BOONE, NC — Juliet Irving ’19, a graduate of Appalachian State University, has carved her way into a freelance career as a multimedia designer, combining her passions — performing arts, graphic design, and social justice.
As a dancer-choreographer, artist and social justice advocate, Irving used her mixed perspective to design a website for a cross-cultural dance collective, Indigo Yard Gals; a virtual exhibition entitled Black Lives Matter: Brazil–USA; and virtual sets for a production of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest — featuring directors, actors and crew who are people of color, including black and indigenous people.
“The artists and dancers I’ve worked with appreciate someone who can come in and immediately understand their needs and priorities. I know their vocabulary and we share a language,” Irving said.
Irving said she never expected to work in website design, but her experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic have sparked new interests and inevitably helped her hone new skills.
After graduating from App State, she attended Duke University, where she earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in dance. There she had the opportunity to consult as a designer for the exhibition Black Lives Matter: Brazil–USA, an exploration of parallels in the pursuit of racial justice between the two countries in the western hemisphere with the largest Afrost populations.
“It should be a walk-through gallery experience,” Irving said. “Then COVID happened. We had to turn everything into a virtual exhibition.”
With the move to online delivery, Irving said, she transferred ideas designed for print into digital forms and worked on a large-scale website for the first time. Since then she has expanded her work in this field, designing websites and virtual materials for a range of clients.
Make a name for yourself at App State
Irving, who was a member of App State’s Honors College, earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design and a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Studies. While attending App State, Irving:
Irving said dancing has always been a part of her life. “Growing up, dance gave me a voice and felt like the most natural way to express myself,” she shared.
During her school days, she enrolled in a Photoshop class. “I liked it so much that I asked my trainer what jobs these skills could be used in. He told me about graphic design,” she said.
She was looking for a university with strong performing arts and graphic design programs and found App State. She scheduled a visit, and the moment she walked onto campus, “it just felt right,” Irving said.
Earning the Wilson Scholarship allowed Irving to attend App State — an out-of-state school for the South Carolina native — and opened many doors for her.
During her senior year, Irving learned about a first master’s program at Duke University.
“The graphic design and dance programs at App State laid the foundation for the interdisciplinary work that I completed during my master’s degree at Duke,” said Irving.
“It makes a big difference when just one person believes in you,” mused Irving. “But if you are supported by several people? It was life changing.”
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October 10, 2019
About the Department of Theater and Dance
The Department of Theater and Dance is one of seven departments of the Appalachian College of Fine and Applied Arts. Its mission is to enable transformative experiences for students and the public that nurture compassionate, creative, and collaborative communities through theater and dance. The department also offers coursework in blended learning through the arts for the university’s general student body. Its dynamic co-curricular production program provides exemplary theater and dance experiences for students, the university community and the region. Learn more at https://theatreanddance.appstate.edu.
About the Institute of Art
One of seven departments in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, Appalachian State University’s Department of Art prepares students to explore art, identity, expression, and creative problem-solving, and challenges them to push their previous boundaries by creating discovering new connections culture. The department offers degrees in Art and Visual Culture, Art Education, Graphic Design, Studio Art, Commercial Photography and Graphic Communications Management with minors in Art History, Studio Art, Commercial Photography and Graphics and Imaging Technology. Learn more at http://www.art.appstate.edu.
About the University of Fine and Applied Arts
Appalachian State University’s College of Fine and Applied Arts is a dynamic and innovative group of seven academic departments that bring together a variety of perspectives, experiences, and real-world training to provide unique opportunities for student success. The college has more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate majors. Its departments are Applied Design, Arts, Communications, Military Science and Leadership, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, and Theater and Dance. Learn more at https://faa.appstate.edu.
About Honors College
Honors College at Appalachian State University enrolls more than 500 students and serves a diverse group of high-performing, highly motivated students from all majors. Honors College helps students develop high-level independent and creative thinking and research skills; promotes interdisciplinary research; and maintains a cultivated and caring exchange of ideas. The college’s expanded academic experience prepares students for success in graduate or professional school and for leadership roles in their lives, communities, and careers. Learn more at https://honors.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate university in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to live purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and accept their responsibility for creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience fosters a spirit of inclusion that inspires people to come together to learn and create, grow holistically, act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system. Appalachian has an enrollment of nearly 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio, and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate degrees.