Michal Berghoff highlight

With a nationally renowned photography program and a multitude of art classes offered here at Santa Monica College, it might be just the environment to nurture your burgeoning creativity. Take Michal Berghoff, for example, who was an SMC student of two years.

Berghoff cultivated her long existing passion for art here at SMC. She says that she always knew she had appreciation for art and enjoyed creating things in her free time, but not until she enrolled in art classes at SMC did she experience the "explosion of creativity" that lead her to majoring in Studio Art.

Her art, which is a reflection of this explosive creativity, reaches across many different mediums, often even a combination of two or three. Her ardor towards her work comes from the relief it allows her to feel from other, more stressful areas of her life. She attributes parts of her success in life to the balance that her art provides.

After taking a range of art classes at Santa Monica such as Drawing 1 and 2, 2-D and 3-D design, Berghoff chose to transfer to the University of California at Santa Barbara as a Studio Art major. The confidence she gained through her experience in Santa Monica art classes inspired her to get straight A's and accumulate an impressive GPA, and after being accepted to both Berkeley and UCSB, she chose Santa Barbara's art program over the one offered at Berkeley.

Michal's personal style showcases either a bold use of color or a soft mixture of black and white in her pencil drawings. She draws a lot of inspiration from nature, and many of her pieces play with the relationship between people and nature. She has explored many different media, including sculpture, paper cutting, painting, and pencil drawing. The subjects of her art vary as well. Sometimes she focuses on people, other times exclusively on geometric shapes and a close attention to detail, which is a skill she brought with her to UCSB.

"My experiences here at UCSB so far since making that decision have been nothing but positive," Berghoff said. Currently she is enrolled in a sculpture class there and is excited to be "making a functional chair out of cardboard, glue and some tape."

While her cardboard chair project is of current concern, Berghoff has also spent a lot of time thinking about her future. For anyone concerned with the practicality of majoring in Studio Art, look again to Berghoff's example and erase those fears.

Berghoff has plans to become an "art director for a strong creative company" or an art therapist, helping people to use art as an alternate form of expression and communication. Always excited about helping others, Berghoff believes that the combination of art and a therapeutic interaction with people in need would be ideal for her particular skill sets.

With UCSB boasting high matriculation into solid careers for recently graduated Art majoring students, Berghoff isn't worried about her present situation nor her future. It just shows that if you're nervous about taking art more seriously, let Michal Berghoff be a shining example of success. Take the risk, express yourself.