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professionally shot portrait of Mary Robbins

Mary Robbins

Graphic Designer, Self-Employed

Majored in Sculpture

Graduated in 2015

Explain your career path

I worked in the television industry before returning to Southeast as a non-traditional student. While working towards a BFA, I was a student employee for the Crisp Museum, River Campus Art Gallery, and the Art Office. I later worked at Kent Library as the Media Specialist. During this time I instructed on various multimedia software, collaborated with Southeast Faculty to incorporate the Heather MacDonald Greene Multimedia Center into class assignments, and created web and print graphic designs for Kent Library. I now am co-owner of Mended Earth Studio and create textile and surface pattern designs, illustrate coloring books, and work on commissions. I have also had many solo and group exhibitions featuring my painting and sculpture artworks.

What was your major at Southeast and what led you to that?

I originally studied Computer Science with an Art Minor and realized that I was more interested in Art. I had so many interests in different artistic methods that I ultimately chose Sculpture because I could incorporate many types of art forms inside of my sculptures and/or installations.

Why did you choose to attend Southeast?

I lived in the Southeast Missouri region at the time and I had taken some Southeast dual credit courses as a high school student. I go an Associate of Arts at Three Rivers Community College, and this was transferrable as an incoming non-traditional student. This allowed me to focus on my degree program.

Who influenced you most during your time at Southeast?

I was most influenced by my sculpture professor Chris Wubbena, my painting professor, Justin Henry Miller, and my fibers professor Caroline Kahler. These three individuals served as my BFA committee.

Share your best college memory.

My best college memory would be making it into the Juried Student Exhibition, selling artwork and getting a merit award in the exhibition. This experience motivated me to keep pursuing my artistic goals.

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

The most important thing I learned is how to express myself creatively in many areas of art. Having many different types of art courses made me more enriched.

Describe Southeast in three words.

Supportive Enriching Community

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

My greatest professional accomplishment is co-owning Mended Earth Studio and designing as my career.

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

I took many graphic design, digital art, and computer science courses at Southeast that gave me a strong knowledge base. I grew these skills even further as Media Specialist, and in creating freelance artwork for clients. I gained valuable experience as a student with gallery shows that helped in having gallery shows on a professional level after graduating.

What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?

Find out what you are the most passionate about and begin focusing on that regularly. Giving time and attention to develop skills in your interest area will only help you to be more skilled and talented as time goes on.

What do you wish you had known before graduating and entering the "real world"?

I feel like I already had an idea of what the "real world" is like being a non-traditional student. As far as the art world goes, I would say that there is room for every style of art and every type of interest. Do not assume that your artwork has to be one type of way to be successful.


(573) 651-2210
River Campus Seminary 306

Holland College of Arts and Media
One University Plaza, MS 7895
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701