This has been a tough end of the year for all graduates worldwide. We at MOCA extend a big congratulations to all for this accomplishment in these trying times. Here, we ask MOCA Ambassador and recent UNF graduate Julianne Dragunat to share her journey as an art student and her experience navigating the end of her undergraduate career during the COVID-19 crisis." />
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Perspective: UNF Graduate Julianne Dragunat

Perspective: UNF Graduate Julianne Dragunat

June 7, 2020 // by MOCA Staff

This has been a tough end of the year for all graduates worldwide. We at MOCA extend a big congratulations to all for this accomplishment in these trying times. Here, we ask MOCA Ambassador and recent UNF graduate Julianne Dragunat to share her journey as an art student and her experience navigating the end of her undergraduate career during the COVID-19 crisis.

UNF 2020 Senior Exhibition_dragunatjulianne_26676_7323169_IMG_9216

Tell us about you. Where do you come from, and when did you know that you were are an artist?

I began my interest in art at a young age since my mother was interested in it as well. She took many art classes in college and passed down the love. Due to the affiliation with art in my family, it was a normal thing to visit various museums in different states on vacations or our local museums in our hometown and the surrounding areas. When I was a child, my mom always had a camera in her hand taking photos of what was going on. This sparked me to want my own camera in elementary school. 

How did you end up choosing UNF as your college?

I was led to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts by my parents. Initially for high school, I wanted to join a special program to begin my learning of photographic processes and techniques. Instead, I became interested in videography and went to an arts school to study film video. When it was time to apply to colleges, my father actually began looking up photography programs. He knew I was still very interested in going into that field. 

 

UNF 2020 Senior Exhibition_dragunatjulianne_26676_7211919_JulianneDragunat_2
Julianne Dragunat, Human Nature, 2020.  Inkjet Prints w/Embroidery Thread, 8 x10 inches.
UNF 2020 Student Exhibition_dragunatjulianne_26676_7211920_JulianneDragunat_3
Julianne Dragunat, Human Nature, 2020. Inkjet Prints w/Embroidery Thread, 8 x10 inches. 

Share one of your most memorable moments from your time at UNF?

One of the most memorable moments at UNF was the day when my classmates and I held our own critique. On the day of critique, most of the class not fully prepared when class time started. Our professor was not very happy about it and did not want to continue instruction that day. As a class, we decided to stay in the room and still give feedback to our peers on the work we created. Although, it isn't the best situation since our professor was mad that we weren't prepared for class, it is a memorable moment for me. It showed me how close the photo department is at UNF. After having several classes with the same students, we all formed bonds and wanted to give helpful comments. 

How long have you worked at MOCA, and what do you appreciate the most about the museum?

I have worked at MOCA for a little over a year now. I started working there during my the summer before my senior year at UNF. I appreciate being immersed in the arts and knowing what is going on in the art community around me. 

How has MOCA shaped your student experience?

MOCA shaped my student experience in many ways. I feel like it made me closer to professors and fellow students at UNF. I was able to appreciate students artwork more than I did before because of my connection with MOCA and being immersed with the art scene in Jacksonville. I feel like I was exposed to a variety of fine art mediums instead of only photographic. 

UNF 2020 Senior Exhibiition_dragunatjulianne_26676_7211917_JulianneDragunat_1
Julianne Dragunat, Human Nature, 2020. Inkjet Prints w/Embroidery Thread, 8 x10 inches.

How did the COVID crisis change the end of your college career? Are there any life lessons you can take from this experience?

The COVID crisis shaped the end of my college career into a different path completely. I was not able to do the final simple tasks of being a student. It was a weird feeling realizing that I will most likely never be a student on a campus again (unless I decided to go to grad school). The biggest thing that was taken away was walking across the stage to receive my college diploma. The life lesson I took away from this experience is to enjoy the time you have doing something, even if you do not enjoy it in the moment, because life can change so quickly. COVID came out of no where and altered so many peoples lives. 

What is your next move now that you are a graduate? (include your degree name in your answer)

After graduating at University of North Florida, I plan to work part or full time in a relevant field of my Bachelors of Fine Arts concentrating in Photography and Marketing minor while also working to get my photography business started. My long term hopes post-grad is to be able to fully support myself with my photography business, but I know it will be a while after initially graduating to get my feet on the ground with obtaining clients and regular shoots and events. When I can start to rely purely on my business, it is a dream of mine to have a photo studio in which I can rent out to artists, use for clients, and to have for personal conceptual shoots. I hope to continue in the conceptual world of photography while also using my talent to make money in commercial shoots and events. 

Any advice for students out there considering to major in Art?

Advice I would give to students considering to major in Art would be to go for it if it is something you are super passionate about. I believe you should choose a career path which you will enjoy day-to-day and not just for for the salary. If you work hard and put your mind to it, you can earn a good salary.

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