A little under five years ago, Fuxin Bao came to Binghamton University. She pursued a chemistry degree, thinking that she wanted to become a veterinarian. But when her life changed, so did her major.
Two years ago, Bao got married and had a baby. Rather than stick with the strict studying commitment that comes with being a science student, she decided to pursue a new path. At the time, Bao had taken a printmaking class with professor Alexandra Davis. It was because of this class, and an overall love for art, that she decided to pursue a printmaking major.
Earlier this year, Bao entered the fourth annual Student International Small Print Show (SIPS), a student printmaking exhibition organized by Dr. Wael Sabour, an art professor at Egypt’s Minia University. This year, SIPS gathered 130 pieces of student work from 21 different countries.
Davis said she encouraged students like Bao to submit to SIPS because of the lack of printmaking exhibitions available to students.
“This really helps students gain insight into what it’s like to show internationally,” she said.
“Hope” was the name of Bao’s piece that was featured at Minia University’s gallery of the Faculty of Fine Arts in late March. The drawing is an etching of a cat in a cage that was created through the process of drawing it on piece of metal, putting it into acid and printing with a printing press.
Bao cites Davis as the reason she entered SIPS because of the research they do in class to learn about other artists and techniques in order to enhance their own works.
“She always encourages students to have new ideas and new techniques,” Bao said.
Davis sees a positive outcome from teaching students like Bao, encouraging her to reach her potential through her artistic tenacity.
“She’s a really hard worker and she’ll do it until she gets it right,” Davis said.
In the midst of all of her hard work, Bao has no qualms about balancing her school and home life. She says, “It’s busy but at the same time it’s happy.”
Bao plans to graduate in December and then work at China One with her husband in Downtown Binghamton, take care of her daughter and work on her art when she has a chance.
“You can think about your work when you do other work,” Bao said. “You can always do art.”
Looking ahead to her future, Davis has high hopes for where Bao’s printmaking talents will take her.
“I think she will definitely progress as far as her imagery and also in her content,” Davis said.
Bao hopes that Davis will allow her to come back to her Fine Arts classroom after December graduation to keep improving her craft. For now, Bao will stick to her future plans to keep her passion for printmaking alive.
“If you want to learn,” Bao said, “there’s no one stopping you.”