Student Spotlight: Kimberly Kuba
Major: Associate in Science/Art
A member of the La Grange Art League since her junior year in high school, Kimberly Kuba established herself as an artist at an early age, exhibiting and selling her work through the league as well as on a web site she opened on Etsy.
But she also wanted a career in art education. Instead of going away to school, Kuba felt comfortable coming to College of DuPage, which she already knew was good option because of the experience her brother had at COD.
“I didn’t want to be one of those people overwhelmed with the whole experience of going off by yourself, away from your family and friends, to a place you weren’t familiar with at all,” she said. “I wanted to commute from home so that I could get used to college.”
Kuba enrolled at College of DuPage, and her plan was on target.
“COD helped me toward achieving my dream of becoming an art teacher, but it also helped me learn what I needed to do to and what it took to succeed in college,” she said.
Kuba, who maintained a 4.0 GPA, graduated with an Associate in Science degree and then transferred to Northern Illinois University, where she switched majors from Art Education to Illustration to keep up with the growing integration between art and technology. She received the Huskie Legacy Award, which is a scholarship for students whose family members also attended NIU; maintained a 4.0 GPA; and was inducted into Tau Sigma Honor Society, geared toward transfer students, and Phi Kappa Phi. In 2014, she received the O’Malley-Pugh Scholarship, awarded through the NIU School of Art after a portfolio review.
She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and was selected to be a Student Marshall for the College of Visual and Performing Arts during the commencement ceremony. Kuba also received the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Artistry, Contributions and Academic Achievement. This annual award goes to only one student from each of the individual colleges within NIU.
Kuba was accepted into NIU’s MFA program with an emphasis in painting. She also is a graduate assistant for the Painting and Drawing department and, as an MFA candidate, received her own studio space.
“This past fall, I taught Drawing II and in the spring I taught 2D Design,” she said. “I have always wanted to teach, so it was amazing having my own class and working with students to build their skills and achieve their personal artistic vision. I will teach Drawing II again this coming fall.”
During the past year, she organized and coordinated student work from the School of Art and Design at NIU’s inaugural Winter Convocation for the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The exhibition and showcase of work was held at the historic Egyptian Theatre in downtown DeKalb. She and a fellow graduate student also co-curated a show at NIU’s gallery space, Gallery 214, that was based on a central theme of gleaning, or collecting detritus to inform their work.
Now in the final year of the three-year MFA program, Kuba is focusing on her master’s thesis solo exhibition. She has developed a website to showcase all of her work, which you can visit by clicking here. She also has work on display at the Wright Museum of Art for the Beloit and Vicinity Exhibition at Beloit College in Wisconsin and will show work at the upcoming Going Dutch Festival in downtown Elgin.
“I love working with paint, specifically acrylics and oils on stretched canvas. The subject matter in my work tends to change, although I do have a fondness for dark, contrasting color combinations as well as surrealistic landscapes.”
She is thankful that College of DuPage provided a sound foundation for her continued success.
“At COD, I also learned a lot about myself along the way as I continued my art both inside and outside of school with a different perspective in mind,” she said.
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