As a part of our on going Member Spotlight series, we recently had an opportunity to talk with new member, designer, and educator, Amelia LeCroy.
Where were you born and raised? Are you a Virginia Beach native?
I was born and raised in Virginia Beach, and continue to call this city home after college. I graduated from James Madison University in May of 2017 with a BFA in Graphic Design and Pre K-12 Art Education licensure. I completed student teaching in the fall after graduation and was hired at Green Run Collegiate—Virginia Beach’s first public charter school—as the Photography I and Art Foundations teacher.
Have you always been interested in art?
I tell my students that I’ve been drawing since I was two-years old, which really is the truth. I’ve always been committed to my art and I never stopped drawing.
What inspires you from day to day?
I feel most at home in a studio.
What prompted your decision to become an educator? Do you have any insights to share with recent graduates?
I did not intend to be an art educator when I first started at JMU but I fell in love with a middle school class in the tiny town of Dayton, Virginia and never looked back.
I want to keep my passion for graphic design running parallel to my dedication to my students. I’ve found the most success post-grad comes from being open to change and suggestion. Had I not deviated from my academic plans, I would never have known the fulfillment that comes from working in an art classroom with high school students.
Graduates should beware that leaving the collegiate environment is going to be a much bigger transformation than high school to college. You will be lonely. You will be unsure of yourself. You will continue to grow and find new parts of yourself you never knew existed, be open to that. Embrace the change and the opportunities that appear seemingly out of thin air, but don’t forget to check under the rocks you come across. You never really know what’s hiding just out of sight.
Shaping young minds is an important task, what has been the most rewarding experience you’ve had while teaching?
Virginia MOCA: Wayne White Art Exhibition
Extrapolating ideas about education in a classroom can never really compare to the reality of developing those same thoughts while in your own classroom. I did not know until I student taught that one of my biggest observable strengths is my relationship with my students. Before I worked at GRC I worked at Cooperate Landing Middle School and a piece of my heart is still in that art classroom. I worked with students from a wide range of abilities, developmental stages, and personalities, and learned so much from them. They changed my entire teaching philosophy to one that focuses on advocacy, authentic relationships, and conceptual art making.
Do you have any ongoing projects?
I continue to work on graphic design projects and personal art outside of school, though my time is limited. I’ve recently been practicing block printing and want to meld my illustration skills with the new media.
How did you first hear about AIGA and what made you interested in getting more involved?
JMU had an AIGA community although it was a small one. They emphasized the importance of AIGA as a tool for developing connections post-grad and I needed that push when I moved back to Hampton Roads. The art education community I belong to is very different from the design community I feel at home in. I need that injection of graphic design fire back into my life, especially to continue to grow and challenge myself in design thinking. I am so excited to start working with the design community in Hampton Roads.
Follow Amelia on Instagram
AIGA Hampton Roads strives to highlight its members. If you have any ideas for our next spotlight, please contact us at email@example.com.