Each year Fiber & Fashion Design students have the opportunity to apply for the Barbara L. Kuhlman Foundation grant, and this year three Finlandia University students were grant winners. Gina Geliche, Jessica Shields and Hannah Smith are all Fiber & Fashion Design majors in FinnU’s International School of Art & Design.
“Being a fiber student means that I get to mix tradition with technology,” said Geliche, a senior. “I spend time with computer interface looms, digital weaving software, and manually operated floor and hand looms. If the apocalypse ever comes, I’ll be warm!”
The Kuhlman Foundation grant is given directly to the student and the funds are able to be used for whatever the student needs.
“The money can go towards supplies, rent, feeding and watering of your person because no two experiences in college are the same,” said Geliche.
This grant is open to all fiber arts students from an accredited university. Over 40 Finlandia fiber design students have received the grant since it was made available in 2005.
“While creating my statement in preparation to apply, I really thought about why I’m doing what I’m doing and how I’ve gotten to this point in my life,” said Jessica Shields, also a senior. “Along with that, I was able to make some major updates on my resume, which I otherwise probably wouldn’t have looked at until another job came along. So ultimately, it’s helped me stay on track and up to date with certain academic aspects that will also benefit me in the future, after I’m done with college.”
Professor of Fiber & Fashion Design Phyllis Fredendall helps students find opportunities such as the Kuhlman Foundation grant to support their educational experience.
“Being a fiber and fashion student at Finlandia has opened my eyes to so many opportunities in which I can take my artwork,” said Shields. “With such a supportive faculty, I feel encouraged to constantly push myself. This has not only helped me grow as an individual, but even more so as an artist.”Fiber Arts and Fashion Design, Gina Geliche, Hannah Smith, Jessica Shields, Kuhlman Grant, Phyllis Fredendall