February's Alumni of the Month

Liberty Deffenbaugh

Every month, we highlight an alumni from the ADiM department and catch up with them. 

What have you been up to since leaving CCBC? Jobs, accomplishments you'd like to share, moving, etc.

Since CCBC, I studied Fine Arts at UMBC on a full merit scholarship, graduating Cum Laude in 2016. I won several awards there and completed the Honors program, which mirrored experiences at CCBC. After graduating, I was selected for the first Artist in Residency series in the summer of 2108. It was a phenomenal experience and pushed my speed of creation quite a bit.

 

I redirected my academic focus and am currently working on a Masters in Counseling Psychology with an Art Therapy concentration at Bowie State University. I hope to connect my love of art and healing to really make a difference in the lives of people experiencing trauma. My thesis is on the effectiveness of cathartic art in domestic violence crisis intervention, a topic that I hope will help people globally.

I also got married to my best friend and biggest fan in October 2020! We had a wonderful and safe day, despite the challenges of COVID.

What art projects are you currently working on and how does it compare to your work at CCBC?

Right now, I'm continuing on a large scale knitted piece, continuing the work done for my Arts Residency for the Gallery at CCBC. It's taken me longer without deadlines, but I'm enjoying working on a large piece with no deadlines. This piece is a photograph of my fancy new husband and I, converted to a pattern and knit. It will be roughly 5' x 7' when finished.

What’s your current art process like? How does it compare to when you were at CCBC?

At CCBC, I worked for the studio lighting area but found that access to spaces like that after graduation were harder to come by. I learned how to knit during my Portfolio class and it really sparked a way that I could combine my photography with a meditative knitting practice. My current work is more of a continuation of my work during my Bachelor's and Artist Residency. I convert a photograph to a pattern then knit it. It's a process that seems so much simpler than it is, but I love the attention to detail and even the way your mood can effect the stitches.

How do you see your work growing in the future?

I think my work will take on a simpler tone in the future. With a career in Art Therapy, it will be important to use art as a meditative process and to cleanse from the emotional labor of counseling others. I envision more monochromatic work with use of varied textures.

If you had to give advice to your younger self, what would it be?

I'll always wish that I could give my younger self advice, but then it would drastically change the experiences I've had. Without those, I wouldn't be the person I am. I could say things to save myself heartache, but some of those are why I will be such a great counselor. My deep love of the artistic process paired with those harder life lessons are what really makes me, well, me. If anything, I would want to give myself encouragement that while life will look much different in the future than it does now, it's such an important journey and at the end of it you'll really know yourself and find such true happiness.

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