Felicity A. González Rivera
BY ERICA MUNISAR, NEWS EDITOR
Sophomore Felicity A. Gonzalez Rivera is a student from the School of Art at Mason. Pursuing a Art and Visual Technology major with an Anthropology, Forensics concentration minor Rivera shares her experiences and seeks to model the standards of Mason School of Art as she explores life as an art student at Mason. Diving into her aspirations, Rivera shares her own career dreams and tips for aspiring artists looking to join the Mason community.
Taking an early interest in art, Rivera started her journey at the young age of four.
“I’ve been drawing ever since I was really young— my mother says since I was 4. But I never took it very seriously. I’ve always pursued other art-related fields. I’ve acted in plays, sang in choirs, I modeled with John Casablanca when I was 7 for a brief period of time, and I was a dancer for 7 years. I thought about pursuing art when I was choosing what high school to go to. I went to Charles J. Colgan HS in PWCS, and I was in the CFPA program there. It’s an arts program I had to audition to get into.” said Rivera.
“While I was there I really honed in on my skills and developed techniques that I never would’ve been able to alone. Seeing what I was capable of is what made me realize that art, specifically drawing, is what I should pursue a career in.”
In plans to become a responsible contributor to society, Rivera is taking a course in Forensic Figure Sculpture with Joe Mullins as she pursues her dream career of becoming a Forensic Artist to help people such as missing children in the future.
“In the most simplest of explanations, a Forensic Artist would aid in missing persons cases by age progressing a younger image of the child to create an image that could reflect the time that has passed. They could also create composite sketches. Additionally, a Forensic Artist could have a skull of an unidentified person and use forensic anthropological techniques for a reconstruction.” said Rivera.
Reflecting on her life of being an art student at Mason, Rivera recognizes the benefits of studying at the school through great professors.
“I’d describe the School of Art’s faculty and staff as very passionate and talented. Almost every single art professor I’ve had were not only talented in their own craft, they were passionately passing on their knowledge to the next generation of artists. They’ve all personally encouraged me to challenge what is to be expected of me as an artist and forge my own path of expression.” said Rivera.
The wide array of resources and exhibits on campus were also credited such as the award-winning Art and Design building, Mason Exhibitions and wide range of Art Student Organizations on Campus with hopes that more students may discover them.
“The art department as a whole is, how do I put this, very reflective of their students. There’s so many clubs and events constantly going to cater to student’s individual interests and passions.” said Rivera.
“If you’ve never walked into the Art and Design building, the one thing you probably wouldn’t expect is the number of fliers posted of exhibitions, club meetings, events, etc. The only thing I’d say is that I wish that all of the amazing stuff going on with the arts were better advertised to the student body.”
While Rivera has had positive experiences with Mason due to its many resources, she speaks to the future in hopes that others with similar ambitions can witness the same journey without holding back in believing in their abilities.
“I know this one might be hard, but don’t compare your progress and skill to someone else’s. You never know how long someone has been working to get better, and assuming someone’s hard earned skill is a natural talent is unfair to both you and the other person.” said Rivera.
“As for students who may want to pursue the same path as me, I just want to say this. Realizing your passion and what you want to do with your life is not only straight-up terrifying but is also overwhelming. A strong sense of purpose and willpower is important to have to prepare for a career field such as this one. My desire to do everything I can to use my skills to help people in these situations is how I will stand up to the intimidating aspects of the job.”
While Rivera is pursuing a career in Forensics Art, she also creates other kinds of art which can be found on her Instagram handle @felicitygonzalezriveraart.