Major: Master of Fine Arts degree in studio art with a concentration in water media painting in the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the College of Graduate and Professional Studies
Campus Involvement: Graduate teaching fellow for Art 111 in the College of Visual and Performing Arts
Jerry Frech has always been an artist; however, when he was young he didn’t dream of pursuing his passion as a career. Instead, he enrolled in the National Guard after high school and worked in a number of uninspiring jobs. Then he was deployed to Iraq. While serving, Frech had time to ponder the path he’d chosen.
“I asked myself, ‘What am I doing with my life?’” he said. “I came to an agreement in my mind that it doesn’t matter how much I make, as long as I am doing something that makes me come alive.”
As he began researching universities, he became intrigued by the work of Zheng L. Feng, an art professor at Radford University. The renowned professor inspired Frech – a fact that he knew was important to his college search.
“The best piece of advice I received was from one of my undergraduate professors,” said Frech. “He said I should select a graduate school based on the artist I want to study under. Because Dr. Feng’s work was moving in the direction that I saw mine going, I felt that he had the most to teach me so my decision was made.”
The Master of Fine Arts that Frech is earning is a terminal degree – equivalent to a doctorate in other fields – so after he graduates he will be qualified to teach at the college level. That fits well with his post-graduation plans.
“I plan to teach and work on my art,” he said. “I love art, it is my passion and sharing that with others gives me great joy.”