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Lehigh Carbon Community College

“Growing up, I was always creative and loved art,” says Catherine Shope ’22. While at Reinhardt, Shope majored in studio art and pottery. “With pottery, your hands have direct contact with the medium, unlike other art forms. I like that I am in complete control of the clay and can direct it with my hands.”

Shope gravitates toward functional pieces of pottery. For her senior art show, Shope created four dinnerware sets with plates, bowls, mugs, and cups and one vase as a centerpiece – 17 pieces in all. “I made all the pieces in six weeks because of basketball.” Shope played basketball for Reinhardt all four years. “This year we won the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) tournament and spent a week in Billings, Montana. I did not want to start on my pieces until I was done with basketball, because clay cracks if it sits too long – it commands respect!”

Following graduation, Shope extended her creativity to a corporate environment, working in digital marketing. “My plan was to save money for art supplies, equipment and a pottery studio.” She soon discovered that a traditional office job was not her calling. “The position gave me the opportunity to try something new, but it was not a good fit for me. I learned that figuring out who you are also means figuring out who you are not.”

Now Shope is shifting gears. “I am working part-time and focused on my dream – creating my pottery studio. I have decided there’s nothing else I want to do!”

Shope offers advice to others – “Taking a leap of faith and pursuing your dreams is far better than working at something that does not bring you joy. Seek joy!”