As she spoke about the nonfunctional sculpture she created for the BFA Senior Show, Neta Ron said she's come to understand she needs to explore her artistic ideas in this way to be able to bring that creativity to her jewelry making.
"I make because I make. Because I have to make. Because I can't stop making," she said. "It is not about the object. It is about the process. It's the journey. It's something that will belong to me even if this piece belongs to someone else."
Ron, a senior art major with an emphasis in metalsmithing at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, will receive her BFA on May 16 and has accepted an invitation to attend graduate school at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island, beginning this fall.
The RISD Jewelry + Metalsmithing Department only accepts up to six students each year to its two-year program. Up to half of those students are international. Ron, who is from Israel, is grateful for her undergraduate experience at UW-Whitewater because it provided her with critical communication skills in addition to the creative environment to fully pursue her craft.
"I've heard that a lack of English-speaking skills is the main reason international applicants (to RISD) are turned down," said Ron. "The MFA is a very verbal degree."
Ron selected RISD for its success in producing graduates who can support themselves making art. Her dream is to make a living using her hands.
Ron, who will continue her focus on metals and jewelry making, also received a prestigious Tiffany & Co. Foundation scholarship, given to support a talented graduate student for two years. In addition, she was awarded a fellowship and an assistantship, which, when combined, will amount to half of the expected cost of her degree.
During her time at UW-Whitewater, Ron has worked closely with her mentor, Teresa Faris, and participated in Undergraduate Research Days several times. For her 2014 project, titled "Armor: Me #9," she described the impetus behind making art.
"Art is everything," she said. "We're lucky - (artists) get to sit in a studio and doing something that is significant and that we enjoy."