Artist Alumni Finds Success

photo of rebekah's work
Rebekah Corah with her piece “Time Had Finally Erased,” which received first place in a show at the Depot Art Gallery.

Alumni Rebekah Corah graduated from Western's BFA program in 2016.

Rebekah Corah ’16, originally from the Denver area, planned on attending Colorado State University, a school her family had strong ties with. But when her father suggested she look at other colleges, she discovered Western’s BFA program for painting.​

“I found that Gunnison had the best oil painting program around and I liked the teachers and small classrooms sizes,” Corah said. “I went to Western because of its BFA program.”

The quality of the student art coming from Western’s BFA program was a level above bigger, competitive schools, Corah said.

A visit to Western solidified her decision.

“I really got a sense of what the art department was like. It’s a really tightknit community and you are really close to your teachers, and that was something that was a lot different than the bigger schools like CSU and University of North Carolina. After that, and after talking with [Art professor] Al Caniff, I was set on going to Western,” Corah said. 

Corah said at Western, the BFA convocation is different.

“Everyone who earns the BFA has to talk about their art in front of the entire art department. And that was something that the other schools didn’t require.”

Speaking publicly about their work as a theme ensures art majors in Western’s BFA program have more confidence and experience in professional studio art after graduation.

Western also taught Corah how to position herself as a studio artist from a business and professional perspective. Art professor Dr. Tina Butterfield encourages her students to focus on the business side of studio art, bringing professional artists into her classes to speak to her students.

Corah learned to brand and market herself with skills like website building, and her classes often took trips to galleries in Denver and Santa Fe in order to talk with gallery owners about what they were looking for in their artists.

But Corah’s favorite part of Western’s art program was the close relationships she was able to develop with her professors.

“They were such a huge support system. Even today, I have a regular communication with them, talking to them about my art and what’s going on. And they will go above and beyond, and give you the support and the confidence that you need,” Corah said.

Corah graduated from Western less than a year ago, and already she has exhibited her work in multiple galleries, including the Depot Art Gallery in Littleton, CO, and has participated in many juried shows. Her painting "Time Has Finally Erased" received first place in one of the juried shows at the Depot.

Corah currently is focusing on producing additional pieces and is looking forward to her continued success.

“I hope to get into one or two other galleries where I can show there every month. I’m just continuing to make connections and to approve more paintings, and juried shows do a lot with getting your name out there and making connections so I’m looking to do more of that,” she said.

Thursday, December 22, 2016 - 2:00pm