Ms. Robinson for their continuous support, motivation, and refining me as a scholar. DSOA was always a place of community, respect of individuality and always had a Zeitgeist of passion and creativity.          

Share your best Dreyfoos memory

My favorite Dreyfoos memory was during Freshman year; I fully felt welcomed and embraced by the community. Many of the seniors who chose New York Universities inspired me to apply to colleges in New York as well.          

What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Dreyfoos?

The most important thing I learned at Dreyfoos was perseverance. While attending NYU, Dreyfoos Photography Instructor Peter Stodolak walked into the NYU Photography Department, seeing me there, knowing NYU was my first choice and I applied to get in more than once, immediately remembered me and said, "I admire your tenacity". Dreyfoos cultivated an intuition, grist, and persistence within me that enabled me to remember why I started, know what I was meant to be doing and to continue to strive in my art career.           

What advice do you have for current students who want to make the most out of their experience at Dreyfoos?

For all the students who want to make the most of their time at Dreyfoos I'll say, art is such a beautifully diverse field with infinite possibilities, if you want to be a practicing Visual Artist, Dance historian, or Theatre archivist there are paths waiting for you, and don't have to choose one, you can try as many as you want. Learn from the work ethic of artists in other majors, make at least one thematic body of work and have fun!    

How did your education at Dreyfoos prepare you for what you are doing today?

My education at Dreyfoos was elite, rigorous, and well-rounded. Dreyfoos allowed me to take hybrid classes, studio art classes and AP classes, a dynamic combination of learning styles. Self-paced learning, studio artmaking and college-level courses prepared me for independent study at university both in undergrad and grad.         

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

My greatest professional accomplishment was working as an Archival Assistant at the Atlanta University Center for the Joseph E. and Evelyn G. Lowery Collection because it was intellectually transformative and emotionally empowering. This repository included Presidential memorabilia, photographs of many prolific artists, and the whole of the archival impact of the Civil Rights Movement. After taking a long hiatus from drawing, I drew a portrait inspired by this collection, ultimately applying to grad school to become a Studio Art student once again.