School of Art Design and Art History

B.F.A. Student Spotlight: Ellen Derr


Over the years I have noticed that the peers and professors in my classes all consider themselves artists, yet each of them define art differently. They have varying concentrations, they present themselves in a broad scope, and come from diverse backgrounds. Throughout my experiences at JMU, I’ve realized being an artist is not always visible. I believe that it is built on the passion, dedication, and expression that I have displayed throughout my time here. As I am still discovering myself, the confidence and appreciation I have for art continues to grow with each day. As graduation approaches I am at a time in my life where an incredible chapter is about to end and a new one will begin. I want to experience all that I can during this time. My involvement at JMU has made me realize my devotion for photography, social media, and traveling. I hope to find an opportunity that can combine all three for an incredible experience that I can also consider a career.

Short Bio

Ellen Derr is a senior and BFA Studio Art major here at James Madison University. Ellen will be graduating in May and will be returning home to Long Island, New York where she was born and raised. Here in the school of art Ellen is a photography concentration but likes to display a wide range of different mediums she has worked with over the years here at JMU. Her subject matter typically involves her travels around the world, love for music, and most of the time a celebration of life. But the Times Up trend has inspired Ellen to create more meaningful artwork including the exhibition “I said no.” The recent news, that seems to be popping up every day, has caused a constant inner anger and frustration and this project has centered that energy. This project consisted of meeting with students here at JMU who were willing to participate and share their stories. She created this work in hopes that this exhibition gives this issue a voice.

Thank you to all of the people who were willing to participate in this project. I am so happy that you were willing to share your stories with me and to use this as a way to speak out against sexual assault and violence. Clearly, you are not alone! You are a part of a powerful group of people that are beginning to bring light to such a sensitive issue.

BFA Capstone Exhibition:
Title: I said no.
Artist: Ellen Derr
Where: Duke Hall Critique Space What: BFA Capstone Exhibition

Important Dates

Install: Sunday, April 1st
Opening reception/ Artist Talk: Monday, April 2nd 7:00pm Opening reception/ Artist Talk: Tuesday, April 3rd 12:00pm Deinstall: Friday, April 6th

Artist Talk

Exhibition Sign

Published: Monday, May 7, 2018

Last Updated: Monday, May 7, 2018

Back to Top

Related Articles