Adelle Patten ’21: Inspired by Art and Service

Adelle Patten with a painting

Adelle Patten ’21 only traveled a short distance from her home in Concord, NC, to attend her first-choice school, and she has embraced the many opportunities a liberal arts environment provides.

Generous scholarship support also played a role in her decision—she receives the Charles L. Fonville Scholarship and the MacDonald Community Scholarship.

“I was interested in art, generally, coming into Davidson,” Patten said. “I had mostly done portraiture and painted family members—focusing on what was around me. Now, as a studio art major and digital studies minor, I’m combining landscape with digital visual vernacular.”

Sophomore year, Patten took a basic painting course taught by Assistant Professor of Art Katie St. Clair.

"It was revelatory for me," she said. "I used that class to escape the daily pressures of Davidson student life and as a coping mechanism for the loss of a close family friend. Now, I've taken five classes from her." 

That same year, she decided to apply to the Bonner Scholars Program, which requires 280 hours of service annually.

“I have met so many people and become more empathetic through the program,” Patten said. “I’ve taught art lessons at the Ada Jenkins Center, and it has really shaped what I’m passionate about. I think anyone can find their groove as a Bonner – it promotes collaboration and encourages students to gain varying experiences.”

As a junior, she got involved with Davidson Arts and Creative Engagement (DACE) as an arts fellow, which led her to opportunities to help fellow Wildcat Makayla Binter ’20 with a mural project she was creating on campus and future projects off campus.

The presence of art around campus is an inspiration to Patten, and she appreciates what it brings to the campus overall. She contributed to the new Black Lives Matter mural, made with thousands of tiny ceramic tiles, which was completed just before winter break and is located near the Alvarez College Union.

“Public art offers a way for people to cope with what’s happening now in our world,” she said. “Being outside is relatively safe these days, and art provides backdrops for gatherings and discussions. I’m pretty sad to be in my final semester – I’ll miss those opportunities.”

Looking ahead, Patten is keeping an open mind about where life will take her after graduation, but she is leaning toward pursuing the fields of digital content creation or arts education and non-profit work.

Stay tuned! Patten will offer a virtual artist talk and tour of her senior show April 15. Check the campus calendar closer to time for the link.