BY HALEY HODGES
Toting either her color guard flag, large drawing portfolio, Captain America shield backpack or a combination of the three, Ashley Wildman has found her place at Drake in the Harmon Fine Arts Center (FAC).
“I was in the Drake honor band (in high school) and I was impressed by FAC, really, and I wanted to look more into it,” Wildman said. “And everything I kept finding out made me want to go here more.”
Wildman is a first-year from Indianola, Iowa, studying drawing and English. When she’s not in FAC for her art major, she frequents the building as a member of the color guard for the marching band or clarinetist for the symphonic bands.
“I like that because (FAC is) so strangely designed, I notice something new every day … I feel like its design kind of represents the people I often encounter that are in the arts—it’s not cookie-cutter,” Wildman said.
While opinions on FAC’s layout can certainly vary, Wildman finds a certain alluring quality to the arts building.
“It doesn’t connote a bad sort of strange, more like a wonderful sort of strange … There’s this room in the bowels of FAC in the basement called the Movement Room and it’s an entire wall of mirrors and ballet barres along the walls,” Wildman said. “I try to go down there, once a week if not more, to do my barre exercises. I’ve been in dance since I was three so I like to keep up the routine and do some exercise that way. I put on my pointe shoes and go down there and work out. It reminds me of the Room of Requirement (in Harry Potter) because it’s just kind of tucked away. You wouldn’t notice or even know about it, which is pretty magical.”
Outside of FAC, the texts for Wildman’s first-year seminar, Decisions and Revisions taught by Professor Craig Owens, are mainly fictional books, a topic she is interested in.
“I’ve always been kind of enchanted with the idea of being a novel editor, specifically novels for young adults would be kind of my dream job,” Wildman said. “Or designing book covers. Both or either.”
Art and English can intertwine for Wildman with designing book covers, graphic novels, manga and comic books.
“(Comic art) is not quite my style yet, but I appreciate it when I see it,” Wildman said. “I’m still trying to find what my thing is for art and if I even want to have a thing, because that’s kind of limiting as well.”
While Wildman said she doesn’t think she has an interest in creating comics herself, her Marvel backpack alone suggests a personal interest in the subject.
“I was just going through Pinterest, as you do, when I saw the ad for it and I stopped and I thought, ‘I wonder where you get this bag,’” Wildman said. “I tracked it down and it turns out you can get it at GameStop. What really sold me on it, besides it being Captain America, was it had a laptop compartment, which is what I wanted in a backpack so it’s just perfect. It’s super practical, I can hold so much. It’s like Hermione’s bag, pretty much.”