Karenna Maraj
BAC Jewelry & Metals Faculty

How did you arrive at the Brookline Arts Center?
My friend Heather Wang recommended me for the open position. I had never taught before and had only recently graduated and I thought “they would never consider me.” But I went ahead and sent in my resume and met with Margaret Langdell. She basically hired me on the spot. It was awesome!

Tell us about your background. How did you become interested in art?
I’ve always loved all types of art growing up. My mom is very creative and we would take classes and work on projects together. In high school I had two really great teachers who encouraged me to apply to art school and follow my passion. I chose Jewelry and Metalsmithing as my major because the major seemed like fun and could perhaps serve as the foundation of a career. I happened to guess right!

What passions do you bring to the BAC community?
I just enjoy teaching and helping students complete projects that they are proud of. It gives me joy to see their smiles when a project is brought to life. Students are usually so happy and in awe of their accomplishments because most of the time they are able to surprise themselves with what they can achieve. I really enjoy when a student presents me with a complex project that takes several steps to complete. It frequently teaches me along with them.

What do you enjoy most about the BAC?
There are three things I love: the students, the dedicated jewelry studio, and the staff. All of my students have been wonderful and have taught me as much as I have taught them. Some I have even developed a relationship with outside of the classroom. I really love that the jewelry studio is dedicated just to jewelry. We don’t have to share the space with any other classes; that’s pretty rare and I appreciate it. The staff has been very nice and supportive. It has always been a pretty great place to teach, but numerous things have still managed to improve over time, which makes the BAC an even better place to teach.

What was your favorite childhood art project?
I’m not sure if I could pick just one art project! I always liked to draw and color in coloring books from a very young age. As I got a little older I played with beads, stringing them to make necklaces or learning traditional Native American beading techniques from my family. I also fondly remember helping my mom make wreaths for the changing seasons and different holidays and the two of us hanging them on the front door.

Who are some of your art heroes?
I don’t really have an art hero. I mainly just enjoy learning the ways that different artists create because there are so many ways to accomplish the same thing, and I’m also quite interested in how different artists think of themselves. It intrigues me to learn how they sell themselves and make their work available to others.

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