Jacqueline Ingram, an elementary education major with an art minor and a K-12 endorsement, makes everything into art. However, in high school, she didn’t obsess over paint brushes and pencils at the craft store. Art was not her thing, sports were.
In high school, Ingram became a four-year letter winner in three sports, collecting all-conference honors in volleyball and basketball and qualifying for state twice in doubles tennis. She claimed a spot on the Iowa Basketball Coaches All-Academic team. Ingram made sports her art.
However, she wasn’t without creative talent. Some of her artistic pursuits included creating prom corsages and refurbishing a table. Though she discovered an interest in hands-on crafts, she didn’t take any art classes in high school. In fact, the thought of doing so never crossed her mind; college credit classes and band dominated her schedule.
Ingram was the next step: Jacqueline would choose to major in elementary education and sign her letter of intent to play tennis—sports were an avenue of success and joy for her. This time, taking an “arts and aesthetic” course was unavoidable. Second semester of freshman year, she took her first art class which changed her life.
“It suddenly clicked. It connected with my brain,” Ingram said.
Not only did it make sense, her ceramics professor Yun Shin made all the difference. Shin saw a creative spark in Ingram and inspired her to challenge herself and explore the field.
“Professor Shin knows how to reach art-minded people,” Ingram said.
Now, Jacqueline was faced with a new opportunity and a new decision. It was an easy one to make. She would add an art minor and an art K-12 endorsement to her major. Ingram had a clear gift for teaching, challenging herself: “Can I teach art so students can understand it?”
She could, but not without immersing herself into more art classes. Ceramics, specifically wheel-throwing, became her passion.
She understood it and said that “It’s the process of doing steps repeatedly until you perfect it.”
It’s not the first time Ingram mastered the art of process. This same excellence came from her success in sports. It takes one step at a time to create a masterpiece.
First, masterpieces need inspiration. Ingram’s is Jon the Potter. Jon Schmidt, entrepreneur and artist, gives step-by-step instructions for fashioning practical pottery out of clay. His YouTube channel is loaded with videos of making marbled and textured mugs and plates out of vibrant clays.
“I like the practicality of the finished product,” Ingram said.
She dreams of owning a pottery studio with a café attached to it. But for now, she will teach young artists the beauty of ceramics.
For the past six weeks, she has been doing exactly that. Ingram has been student-teaching at MOC-Floyd Valley High School with Mrs. Roberta Pottebaum. Not only has Ingram inspired her students to challenge themselves creatively, she has also increased her own skill.
She said, “Because I’ve had to teach [ceramics], I’ve become better at my craft, too.”
From Shin’s expertise and encouragement to the leadership in the education department, Northwestern has “made it easy” for Jacqueline to be successful.
That success will be carried to Ames, Iowa, where Jacqueline and her fiancé are seeking job opportunities and where she hopes to coninue her passionfor creating masterpieces.