Student demonstrates true passion for art, pursues extracurriculars

International relations major junior Leliana McDermott (pictured above) has distinguished herself as an artistic member of the Geneseo community, where she is actively involved with the art history department. McDermott is also a member of the Art History Association and has a strong appreciation for impressionist art. (Courtesy of Devin McDonald)

 International relations major junior Leliana McDermott has a passion for studying the history of art. With her range of interests, she hopes to utilize her qualifications and desires to demonstrate the importance of art and its inherent beauty, and to one day make the world a better place.

Throughout her early high school years, McDermott found herself studying various types of art as she expressed great interest in this specific study. McDermott, who also has a minor in art history as well as communication, estimated that she has been studying art for almost five years.

With McDermott’s intentions to pursue her artistic interests, she ventured to college where she developed an even stronger passion for the different, unique types of art. Upon further investigation, she identified most closely with impres sionist art styles. These styles allowed her to feel more connected to and inspired by the works of art.

“I’m really into … impressionist art. I’m really into anything by Klimt, anything by Schiele, just weird art,” McDermott said. “I don’t like the boring, normal stuff. I like it when it’s gory and abstract, body art, tattoos.”

McDermott has been able to apply her interests to extracurricular activities at Geneseo through joining clubs. She’s similarly applied two of her interests—political science and art history—in courses.

“Art has made me involved on campus … [this area] makes you want to get involved in extracurriculars, like the Art History Association,” McDermott said. “It’s really nice to just ease in some art into some other classes’ projects … I did an essay on the politics of art for a [political science] class.”

Additionally, she enjoys the tight-knit community of students who are involved in the art history department and pursuing the major or minor.

“I’ve been very involved with the art history department. It’s really small, there’s only a handful of professors and then eight majors and I’m one among the 20 or so minors,” McDermott said. “It’s really close-knit. You get to know the professors really well, and that really just makes you want to go to class more.”

McDermott envisions herself utilizing all three of her chosen disciplines—political science, art history and communication—after college in a law practice that focuses on art. In the future, she hopes to work to ensure the authenticity of various works of art and become more involved in the various movements associated with the field.

 “I was thinking about going into … the laws of art, and that with my law degree and patenting things and crazy pieces to make sure they’re real,” McDermott said. “There’s this whole movement trying to get back stolen art pieces and put them where they belong.”

McDermott undoubtedly exemplifies tremendous talent as she has found a way to balance these three areas. As an exemplary figure, she models the importance of pursuing any area of interest that causes excitement.