Class of 2019: Jonathan Nepini

McDaniel College senior Jonathan Nepini
April 23, 2019

Jonathan Nepini, from California, Maryland, is an Art major with a specialization in Graphic Design and a minor in Art History.

When I took my first step on the Hill, I was: timid and unsure about what the future would bring. I came to the Hill without having decided a major, excited by the possibility of being able to take a wide variety of classes and find what I was passionate about.

The me who will ring the Old Main bell on Commencement Day is: much more confident, with a broad perspective on the world. I rediscovered my passion for my art here on the Hill, and I learned how to bring my broad array of interests together through my studio practice.

Aha moment: Towards the end of my freshman year, a project I was working on in my Design class made me realize I wanted to major in art. We were asked to create a book designed around a central theme that illustrated the elements and principles of design and used original illustrations that expanded on pictures relating to the elements and principles of design. My book was based on a car theme, so I created a book around a series of images of cars. My professor asked for all of the text in the book to be lettered by hand. This was an intense introduction to publication design, and though it was very time consuming I learned so much about design and realized that it was what I wanted to pursue for a career.

Footprints I’m leaving on the Hill: My footprints are in Rice Gallery where I was the first student to have a solo Honors Art exhibition, “Rising Tides.” You’ll also find them in the Terror TV studio and, with my twin brother’s, in the radio station where we host a weekly show of music from the ‘70s and ‘80s on MGTR called “Monday Night Flashback.”

My mentor. For life.: Art professor Chloe Irla. She has given me so much great advice and guidance through the years and helped me develop the skills I need to be a successful artist.

Best Class Ever: Advanced Studio I-III. This class (I took it three semesters in a row!) really helped me develop my studio practice and explore my own personal ideas for my art, with lots of support and guidance from Professor Irla and Art professor Steve Pearson.

Took me totally by surprise: Majoring in Art. I came to McDaniel thinking I might want to be a business major, but my time here on the Hill helped me rediscover my love for art.

My favorite spot on campus: The little garden by the library is a great study spot on warm spring days, and the porch by the president’s office has the most AMAZING view at night!

Most mind-boggling idea I learned at McDaniel: That I can still continue my studio practice and participate in the art world, even if I have a different day job.

My capstone (Actually my departmental honors show): “Rising Tides”

What it’s about: The show tackled the issue of sea level rise in the Chesapeake Bay region from several different angles ranging from its environmental effects to its effects on the communities that border the Bay.

What it’s really about: As someone who grew up near the Bay, I was really surprised to learn just how bad climate change is, and I wanted to share what I learned. As an artist, I felt like my art was the best way to do that.

What’s next: My first stop is the Maryland Institute College of Art for an M.A. in Graphic Design. Eventually I’d like to open my own design firm or work for a nonprofit related to environmental conservation in the Chesapeake. I’d also like to continue to make and exhibit art.