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Center for Professional Development
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Dartmouth College
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Alumni Stories: Carolyn Fucile '99


There is Art in Her Heart

by Julia M. Plevin '09carrie fucile

Fine artist and graphic designer Carrie Fucile '99 has been artistic her entire life. She always loved doing things with her hands, whether that was painting, drawing, knitting, or working with the toolset her father gave her when she was young. As Fucile, the daughter of two teachers, navigated her way through Dartmouth, her family swayed her to choose a "practical" major.

Fucile tried out History but finally settled on Art History because it was more culturally focused and less political. She had left her passion for art on the back burner. Then, in the midst of the magic of sophomore summer, she took Drawing I because it is a requirement for the Art History major. She had forgotten how much joy she got from making art and just knew that she had to keep making art. She decided to modify her Art History major with Studio Art. Fucile's only regret is that she did not let herself find Studio Art sooner.

In addition to studying and making art, Fucile was a member of the Chamber Singers. She sang in a classical works choir in high school and wanted singing to remain part of her life at Dartmouth and beyond. Today she incorporates singing and sound into her artwork.

Recalling her time at Dartmouth, Fucile notes that her rediscovery of art was a meaningful and memorable aspect of her time at Dartmouth, second only to the relationships she made with her peers. She saw an artist's installation that made her "understand the power of installation for the fist time." While her love of art was ubiquitous, she never imagined that she would live as she does now as an artist.

After graduating, Fucile moved to New York City and worked as an art assistant for Dunton children's books. She was in publishing for four years but all the while remained confused and torn about art. She took up printmaking again and decided she could not ignore her desire to create art. Fucile decided to return home to Baltimore, Maryland to clear her head of noisy New York City and obtain a post-baccalaureate at the Maryland Institute College of Art .

Next thing she knew, she was returning to New York City to get a graduate degree in Digital Art from Brooklyn College. She moved to the Upper Valley after graduate school and has now moved back to Baltimore. While pursuing her own career, Fucile has taught digital art and graphic design as an adjunct at the University of Delaware, Community College of New Hampshire, and Rivier College in New Hampshire. She loves teaching and hopes to teach more in the future.

Now her day-to-day work is for Sinuate Media, an online marketing company based in Baltimore. She has various roles, from editing podcasts to doing freelance graphic design. While she was trained in print graphic design, Fucile is trying to transition to web design as the whole world turns to the Internet. She finds web design to be more fluid than print design and notes that there is not as much control over the final project because designs look different on different types of computers and browsers. Graphic design comes naturally to Fucile and she can be passionate about pairing images with text, but her real passion is still for fine art.

Fortunately, she still practices fine art and has her own studio at Load Of Fun in Baltimore, where she is an artist in residence. She collects inspiration from her life, other artists, and different materials for her art. Fucile is particularly interested in materials as a metaphor and uses materials that are appropriate for the subject matter. For her work on the body and medicine, she uses medical objects such as gauze and IV racks for her materials. Some events in her life have forced her to confront mortality and fragility and now she uses these themes in her artwork.

Fucile comments that it is strange to straddle the world of art and the world of marketing and graphic design, but she does know several people who do both. Art is not as stable but Fucile has invested so much time and passion in art that she made the decision to just "run with it and see what happens." Since graduate school she has been in many group shows but she would like to have a solo show in the future.

For students who want to pursue art as a career, Fucile encourages them "to not be timid and get as involved as you can." She notes that the key to success in art, as well as other careers, is perseverance and tenacity. She tells students to do what they are passionate about because even if some other career is more "practical" than art, if a person is unhappy in a so-called practical career, she will not be giving that job all her energy and enthusiasm.

Fucile also notes that there are many careers for creative people besides being a fine artist and encourages students to explore their options in the creative world. She lists visual communication, commercial photography, interactive media, video game design, and fashion design as creative careers that Dartmouth students may not already be aware of. There are many ways to be artistic.

Fucile has had no problem being artistic and creative. For her, the hardest part of the journey was to let herself be an artist. Now that she has accepted herself as an artist, the world is her canvas.


Last Updated: 6/21/12